Lucknow, Oct 27 (IANS) The famous festival at the Dewa Shareef shrine in Uttar Pradesh's Barabanki district, adjoining Lucknow, will be held from Oct 31, an official said.
The 10-day festival which draws thousands of devout - both Hindu and Muslim - would be more attractive this year with many new programmes, said District Magistrate Minishthi S.
The fest is held in the memory of Qurban Ali Shah, father of Sufi saint Haji Waaris Ali Shah. Popular Sufi singer Kailash Kher and Bhojpuri singer-actor Manoj Tiwari would be regaling the visitors at the do. The Wadaali brothers, known for their qawwalis would also participate, officials informed.
A Kavi Sammelan and Mushaira would also be held featuring notable poets like Gopal Das Neeraj, Sarita Sharma, Waseem Barelvi, Tej Narayan Sharma and Rahat Indori will participate.
The district magistrate informed that adequate arrangements were being made to ensure foolproof security and added that CCTV cameras were being installed to keep an eye on trouble makers.
People managing the mausoleum told IANS that Shah passed away on April 7, 1905 and was buried at the spot where he died. The grave is now a sprawling monument erected in his memory by some of his devoted followers, from both communities. Hindus along with Muslim devotees flock to this pilgrim round the year.
The silver-plated spire was donated by Raja Udit Narain Singh of Ram Nagar, the silver covering on doors was done on behalf of the rulers of Kashmir and the entire marble flooring was completed from the estate donated by Thakur Pancham Singh of Mainpuri at whose cost a mess runs to feed the visitors during the Mela.
The fair every year attracts pilgrims and visitors from all parts of the country and abroad and begins with the ceremony of Chadar presentation on the tombs of Haji Waris Ali Shah and his father, when embroidered sheets of Varanasi silk are placed on the tombs of Haji Sahab and his father.
These sheets are carried in silver plates in a procession. Qawwalis and devotional songs are recited all the way by professional singers as the procession wends its way to the mausoleums. Pilgrims also carry chadars as they proceed to the shrines.