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The Shrine

October 11, 2009

bpdI’m not a huge fan of shrines, however, I like visiting them whenever I get a chance. It was a few years ago, in Lahore, with a bunch of friends, I had visited some shrine that was located inside the narrow streets. Even at night the streets were flooded with lights, fragrance and were bustling with enthusiastic people.

My friends bought rose garlands, candles etc. I had left my handbag with my (other) friends who chose to stay in the bus, because I was told it isn’t safe taking handbags, wallets and other valuable items in there for pickpockets are more than active at such places; so one of the friends was generous enough to bought me candles too from the nearby shop.

We stepped inside the shrine – imagine I didn’t bother reading the board at the top of the entrance – perhaps since I was visiting any shrine after a long time and crowded places tend to put me off anyway. So the inside floor was marbled – people including women and children were sitting next to the walls. We offered Fateha at the grave(s). I peeped inside the window and saw the grave being inundated in the red/pink rose petals. I had never seen so many rose petals before.

The fragrance of the petals alone sent me into strange sort of trance – so I literally, jerked my head and moved on with eyes wide open. Then the girls lit the candles in one corner. That was such a black, filthy corner, where hundreds of candles were alight and the plethora of sticky wick looked creepy. Quite frankly, I didn’t understand the lighting of candles. Anyway, I roamed around for a while and then we got back to our bus.

The irony is that I’ve visited Lahore many times but never got a chance to visit Daata Darbar. So – I never bothered to discover for years as to which shrine I had visited that chilly December evening.

One day I was talking with a friend – our conversation floated and converge on the Sufism and shrines. I told her about my almost blind visit to some shrine in Lahore – she sent me the link – I checked the photo and viola – years later I finally found out that I had actually visited the shrine of Bibi Paak Daaman.

Today, weirdly, I’m missing both Bibi Paak Daaman’s shrine as well as that (ever mysterious & elusive) friend – no, not the one who took me there – but the one, who revealed the name of that shrine.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. October 11, 2009 2:37 pm

    i am not a shrine person at all.. but when i read something like u have written i want to pay it a visit but then i think again

    • October 11, 2009 9:59 pm

      I’d say visit it only if you strongly feel like. Because usually the environment over there is such that it repels people sometimes. *It’s just my personal opinion*

  2. October 12, 2009 4:47 am

    What’s unique in BIBI PAK DAMAN….means something odd one out story…?

    • October 12, 2009 7:47 am

      Unique is about me that I pay such blind visits 😀

  3. October 12, 2009 7:35 am

    I have been there also due to a communication site nearer to the place. I don’t remember whether i entered the mazar also or not. Then there was another site, a kilometer away from the mazar, right in the same path to mazar. I would see folks (mostly ladies) walking barefoot towards the mazar, their style of paying regards…

    • October 12, 2009 7:49 am

      *Thinking about ladies walking bare feet towards shrine*


      People have faith and practice different things and then there prayers are granted.

  4. October 13, 2009 3:29 am

    & I saw a ricksha lately with the following offer written on its back,

    “Bibi Pak daman tak jaanay ka koi karaya vusool nahi kia jayega”

    I thought, kaash mujhay pehlay pata hota jab I had to go to that site to work on. 🙂

    • October 13, 2009 5:57 am

      Hehehehehe! That’s an awesome offer 😀

  5. October 15, 2009 7:36 am

    I dont think I like to go to shrines… perhpas because of religious reasons… I think graves should be unknown and leveleled with the ground.. and all this going to shrines etc.. khairr:D

    And it happens to me too, one thought leads to another and the next thing you know, voila, you’ve stumbled upon creativity:P

    Nice post 🙂

    • October 22, 2009 3:19 pm

      I hate unknown graves… they look spooky, abandoned and ignored. I don’t like any of the extremes: grave worship or keeping the unknown, unmarked graves 🙂

  6. raza permalink
    November 5, 2009 8:25 pm

    for your kind information graves at Bibi Pak Daman are not of normal people actually they belong to Ahl-ul-Bait so have some respect!

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