The legend of ‘Matka Mazar’

I don’t know if it is still ‘live’ on New Delhi’s tourists map or  pilgrims  circuit , but the legend of Matka Mazar, near Delhi’s Purana Quila makes interesting read.  My source is a newspaper clipping dating back to 1982. The scanned page of newspaper photo feature,  credited to Himani Pande,  shows  earthen pots stacked on top of the tomb of Hazrat Sheikh Abu Bakr Tusi,  a saint from Arabia who  spent his last years in Delhi over 700 years ago. Devotees to his  tomb offered  ‘matka’ (earthen pot) in prayers.

Legend has it that the nomadic saint,  camping in Dekhi,  didn’t, for some reason, endear himself to the then Dehi ruler Shah Balban, a tyrannical type with pronounced sadistic tendency.  It is said the  ruler, in a bid  to humiliate the noble soul credited with  divine powers, sent the saint  ‘meal’ of  iron pellets and a cake of elephant dung.  The sage accepted the offer and  put the cake in his  ‘matka’ mixing it with water to  make  sherbat (fruit juice).  The iron pellets  turned into roasted gram.

Pilgrims visiting  the dargah of Hazrat Tusi offered  matka at his mazar . The one  the sage possessed  is believed to be buried in  a nearby well that has remained sealed for centuries.

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