Deva Sharif, the tomb of Syed Waris Ali Shah in Barabanki, Uttar Pradesh, is quite famous and beloved to people from all religions. 42 Km from Lucknow in Barabanki district. It is the mazar of Haji Waris Ali Shah (a sufi saint) in whose memory an annual fair is organised on the lines of Pushkar (Rajasthan) between the festival of Dusherra and Deepawali (October/ November).
Nearest Big City : Lucknow (approx 42 kms)
Nearest City : Barabanki (approx 12 kms)
Nearest Airport: Lucknow Airport (Amausi Airport)
Nearest Railway Station: Barabanki, but in Dewa Shariff itself, Railway station is available, All Express Trains pass through this station. (online railway reservation facility is available through indian railway official site : www.irctc.co.in)
Nearest Bus Stand: Barabanki has a small bus stand from there govt. buses are available for Dewa Shariff. Besides govt. buses, private transportor also provide transport to shine by Buses, Jeeps and Taxies.
Nearest Hotel: Lucknow city has every type of hotel, starting from budget accommodations to five star hotels.
He was born in a family of Hussaini Syeds distinguished for piety and learning. His genealogy shows that he was born in the 26th generation of Hazrat Imam Hussain. The date of his birth is disputed varying from 1233 A.H. to 1238 A.H. The author of Maarif Warisya has put the date of his birth as 1234 A.H. corresponding to 1809 of the Christian era. His father, Syed Qurban Ali Shah belonged to a landed class and was a man of considerable learning having completed his education in Baghdad.
Haji Waris Ali Shah lost his father at the age of two years and the solacing care of his mother at the age of three. His grand mother Janaba Hayathunissa Saheba under took the duty of carefully bringing him up.
As an infant ,unlike other children he would not drink his milk hurriedly but drink it gradually and slowly.His thirst would be quenched with just a few Gulps, which indicated his future qualities of patience and contentment.
The ladies of Dewa Sheriff were also surprised at the noble behavior of the child and expressed that such a marvelous child is rarely to be seen; unlike other children his sleeping bed was always clean. Unlike other children he never cried but was mostly silent. Whenever he felt urge to answer the calls of nature he made strange signs and the nurse promptly attended to him. During nights he was often seen gazing at the moon and stars as if to appreciate the artistry of the Creator. He used to sleep very little;but he would always awaken with the smiling face.
Witnessing the same and Serene activity of the precocious child, elder people of Dewa Sheriff begin to revere and hold him in high esteem. As the child began to grow his habits assumed dignity and a sprit of independence. At the age of five his grandmother engaged a suitable instructor to begin his education.
Below is his genealogical table:
He learned Quran-e-Sherif from his uncle Hazrat Ameer Ali, on returning home he would not open his book to revise his lessons. Later seated in the lap of nature, in the quiet stillness, would be immersed in deep meditation. With the aid of God given intellect, within two years he memorized the whole Quran and become a Hafiz (One who learns the Quran by heart). And Maulvi Imam Ali Shah imparts to him secular education. Though the teacher was venerable yet he treated our saint with great respect. The reason for respecting a young was that he was himself a saint and could make out a man's urgings for acquiring a Divine love. Our saint teaches men such lessons that are acquired without learning and without any teacher’s aid thus our saint was in not need of worldly education. He wanted to teach such lessons to others which were beyond the compression of laymen. He never forgets whatever was taught to him.
And at the age of eight he was deprived of his grand mother and there was none except the lord of the universe to look after him. There after his brother in law Hazrat Haji Syed Khadim Ali Shah Sahib a resident of Lucknow took him under his supervision and continued his education where he learnt under renowned savants.
From his sayings and particular circumstances it is quite clear that he was proficient scholar of literature and have a perfect knowledge of Quranic exegesis, one such incident was that when our saint was the guest of justice at Maulvi Syed Sharfuddin, he was a well known literary expert of literature and philosophy. He recited to our saint Waris-e-Pak a lengthy encomium Ode Couched in high flown Arabic Language decked with metaphors and similes. Hardly he finished reciting two of three couplets when our saint took it from his hand and read it fluently, explain the difficult words and figures. From this one can estimate our Saint's literary, ability of Arabic Language. Our Saint had perfect knowledge of recitation of Quran and its Verses exegeses. The power of his memory was so sharp that what was taught to him at the age of 12 or 14 he would recollect at the age of eighty. It has also been noticed that our Saint conversed fluently with the Arabs and Persians in there respective languages. Such people do not need acquisition of worldly Knowledge but they are fit to answer any question as if they are experts of art and sciences.
The fair attracts pilgrims from as far as Pakistan and the middle -east countries. The shrine of the Sufi saint is much revered by Muslim pilgrims all over the world. Every Year Urs Ceremonies will be held 3 times, as described below:
(Held any time between 1st Oct - 15 Nov)
Fair commenced every year between the months of September October. Sarkar Waris Pak Alam Panah organized Urs of his father, "Syed Haji Qurban Ali Shah (r.a)" in the month of 'Kartik' according to Hindu calendar when a big fair is held to commemorate the Saints. Relieved of agriculture operations in the month of the fair people from far and wide participate in it in a festive mood. Visitors from all the parts of the country come to pay their homage to the great Sufi Saint Haji Waris Ali Shah and his father. Pilgrims from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia are also attracted to make the fair a cosmopolitan congregation.
(1st Rabi-ul-awwal, starting April)
(1st of Safar, starting March)
Haji Waris Ali Shah a monarch in the domain of Sufism passed away for his heavenly abode on April 6th, 1905. The fair ceremony in this month is the ceremony of Sarkar Waris Pak Alam Panah himself, held in the month of April every year, in Urdu calendar this month is termed to be safar.
The Dewa Fair, which attracts pilgrims and visitors from all parts of the country to the mausoleum of the great Saint, comes in full swing with the ceremony of Chadar presentation on the tombs of Haji Waris Ali Shah and his father. Embodied sheets of Varanasi Silk are placed on the tombs of Haji Sahab and his father Haji Qurban Ali Shah.
These sheets are carried in silver plates in a procession. Quawwalis and devotional songs are recited all the way by professional singers as the procession wends its way to the mausoleums. Pilgrims also carry Chadars singing their way to the shrines.
There is much of interest to the peasantry in Dewa Fair. A big cattle market is the highlight of the fair and is the main source of its revenue. The cattle market has been split into various portions each being reserved for a particular species of animals.
The demonstration of improved agricultural implements and engines for pumping of water for irrigation draw large crowd of cultivators. Concerns dealing in chemicals fertilizers arrange free distribution of packets and literature explaining the use and effects of various types of fertilizers.
The cynosure of all eyes at the Dewa Fair is a decorated exhibition consisting of stalls of various departments, depicting the activities and achievements through colorful exhibits arranged in any eye-catching manner. The exhibits portray through pictures, photographs and models methods to contain the population explosion. In another stall are placed on view various exhibits showing the cultural life and historical places of the state and also national building schemes.
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Some field demonstrations are also arranged by agriculture and Cane departments to explain improved farm strategies to agriculturists. Improved agricultural implements are also on show.
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The Dewa Fair which is regarded as one of the finest and neatest fair in the state has its own water supply arrangement. The exhibition association every year spend large amounts in maintaining sanitary and conservancy service to keep the Mela area spite and span. Treatment facilities and First-Aid services are provided free of cost during the ten days Mela period. An elaborate arrangement is made to maintain law and order and regulate traffic arrangement by having a full-fledged Kotwali, Wireless Station, Walkie-Talkie sets and central Loudspeaker system. Evenings, in the fair provide greater attractions for the visitors as the entire township in the fair is transformed into a fairy land with millions of coloured lights.