It’s been six and a half years in Mumbai and we have still not been to a few iconic places of Mumbai. Haji Ali was one of them. We made it to the Dargah on Sunday morning though. We set out early in order to beat the crowd — had our breakfast at Café Madras, drove down to Tardeo, parked our car at the Sobo Central Mall and walked down to Haji Ali. The Dargah opens its doors at 5.30 in the morning everyday and shuts at 10pm.
This 400-year old Dargah, currently undergoing renovation, attracts devotees and believers across religious affiliations. Many also come for the sake of photography. Although not an architectural wonder, the Dargah does have a strong religious fervor to it. Furthermore, its dramatic location (right in the sea) appeals to a number of visitors.
Good that we reached early — the place wasn’t teeming with people, and we had a very spaced out visit. Also, the vendors were just about setting up their stalls. Hence, avoided the cacophony. I sure wish they will keep the Dargah cleaner once the renovation work is done, and rid the place of the beggars. The pathway should be cleaned up and hawkers kept away.
And yes, A.R.Rehman’s ‘Piya Hali Ali’ will be automatically in your lips all through your tour. Love the song —
Shah-e-samandar ik nazar,
Piya Haaji Ali, piya Haaji Ali, piya Haaji …