Urs celebrations at Badapahad grand, but less devotees due to COVID

Not only Muslims but several Hindus in Telangana consider Shadullah baba to be their family God and celebrate important family events at Badapahad.

Nizamabad: Urs celebrations of Hazrat Syed Sadullah Hussaini Dargah at Badapahad in Nizamabad district began on Tuesday. Also known as Peddagutta, the pilgrimage center is one of the most popular Dargahs in the North Telangana region. Every year, lakhs of devotees of all religions from the states of Telangana, Maharashtra, and Karnataka visit the Dargah during the three-day Urs celebrations.

 Last year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, devotees were not allowed to participate in the Urs. This year the Wakf board members and organizers made all arrangements for the devotees to visit and make offerings to Saint Syed Sadullah, who is revered among the locals.

A health camp has been set up outside to offer emergency health checkups and services with the help of the local Primary Health Care (PHC) centre. Special buses have been made available from Bodhan and Nizamabad. However, the turnout has been lower than in pre-COVID times.

On the first day, Bhaskar Pocharam, Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) leader and son of Assembly speaker Pocharam Srinivas Reddy made the formal offering of chaddar and sandal to the Dargah and flagged off the Urs-e-Shareef procession. He later took part in special prayers at the Dargah atop the hill.

During the procession via Jalaalpur village, the sandal offerings were placed on the backs of a camel and a horse. These animals are considered sacred and many people participate in the ritual of passing from under the camel as it is believed to bring good luck. The procession concluded atop the hill and the offerings were made at the Saint Sadullah Dargah.

Photo: Sreshta Ladegaam

Although the second day saw a decline in the number of visitors, the organizers made sure the celebrations are held in a grand manner. Largescale langar has been organized for visitors and the evening ended with Qawwali and other cultural events. The turnout is expected to increase today, the third and final day of the Urs.

Baba Shadullah’s lore

According to the local lore, Saint Syed Sadullah Hussaini or Shadullah baba, as referred to by the locals was a Tahsildar who refused to collect taxes during the rule of Mahbub Ali Khan, the sixth Nizam of Hyderabad. People believe that in order to escape imprisonment, he hid in Peddagutta or Badapahad. As the soldiers tracked his place of hiding, Baba is said to have achieved immortality in the form of his jeeva samadhi.

Photo: Sreshta Ladegaam

Several Hindus in Telangana consider Shadullah baba to be their family God and celebrate important family events at Badapahad. Although the place has been a popular pilgrimage center for so long, it hasn’t received any major attention from any of the previous governments and remains underdeveloped. The Wakf board members said that there are plans in place to develop the roads towards Badapahad.

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