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Ziarat Kaka Sahib

October 3, 2010

About an year ago I wrote a post about my visit to a shrine in Lahore and for years I had no idea whose shrine that was. Sounds silly, but as I had explained in my post, it was evening and though there were plenty of lights on but I couldn’t pay attention to the board affixed on top of the entrance. The girls accompanying me didn’t talk about it either so we paid our respects and left. Ironically, I so wanted to visit Data Darbar Lahore but never got a chance. I mentioned that earlier that I’m not very fond of visiting shrines, however, if I get a chance I don’t let it go.

Similarly, I don’t plan to visit such places but there was one shrine that I had heard a lot about and for some reason I always wanted to visit it. Maybe that reason had to do with the goat – brought from Kaka Sahib (village). The goat stayed in our home for about two years until she was stolen. We never found out who took her away but really she was so quiet and made a wonderful pet. Other than (the goat attachment) one of my aunts and a domestic help would draw such a fantastic verbal sketch of the area that made me yearn to see it as well.

Bird's eye view of a town below

One day finally,  we got a chance to see the shrine. The shrine is located in District Nowshera (Khyber Pukhtunkhuwa). From Peshawar it takes about 45 – 50 minutes to get there. The drive is pleasant with beautiful, rugged mountains on one hand and the orchards on the other. On our way, we were stopped several times by Frontier Corp. They asked us where we were going and what was the purpose of our visit. It sounds absurd to answer such interrogative questions in your own province and country but given the security situation it was acceptable. The Taliban had been threatening to take over the shrine. They had destroyed many shrines on previous occasions so the security was beefed up. It is apt to remind that the Taliban ideology has no place for maintaining and visiting shrines.

Our goat didn't have horns

Kaka Sahib’s real name was Syed Kastir Gul and he belonged to the tribe of Kakakhel. He is thought to be the Sufi of his times hence his shrine attracts hundreds of people from all over. Traditionally, people visit Kaka Sahib’s shrine for physical and psychological cure and according to many people they were healed. The shrine is nicely kept and unlike many other shrines it is usually not cramped with people. The crowd is quite decent – the way I prefer. The chances of eve-teasing are low and in case of an unpleasant incident there is an option of informing the (shrine) council and they’d take care of it. The use of intoxicating drugs is prohibited and like most shrines it too offers public meals.

There is a small market close by that sells toys, clothes, jewelery and other everyday items. It was fun walking in the not-so-well-lit alleys of the market. I couldn’t resist to buy a Chinese made digital FM radio. It worked but was far from better due to poor signal reception. That small market had only one restaurant, which sold the traditional chapli kebab and naan. On our way we had bought a deep fried fish. In addition, we brought our own food so we didn’t go inside the restaurant despite an old man’s loud, vocal publicity that they cook the best kebabs in the whole town.

A place where we had lunch

The aroma of kebabs was appetizing. It was lunch time and we were in search of a nice place to sit and have our lunch. There was no proper place so we drove down a bit, pulled over by the roadside and spread out sheets in a place that was between the graves and the mountain. It by no means was a good place to eat but we had no other choice. I hoped the dead didn’t mind our presence as we ate, laughed and littered like true humnimals (Human + Animals).

It didn’t feel strange a bit while we were eating because we all were hungry but later when I thought about having lunch amid the dead – it gave me creeps. There was another family, who pulled over by the other side of the road and the men, women and children started climbing up the hill with food, mats and a bag of oranges with them. I wish there was a nice place to sit. I know it wasn’t a picnic park but still… nobody thinks about setting up public facilities in general. To sum up, Ziarat Kaka Sahib is a nice place to see. I’ve a good memories of that visit.

Check this site for the photos of Kaka Sahib shrine.

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. October 3, 2010 10:10 pm

    Heheh 🙂 I am laughing on this post. So touchy.I remembered once we took our pagal cousin to this Ziarat. When we get there, we gave him Salt and mom and grandmother would put the rock and dust of the mud on the feet. My grandmother and mom have strong believes on these Ziyartoona. Even in Khyber we have some Ziyartoona like called Besay Wali Ziarat, Tangay Valley Ziarat and Ziarat in South Pukhtunkhwa. There are more but some of them has been destroyed by an idiot talibans. Like how Rahman Baba Darbar. These Ziyartoona are the history of our Pukhtu culture and in some believes it can change destiny upon visiting these Ziyartoonae. All in all; I somehow believe on Ziarat but not that much.:P

    • October 4, 2010 11:10 am

      The ‘dum shaway’ salt of this ziarat is very famous.
      Like you I too have faith… but I don’t overdo! 😀

  2. Raheel permalink
    October 17, 2010 5:53 am

    I guess, this post got lost under the debris of post above it (I can’t withstand pictures of Pakistani politicians 😉 ). At least, I didn’t notice it in a few visits.

    Strange, but I never heard of this shrine. Thank you for the knowledge. Hopefully I shall be able to visit it, someday.

    This post also reminds me that despite of living in Lahore for six years plus, I never went inside “Data Darbar”, I did visit every other historical place there; that I visited shrine of Pir Baba (in Buner), even it was under Taliban’s custody; that I never photographed Multan’s historic shrines and that grave of Syed Ahmad Shaheed (Balakot) doesn’t have a shrine like building above it.

    • October 25, 2010 9:34 pm

      How come you never heard of it? It is one of the most famous shrines in KP.

      I’ve seen Syed Ahmad Shaheed’s grave on TV. It is just a grave… no building as you said. Multan has some of the well known shrines in the sub-continent.

      I think it is a nice experience to visit shrines once in a while and observe people around. Although, these days… visiting a shrine is quite risky in terms of security situation. Did you hear about a blast near Baba Farid’s shrine in Pakpattan? It’s sad!

  3. November 21, 2010 12:53 am

    all guests are warmly welcome by us we have done our best to provide u people the best security and traditonal foods in near bt the shrine if any body faces some problems should contact me personally on:-
    +92 (0)346 953 4001.
    +92 (0)333 935 9091.

  4. zia permalink
    November 29, 2010 7:06 am

    We says in prayer “o Allah we all are worship you and want help to you” then why you people go to the darbar.You says these words five time in prayer in every Rakaat.To visit shrine to solve their daily use problems is not good i thinik.

  5. Amir Abbas Kaka Khel permalink
    December 23, 2010 5:39 am

    I stumble upon this decent article and since the author is not from my family Kaka khel as I can perceive.
    I want to bring his/her attention towards the first and second sentences after the Goat picture (Felt lucky that no Kaka Khel was involved in stealing your goat).

    “Kaka Sahib’s real name was Syed Kastir Gul and he belonged to the tribe of Kakakhel. He is thought to be the Sufi of his times hence his shrine attracts hundreds of people from all over. ”

    Syed Kastir Gul also known as Zyarai Baba (Because his color was pale of eating too little) didn’t belong to the tribe of Kaka khel. Since he was called Kaka Sahib, So the family afterwards was called Kaka Khel.

    He is not thought to be a sufi. He was a sufi and his father and grandfather were Sufi’s too. His Father (Bahadur Baba)lies in the same mountain range a few Kilometers away and you can visit there either by Foot from Kaka Sahib or there is another road leading from Nowshera crossing Manki Sharif.

    • Mohammad Fayyaz permalink
      March 17, 2012 8:36 am

      I have read this post of the visitor to the shrine of Kaka sahib. I don’t think we should not visit the shrines but we should go their with a belief that Allah is the healer, and Allah is the One who places one in troubles, and the One who drags out one from troubles. No Baba or no Wali ( dead) can do anything or can help you. As for the dead ones, they wait to receive good deeds’ SAWAB granted to them from the living ones. We should visit these shrines but with the belief that if they were most favourite of Allah, Allah may make us too like them! Nothing more than that. My Allah directly listens to me. I can use the waseela of a living Wali by telling him to pray to Allah for us to bless us with life of goodness here in this world, and bless us with favours in the Hereafter. No dead Wali can do anything! And with this belief I would like to leave this world!

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