Shah Khamman Peer Baba Mazar, Lucknow Photo Journal
The railway station at Charbagh was built much later than the 900 year old Mazar Sharif of Khamman Peer Baba. The shrine is revered by people of all faiths. Baba Khamman Peer was a Sufi saint. Every week on Thursday, the Mazar is thronged by devotees who come to pray and wish for anything and ask for blessings. Every Thursday there is a colourful fair outside the shrine and the railway station, near the reservation building and entrance to platform near it. A 4 day Urs or festival is also celebrated annually to honour the saint. There is a madarsa in the same premises.
Charbagh Railway Station, Lucknow, India
I discovered the shrine one summer morning years ago when visiting the Ticket Reservation building at Charbagh railway station. There were festive stalls selling sweets, dupattas, chadars, toys and flutes, catering to hundreds of people entering the platform to visit Khamman Peer Mazar on the railway tracks. You can walk to the shrine only when trains are not passing on the tracks. It is adventurous to walk to the shrine, walking on the railway tracks, and watching people distribute gifts of food outside the shrine in thanksgiving when wishes are fulfilled and happy families visit the shrine again. Asking for a wish is simple procedure. Most people take a string or even a plastic wrapper of the incense sticks, and tie it somewhere in the premises. Now an stand is kept in the courtyard to tie these strings on to. When the wish is fulfilled a person returns and unties any one string. In this visit, usually, a gift of chadar, food, or anything is given for charity.
Mazar Sharif, Shah Khamman Peer Baba, at Charbagh railway Station, Lucknow, India
Most travellers to Lucknow miss visiting this age old place, simply because they don’t know it exists. It’s a quiet place on days other than Thursday, and a stark contrast to the busy railway station and the trains bustling outside its walls.
I know friends in Lucknow who have had wishes fulfilled by taking a mannat at Baba Khamman Peer’s mazar. Once upon a time I even heard that devotees offered watches and clocks at the mazar when their wish came true or ‘mannat was fulfilled’.
Colourful, golden edged Chadars are sold outside the shrine, which devotees have been offering for centuries as a mark of respect and thanksgiving to Shah Khamman Peer.
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