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Khuldabad Urs

Khuldabad is a place in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra. It is famously called the Valley of the Saints as it is believed that Sufi saints migrated to this place hundreds of years ago. The place is considered a holy by Muslims as it is the resting place or the tomb of Emperor Aurangzeb. The Khuldabad Urs is a hugely popular festival in Aurangabad and celebrated here by the Muslim community with traditional pomp and joviality.

History of the Khuldabad Urs

Khuldabad is a major municipal council in Aurangabad district an also a fast-developing city. In the earlier days, it was known as Rauza or the ‘Garden of Paradise’. Today, Khuldabad is better known as the ‘Valley of Saints’. Famous Sufi saints of the Chishti order made Khuldabad their home. The dargah of Sheikh Burhan ud-din Garib Chisti and also of General Qamar-ud-din Khan and Jah Asaf I can be found here.

The Khuldabad Urs festival is a five day affair and held during Rabi-Ul-Awal which according to the Muslim Calendar comes in the month of May. The place is said to be blessed as it was home to two of the most revered saints: Zain-ud-din and Burhan-ud-din. Muslims assemble here in large numbers during the Khuldabad Urs to pay their respects to these saints they revere and respect the most.

Why Khuldabad is Such a Revered Place

Legend has it that Aurangzeb insisted that only the money he had earned by stitching caps himself should be spent on constructing his grave. He wanted a simple tomb with no display of any kind of grandeur. However, in 1921, the Nizam of Hyderabad made large scale decorations with various types of royal embellishments and marble work on the tomb. Yet, the top was left untouched as per the wishes of the Emperor and still is of earth with a plant on the top. It remains covered by a sheet of plain white cloth.

Over the past few decades, Khuldabad has gained importance as a place of pilgrimage for Muslims because of the presence of these tombs. Importantly, the divine robes (Pairahan-e-Mubarak) and the hair (Moo-e-Mubarak) of the Prophet, believed to have been preserved here are worshipped by visitors.

Other Tombs at Khuldabad

Khuldabad also is host to other pious tombs besides that of Aurangzeb. Other members of royalty such as the premier Nizam, Asaf and his son Jung Nasir, Hasan Abul and Tana Shah are also buried here. Tana Shah was the last emperor of Golconda. The tombs of son of Aurangzeb, Prince Azam Shah and his wife along with other key members of the Royal Family are also believed to be in Khuldabad.

The otherwise, sleepy and calm city of Khuldabad comes with excitement and celebrations during the Khuldabad Urs. People dress in their best robes and dresses and decorate the entire city with lights, flowers, garlands and other attractive embellishments. There is a festive atmosphere all around as the scent of various types of fresh flowers and attar pervades the air.

How to Reach

Khuldabad is approximately 22 km from Aurangabad city and can be reached by private or public transport buses. There are cabs also available from Aurangabad. The nearest railway station is Aurangabad. Those who prefer to fly in can take a flight to Aurangabad airport which is a few kilometers from the main city.

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