En route to the Ellora Caves one passes through the fortified walled town of Khuldabad in an area that has come to be known as the Valley of the Saints.Many tomb shrines and dargahs of the Chishti Sufi masters and saints who resided here over a period of hundreds of years populate the valley landscape.

Khuldabad and the Valley of the 1400 Muslim saints and masters played a significant role in the introduction of “Chishti Sufism” in the Deccan area starting in the fourteenth century.Beginning with the arrival of Muntajib al-Din Zar Zari Zar-bakhsh and seven hundred Sufi followers at Daulatabad the Chishti order of Sufism established their presence in and around Khuldabad (eternally flourishing) and is commenmorated by the “Mosque of the 1400 Saints” located in the Valley.When Sultan Muhammad ibn Tughluq established Daulatabad as a second capital to Delhi, he ordered the Chishti Sufi religious order and intellectual class to Daulatabad as means to extend his political and economic power in the Deccan.The Sufi’s went along with this reluctantly because the Sultan’s programme of conversion of the Hindu population in the area was in conflict with the principles and tenants of the Chishti Sufi movement.Nevertheless, even after the Sultan’s forced migration from Delhi to Daulatabad ended in failure years later, many of the Sufis who had put down roots remained in and around Daulatabad to raise their families and care for the graves of their brethren who were buried in what became known as the Valley of the Saints.

Among the many saints and Perfect Masters buried in the Valley itself are the Perfect Master Zar Zari Zar-bakhsh and the sixth plane saint Sayyid Yusuf al-Husayni Raju Qattal.  The tomb of Burhan al-Din Gharib, the older brother of Zar Zari Zar-bakhsh, and also a Perfect Master, is located in the town Khuldabad across the street from the tomb of the last Mogul emperor Aurangzeb who himself is buried next to the grave of yet another Perfect Master, Zayn al Din Shirazi.In that same compound is kept the coat of Mohammed that is displayed once a year to celebrate Mohammed’s Birthday.

In addition to the spiritual personalities buried in the Valley of the Saints and Khuldabad there are also numerous tombs of rulers and nobles who held political power in the Deccan during the same historical period.

Khuldabad and the Valley of the Saints, with their spiritually charged atmosphere, drew particular attention from Meher Baba during His lifetime.As Eruch explains, the main purpose of the many trips that Baba took to the Khuldabad with His Mandali were made so that Baba could visit the various shrines in the valley.At other times Baba came to the area with the men mandali specifically to perform His work.  Indeed it was here at the Valley of the Saints in November 1951 near the end of the New Life wanderings that Baba, invoking the memory of Perfect Masters of the past, present and future, dictated the “Prayer of Repentance.”

HOME / DIRECTORY / PREVIOUS / NEXT

VALLEY OF THE SAINTS
ERUCH TELLS THE STORY (2:37)