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Nagore

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Nagore is a town in the Nagapattinam District, Tamil Nadu, India. It is located approximately 12 km south of Karaikal and 5 km north of Nagapattinam. Tiruvarur, Mayiladuthurai, Muthupet are nearby towns. It has a population of approximately 30,000. The prime attraction is the renowned Nagore Dargah, a revered place of all faiths. A five centuries old Islamic shrine, Nagore Dargah attracts millions of pilgrims irrespective of caste, creed or religion.

This is a small town along the shore of the Bay of Bengal. The festival season in Nagore occurs during the month of May, typically, but the festival dates will change based on the lunar calendar. The popular Kandhuri festival is celebrated with festivities and pomp and show. Notable temples exist, too. This shows the peaceful coexistence of Muslims and other faiths. The Seeralamman temple situated in the fishermen’s area near Nagore railway station is a century-old Hindu shrine maintained by local fishermen. The annual Seeralamman festival season has ten days of celebration.

Nagore Dargah (also called Nagoor Dargah or Hazrat Syed Shahul Hameed Dargah) is a dargah built over the tomb of the Sufi a saint Hazrath Nagore Shahul Hamid (1490–1579 CE).It is located in Nagore, a coastal town in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Shahul Hamid is believed to have performed many miracles in Nagore, and cured the physical affliction of king Achutappa Nayak, a 16th-century Hindu ruler ofThanjavur. He is locally referred as Nagore Andavar, meaning the “god of Nagore”. Nagore dargah as it stands now, is believed to be built by ardent devotees of Shahul Hamid, with major contribution from Hindus. There are five minarets in the dargah, with the Hindu Maratha ruler of Thanjavur Pratap Singh (1739–1763 CE), building the tallest minaret. The dargah is a major pilgrim centre in the region that attracts pilgrims from both Islam and Hinduism, symbolizing peaceful coexistence between the two religions.

The most prominent event celebrated at Nagore dargah is the Kanduri festival, a fourteen-day commemoration of the death anniversary of Shahul Hamid. Common worship practises at Nagore dargah include the presentation of offerings, accompanied by the playing of musical instruments like nadaswaram, atypical of Hindu religious tradition. The Shifa Gunta, a pool within the precincts of the dargah, is considered sacred; pilgrims take a holy dip in it. The hereditary Khalifa (Sufi saint), c selected from among the descendants of saint Yusuf, performs all the official and religious duties of the dargah. The administration and maintenance of the dargah is governed by a committee which operates under a scheme decreed by theMadras High Court.

Kanduri festival is a 14 day annual event celebrated during the urs (death anniversary) of the saint.The festival is celebrated in commemoration of the anniversary of the saint’s death, and pilgrims participate in the rituals and rites.The word kanduri is derived from the Persian word for table cloth. The festival is also called Qadir Wali Ke Fande festival.A saffron flag-carrying ceremony is also observed, during which a flag is carried from a devotee’s house to the dargah, accompanied by a procession in streets. The flag is hoisted on a tree known as Fande ka Fahad by a Sirang (hereditary trustee) who is assisted by twenty assistants.The Islamic rites performed during the festival include the recitation of Quaranic verses and observance of Fatiha (it includes; recition ofAl-Fatiha an essential part of daily prayer and Durood).The main attraction of the festival is the presence of Fakhir Jamas (mendicant priests) andQalandars—the disciples of the saint who witness the festival. On the 9th day of Jamathul Akhir month in the Islamic calendar, at 10 p.m., a pir (one of the disciples) is chosen for the spiritual exercise of offering prayers to the saint.

The disciple throws lemons at the end of the prayers on devotees, which is believed to provide miraculous relief to worldly sorrows.The festival is also seen as a sacred exchange between Hindus and Muslims expressing solidarity of mixed faith in the region. Pilgrims from both the religions from the state and also from Sri Lanka, Burma and Gulf countries, attend the festival.n the evening of the ninth day of Akhir month in the Islamic calendar, a chariot containing sandal paste (locally called santhanakoodu) is pulled across the streets of Nagore by pilgrims and devotees, accompanied by banging of instruments. The sandal paste is received by the saint’s descendants and used to anoint theRowla Sharif (sanctum) of the saint by the Khalifa of the dargah.

Nagore is well connected with other parts of Tamil Nadu through roadways. National Highway NH45A passes through Nagore. Nearby airports are Tiruchirappalli and Chennai. Nagore has a well established railway terminal.

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