Bihar Sharif is a sacred place at Nalanda District in Bihar and can be considered as a worth sightseeing during Rajgir, Nalanda, Patna tour.
The tourist attraction for this place is Bari Pahari and Bari Dargah. Apparently these two are two mausoleums of two great people – Sayed Ibrahim Mallick Baya and Makdoom Shah Sharfuddin.
Bari Pahari – The tomb of a Sufi army general:
Before discussing the current tourist attraction, let’s do a quick time travel to 14th century when the entire India was under the empire of the great emperor Md. Bin Tughlaq but Bihar was autonomously ruled by Bundela Rajput family. Even the proud rajput family did not agree to pay the tax to the Delhi Sultan.
Sultan Tughlaq sent his general Sayed Ibrahim Mallick who was born in a Sufi family. He was a descendant of Hazrat Ali Murtaza (Karram’Allah Wajhahu) and when the Abbasyds persecuted his ancestors, they escaped to Ghazni. He was born and educated in military training in Ghazni and came to Delhi to serve the role of army general for Sultan.
After a fierce battle the “Raja army” lost the battle by well trained Sultani soldiers, the rajput king Raja Baithal was killed and Bihar got included into Md. Bin Tughlaq’s Kingdom.
The conquest of Bihar was a remarkable achievement and the happy Sultan honoured the Sayed Ibrahim Mallick by the title “Madrul Mulk” (Administratior & king of sword and wealth). From then Sayed Ibrahim Mallick or Mallick Baya was the governor of Bihar till his assassination in 1353 CE (753 hijri). During his era Islamic culture was taught in Bihar and the poor villagers got attracted to the religion Islam.
After his death he was buried in a hill top and his tomb (domed red brick structure on top) is known as “Bari pahari”. The mausoleum can be seen from far.
Beside Mallik Baya’s tomb, there are ten graves of his family members. A park has been developed beside Bari pahari. People can get a great panoramic view of entire city from here. Although it is suggested to go to Bari Pahari before sunset otherwise they cannot enjoy the beauty of this place. In fact, our team was a bit late, so we could not get photograph.
Bari Dargah – The tomb of a Sufi saint:
Bari Dargah is a grave of a revered saint Makdoom Shah Sharfuddin (also known as Makdoom-ul-Mulk). Legend has it that he was such a strict ascetic that he ate only 7kg grains in his life.
He had a unique type of teaching. He used to write letters to his disciples to advise them about spiritual matter. The letters were compiled in a book “Maktabat-e-sadi”.
He passed away at the age of 121 in 1379 CE. His mausoleum is known as “Bari Dargah” where people of all religions can pray together. The common belief is that if you pray sincerely here, the saint will fulfil your wishes.
Earlier the mausoleum over the grave was ordinarily built but recently it has been renovated. Now it has one tomb and four Minars. All the minars and the tombs are capped by golden plates. The finial decoration is very impressive.
All the tourists are requested to change shoes before getting into the main gate of the dargah. From the gate the main dargah is near about 3 minutes walking. An idgah has been recently built in the boundary of the dargah. The moulabi of the dargah usually explain the history of the grave.
There is a lake behind the tomb which is known as Makhdoom Talab.
Bihar Sharif is on NH31. Busses are available from Patna, Rajgir, Nalanda, Bakhtiyarpur. It is better to hire a car. Nearest rail station is Bihar Sharif but most of the trains do not hault there. Bakhtiyarpur Junction is the nearest popular rail station.
Though there are some hotels but it is better to stay at Rajgir or Patna.