India’s state punjab is dotted with shrines of gurus and sufi saints. One such shrine the ‘Panj Peer’ in Abohar serves as an example of communal harmony and equality of all religions.
On every 15th day in the month of monsoon the mazar of Panj Peer comes alive.
It is visited by thousands of people who come here irrespective of caste, creed and religion.
“People of all religions, be it Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs or Christians, came here to seek the blessings of the saints. The devotees offer milk, kheer and salt at the dargah. The devotees come and offer salt when their diseases are cured,” said Naresh, a caretaker.
People offer salt and broom at the mazar to ask for boons. And after the boons are granted they return to offer a ‘chaddar’.
“We feel very good here. This place gives peace to our minds. We wish for happiness of our family and country and all our wishes are fulfilled here,” said Bhagwan Das Indora, a devotee.
Gurinder Singh Bajwa, another devotee said, “For the last 10 -12 years, we have been coming here to seek the blessings of saint. I have great faith in him because all my wishes get fulfilled here.”
A family of Hindu priests has traditionally looked after the mazaar but the rituals here are performed the Islamic way.
Some centuries ago, King Hari Chand, ruled Abohar then called Aabunagar.
Legend has it that once the king fell ill and he was told that only the blood of horses belonging to the five peers of Multan could cure him.
Hearing this, his daughter forcibly took away 81 horses belonging to the peers. The peers then came to Aabunagar to get their horses, but the princess refused to give them back.
The peers then destroyed Aabunagar with their divine powers.
Later, the wives of the five peers came in search of their husbands. But, the peers became angry on seeing them and punished them to death. They were buried in a mound and the five peers later stayed there.