One of the key areas of tourism is religious tourism which has experienced substantial growth in Pakistan over the years. The reason behind the increment in religious tourists, belonging to various faiths, visiting the country is to perform pilgrimage of their respective Holy places.
In religious tourism, there are a number of branches including Sufism. As the main religion in the country is Islam, the influence that Sufism has in Pakistan is very prominent. When we turn towards history, we can see that Sufis played a crucial role in the spread of Islam in the sub-continent.
Their role in spreading Islam has attracted a large number of devotees towards themselves who visit the shrines of these Sufis in search of spiritual healing or for getting wishes and prayers fulfilled.
Seeing the eminent influence that these Sufis have had on the lives of thousands of people, Jovago Pakistan brings you a list of 4 most visited shrines in Pakistan.
Shrine of Sachal Sarmast, Khairpur
One of the two main disciples of Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, Sachal Sarmast is laid to rest in the city of Khairpur. Although his actual name was Abdul Wahab, he is popularly known as Sachal Sarmast which literally means ‘truthful mystic’. Through his poetry, which is written in seven different languages including Sindhi, Seraiki and Persian, he spread the message of divine love which embodied the principles of mysticism. As a result, he was given the titles of Haft-i-Zuban Shair (the writer of seven languages) and Sartaj-us-Shuara by his devotees.
Shrine of Abdullah Shah Ghazi, Karachi
Believed to be protecting the largest metropolitan city of Pakistan from cyclones and other natural disasters, the shrine of Abdullah Shah Ghazi is one of the most visited shrines in the country. Every year, millions of devotees pay homage to the saint and get their wishes fulfilled. A huge gala, spanning over three days, is held at his shrine in the month of December to commemorate Abdullah Shah Ghazi’s anniversary.
Shrine of Dataa Ganj Bakhsh, Lahore
Considered to be one of the oldest shrines in the South Asian region, the mausoleum of Data Ganj Bakhsh is situated in the city of Lahore near the Bhati gate. Although the saint was christened with the name of Abul Hassan Ali Hajvery, he was given the title of Dataa because of his benevolent nature. The white marble mausoleum of Data Ganj Bakhsh was originally constructed by Sultan Zakiruddin Ibrahim of Ghaznavi.
Shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, Sehwan Sharif
Known to be one of the two and a half qalandars on Earth, Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar’s original name was Syed Muhammad Usman Marwandi. He was a 12th century Sufi who was instructed to settle in the Indian subcontinent to spread the word of God. Whilst visiting the shrine, attending the dhamaal, which is a type of music played by beating giant drums, at maghrib is a must.
If you have information on any other shrine in Pakistan that attracts a large number of devotees towards itself, then do share it with us in the comment section below.