Madurai

It stands tall as symbol of religious harmony

V. Vedachalam, an archaeological scholar, explaining the inscriptions to the participants of the Heritage Walk at Goripalayam Dargah in Madurai on Sunday. Photo: R. Ashok

V. Vedachalam, an archaeological scholar, explaining the inscriptions to the participants of the Heritage Walk at Goripalayam Dargah in Madurai on Sunday. Photo: R. Ashok   | Photo Credit: R_ASHOK

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Historians, academicians, students and the general public convened at Hajrath Khaja Syed Sultan Alavuddeen Syed Sultan Samsudeen Avulia Dargah in Goripalayam early on Sunday morning for a heritage walk organised by Dhan Foundation.

The ‘Goripalayam Dargah,’ as it is popularly known, is one of the largest dargahs in Madurai. It has been built with a fusion of Hindu and Islamic architectural styles.

“It is believed to have been built in the 14th century and the stone inscriptions found on its premises, dating back to 1573, reveal many historically significant details of the existence of the dargah and its construction,” said V. Vedachalam, an archaeological scholar.

“While the domes and arches are typical of the Islamic style of architecture, the carved pillars indicate influences of Hindu architecture,” he noted.

From the terrace of the dargah, the participants got a chance to look at the magnificent dome which is believed to have been made from a single block of stone brought from Alagarkoil. The dome measures 70 feet in diameter and 20 feet in height.

‘Santhana Koodu’ fest

S.K. Syed Ahmed, hereditary Hakdhar of the dargah, talked about the annual ‘Santhana Koodu’ festival which takes place in January. “A decorated sacred pot is smeared with sandal paste and taken around the streets near the dargah,” he told the heritage walkers.

Historian V. Venkatraman traced the evolution of Islam in the country, particularly in Madurai. “The dargah symbolises religious harmony and peaceful co-existence of Hindus and Muslims. People come here to get relief from their problems and for peace of mind,” he said.





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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 11:16:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/it-stands-tall-as-symbolof-religious-harmony/article6692765.ece

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