Devotees throng mausoleum of a Sufi saint in Punjab

August 15th, 2008 - 1:55 pm ICT by ANI  

Mianwali (Punjab), Aug.15 (ANI):Scores of devotees thronged the mausoleum of a Sufi saint, Pir Baba Sheikh Brahm, situated on the India-Pakistan border near Mianwali village in Punjab, to pay their obeisance on Thursday.
The shrine, located in the Khemkaran Sector, which is barely 100 meters inside Indian territory, was decorated with glittering festoons and resounded to loud devotional music.
Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs religiously visit the mausoleum, who legend has it was greatly inspired by the teachings of Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh faith.
The Border Security Force (BSF), which looks after the shrine, allows pilgrims to visit the shrine only during the day.
While the Indian pilgrims could easily reach the shrine and pay obeisance, their Pakistani counterparts had to be satisfied with festivities and celebrations on their side of the border due to international travel restrictions.
They had carried a symbolic green shawl that is ceremonially offered to the shrine and passed it on to the Indian security forces to be laid on the saint’’s tomb.
Virsa Singh Valtoha, a lawmaker representing the area, said: “Such common religious places could help in bringing the two age old rivals closer. Government should make arrangements so that Pakistani devotees of Sheikh could easily walk up to the ”dargah” (tomb) to offer prayers and seek his blessings as they did earlier.”
Villagers say, before the hostilities between the two neighbouring nations began, devotees from Pakistan were allowed to cross over to the Indian side to offer their prayers at the shrine.
For all pilgrims, the saint is regarded as manna from heaven. Though he is a 16th century contemporary of the Sikh saint Guru Nanak Dev, his followers believe his powers to bless them are witnessed even today. (ANI)

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