Hyderabad: Ramp work at Dargah Hazrath Baba Sharfuddin incomplete

Hyderabad Desk

HYderabad: Six years have passed since the ramp works at the Dargah Hazrath Baba Sharfuddin at Pahadi Shareef began, but the project is far away from completion.

The works at the Dargah Hazrath Baba Sharfuddin were inaugurated with much fanfare in 2018 after the Telangana (TRS) government sanctioned a budget of Rs. 9.60 crore for the ambitious project aimed at reducing hardship of people visiting the shrine of the holy saint at Pahadi Shareef.

As part of the project, a motorable ramp of 950 feet through which pilgrims can reach the dargah, located on a hilltop in vehicles was to be constructed. A timeframe of nine months was earmarked for completion of the project at the Dargah Hazrath Baba Sharfuddin.

Things have however stood still for the past four years with no major work witnessed at the project site located near the Pahadi Shareef police station on the Srisailam Highway.

While Waqf Board officials visited the site for inspection a few times, it is an open secret that the works could not be taken up due to paucity of funds. AIMIM floor leader Akbaruddin Owaisi had represented the matter of the Dargah Hazrath Baba Sharfuddin in the legislative assembly as well.

According to sources, contractors had informed the Telangana State Education Welfare and Infrastructure Development Corporation (TGEWIDC) about the pending bills. The bills were forwarded to the Telangana State Waqf Board which could not foot the entire bills in time to the contractors for the Dargah Hazrath Baba Sharfuddin project.

An official from the TS Waqf Board said the project cost escalated due to the delays, and again the revised cost has to be sanctioned for the works. “It will not happen soon because the TS Waqf Board is reeling under a fund crunch,” he added.

Pilgrims not only from Telangana but Andhra, Maharashtra, and Karnataka come to visit the Dargah Hazrath Baba Sharfuddin shrine. Visitors have to climb 360 steps to reach the Dargah for ziyarat (visitation of shrine).

According to a report, Baba Sharfuddin Suhrwardi came to the Deccan in 1190 from Baghdad via Delhi and settled in a neighbourhood known as Balapur some 5 kilometers away from the place where his shrine is. Initially, he came and settled down in Balapur. He was among the first of Sufis who came to this region much before Hyderabad was founded in 1591 by the Qutb Shahi dynasty.

The people hold Hazrath Baba Sharfuddin in high respect and came to him seeking ‘resolution’ of their problems and fulfilment of their wishes. According to legend, the saint climbed the hillock and decided to stay on for his prayers.

The legend goes that many noblemen sought help at the Dargah Hazrath Baba Sharfuddin . Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb built the structure over the simple grave of the Baba while Nizam Mir Mahbub Ali Khan (the sixth Nizam of Hyderabad from the later Asaf Jahi kings) constructed the big hall with multiple columns and multi-cusped arches.

The steps on the Dargah Hazrath Baba Sharfuddin hillock were chiselled out and shaped during the time of Mir Osman Ali Khan, the seventh and last Nizam of Hyderabad. At the foothill of the shrine is a Deodi built by Paigah nobleman Iqbal Ud Dowla.

The annual Urs celebrations of the Dargah Hazrath Baba Sharfuddin begin on the 16th of the Islamic month of Shaban and continue till the 22nd of the month. The first sandal procession is taken out from Balapur, where the saint is believed to have stayed for almost 11 years, and reached Pahadi shareef. Two more important offerings are made by the HEH Nizam Trust and the state government through the Pahadi Shareef police and Balapur police station staff.

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