The 615th Urs-e-Shareef of 14th century Sufi saint Hazrat Khwaja Bande Nawaz begin on Friday with prayers. The shrine of the 14th century Sufi saint, located in southern state of Karnataka, is a major attraction for devotees, irrespective of their caste and creed.
The Sufi saint preached understanding, tolerance and harmony to the people. His shrine is known as a hub of Hindu-Muslim harmony. Thousands of pilgrims visited Gulbarga for the 615th annual celebration of the Urs or death anniversary of Hazrat Khwaja Bande Nawaz.
The preliminary ceremonies for the Urs begin with collectively offering prayers at the shrine. It is followed by the procession of sandal paste from the Mehboob Gulshan Public Garden, which is a part of the Urs celebrations carried out by people in large numbers.
Khwaja Banda Nawaz has authored about 196 books in Arabic, Persian and Urdu languages. For a long time he was engaged in religious discourses, sermons, and spiritual training of the people. Devotees from across the country rest their faith in the saint. The spirit witnessed during the Urs reflects the age-old communal harmony between the people of different communities, which is the true essence of India.