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The Legend of Loh-e-Dandi

The Legend of Loh-e-Dandi

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Published by Shaikh Muhammed Ali
Loh-e-Dandi is a mystical site tucked away close to Nurpur Shahan in the Margallah mountains in Islamabad. A long walk in the time tunnel which takes you back 400 years when fairies and jinnis lived here :)
Loh-e-Dandi is a mystical site tucked away close to Nurpur Shahan in the Margallah mountains in Islamabad. A long walk in the time tunnel which takes you back 400 years when fairies and jinnis lived here :)

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Published by: Shaikh Muhammed Ali on May 12, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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 The Legend of Loh-e-Dandi Page 1
The Legend of Loh-e-Dandi
Coordinates: 33°46'6"N 73°7'17"E
(Shaikh Muhammad Ali)
(The mouth of the cave where Bari Imam spent 12 years in meditation)
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointedby the things you didn't do than by the ones you diddo. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safeharbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore.Dream, Discover." - Mark Twain
 
 
 The Legend of Loh-e-Dandi Page 2
Overview:
I tried to search for whatever information that could be available on the ‘Loh
-e-
Dandi’
site in the Margalla mountains off Islamabad but was flabbergasted to learn thatexcept for but a few pictures; the Internet is silent on the subject and thus I amprovoked to write this piece and once again indulge in the process of creating / writinghistory for my ardent readers and educating the masses on the subject and doing aservice to the inhabitants of the planet. (Cheap publicity)
 Discovering the world seems a thousand times more interesting for me than the UnitedNations and their ambitious plans to improve the fate of the planet. And thus I set outon long arduous journeys since I was seven years of age and have not stopped yet.One thing is for sure though; if I stop travelling and writing, I would cease to exist and Iwould not want to take away that pleasure of being myself from you. Laughter!
As for writing, I still don’t know how or why I write; my articles are not born in my mind,
they gestate in my heart and are capricious creatures with their own lives, always readyto subvert me.The first time I went to Loh-e-Dandi was in 1984 when I had come from Karachi toIslamabad all by myself on a journey of truth and discovery. I was 20 years of age andhad recently returned from Saudi Arabia after performing Hajj with my parents in 1982at the ripe age of 17.8 years.After cleansing myself through religious ablution, I was now treading the path of Sufism,a rather arduous path which would become my way of life in the years to come. I will
write about ‘The path’ aka the Sir 
aat-e-Mustaqeem in some other article later in life.
Let’s enjoy this one at the moment.
 
(A panoramic view from the top of Loh-e-Dandi site in the Margalla Hills)
 
 The Legend of Loh-e-Dandi Page 3
My first trip to Loh-e-Dandi initially had nothing to do with Sufism since I visited the placelate in the night along with a few crazy friends in order to hunt wild boars. Islooites willagree that there used to be a lot of boars in the neighborhood of Nurpur Shahan in themid eighties; the village where the famous saint Shah Abdul Latif Kazmi (commonlyknown as Bari Imam) lived.I tried to shoot the wild boar in the pitch darkness of the night under flood lights but mygun backfired which almost got me killed. Had it not been for the sharp shooter whowas a local friend; I would not have been around to write this article, today. One thingfor sure, after this failed wild hunting trip; I pretty much realized that I was not cut out tomess around with wild boars at least. I could thus never become a hunter except for thefew partridges and other birds that I would shoot later in life. Bird watching I stillcontinue, though
 Instead, I visited the site under discussion and was overwhelmed and got engulfed inthe mystic serenity of the place
and ended up doing a ‘Chilah’ (Holy recitation of some
specific verses of the Quran) between 12:00 to 4:30 a.m. in the morning in the same
cave where ‘Bari Sarkar’
prayed (almost 400 years ago), meditated and lived for somegood 12 years in a row. And thus my enlightened journey ensued on the path of Sufism.Actually, it so happened that I met one interestingly strange man from Haripur, Hazarawho was living at the top of the mountain and taking care of the place. His name wasManzoor Hussain Shah and he had come here from his native place to serve humanity.
He was the custodian of the ‘Langar 
-
Khana’ (the free eatery)
located at the top of themountain and would see to the affairs of the upkeep of the place.After making friends with this interesting gentleman, I was slightly inspired by his devotionto the cause and the place since he had apparently not married and had decided to
leave all things behind and become a ‘Mujavir’ here
and had spent 19 precious yearsof his life to serve this place. It was him who inspired me to spend more time here andvisit the cave and do what I later did.
A little introduction:
Bari Imam (1617
 – 
1705), whose real name was Shah Abdul Latif Kazmi, was born in 1026Hijra (1617 AD) in Jhelum. His father, Syed Mehmood Shah, shifted his family fromJhelumDistrictto Baghan village, presently called Aabpara. At that time, it was a barren land.Soon aft
er the arrival of Bari Imam’s family, his father started farming and also kept
some animals. Shah Latif helped his father ingrazingthe animals, but left his father at 12and came to Nurpur Shahan
1
.Nurpur Shahan, the village was initially called Chorpur Shahan since it was infested bythieves, robbers and people of dubious character in those days. Bari Imam while
1
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bari_Imam

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Asim Hussain added this note
Your article was pretty good,Do you have more of these................
Nahyan_Mirza_3310 added this note
A nice read.. Brought me back when I first visited the shrine in 1992. Anyway there is a slight but grave error. Shaikh Sb. refers to URS as birthday of a Saint, whereas it is the death anniversary. URS literally means marriage and as a Sufi is in Love with God and on his death he becomes one with his beloved and his soul is wedded to Allah and this event is an Urs. Cheers
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