The Kashmir Valley, known as “pir waer” or the garden of saints, is a repository of a rich and vibrant spiritual legacy that finds visible expression in the shrines erected by devotees of Muslim saints.
Scattered throughout Kashmir, these Sufi shrines contribute to the Valley’s natural beauty. These revered sites, also called “Dargahs,” constructed in remembrance of esteemed saints, showcase exquisite architectural artistry and have functioned as centers for devotion, education, festivals, and spiritual gatherings, inspiring numerous generations.
Each day, a multitude of worshipers, including both locals and tourists, converge upon these Sufi shrines, many of which were built during the medieval era of Kashmir’s history. Here, people gather for collective prayers, while tourists admire the intricate calligraphy, artwork, Khatambandh woodwork, and papier-mâché craftsmanship adorning the interiors.
While a significant portion of Kashmir’s prominent Sufi shrines is located within the confines of Srinagar city, there are also several important ones situated in outlying areas. Some of these shrines are perched atop hills, as Central Asian Muslim saints who settled in the Valley sought isolation and tranquility in these elevated settings to engage in prayer, meditation, and spiritual communion with the Divine.