The most important Muslim Shrine of Kashmir, that commands the reverence of the people beyond measure, is undoubtedly the Hazratbal Shrine, which is Situated on the west bank of he Dal lake in Srinagar. This unmatched reverence is anchored in the love and respect for the Prophet Muhammad whose Moi-e-Mugqadas (The Sacred Hair) is preserved here. The Shrine is known by many names including Hazratbal, Assar-e-Sharief, Madinat-us-Sani, Dargah Sharief and Dargah. The people have so much reverence for it that the Shrineis calledas Madinat-us- Sani (the Madina like), and the area around the shrine is called Hazratbal. Hazratbal is remarkable being the only domed mosque in Srinagar, the others having distinct pagoda like roofs.

The Old name of the place was Sadiqabad after the name of Sadiq Khan the Mughal subedar who had built a beautiful garden there. Emperor Shan Jahan who visited Kashmir in 1634, ordered that the Baradari of Garden to be converted into a mosque. Then in the year 1699, during the reign of Aurangzeb, the relic was kept in the said mosque and thus converted into a revered Shrine. With this historic development Fazl Khan the then Governor of Kashmir changed the name of the place from Sadiqabad to Hazratbal. Mosque and the Shrine structure got enormous extension at various times to accommodate the huge rush of the devotees. In 1793, Nawab Hassan ullah Khan (Nawab of Dacca), who was of Kashmiri origin, on his visit to Hazratbal constructed a huge hamam. In 1851, further extension to the Shrine and the area connecting the Shrine was paved with devri stones (specially chiseled flat stone). In 1942, the Burza roof was replaced by tin roor.

Finally in 1968, under the charismatic leadership of Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah, it was decided to replace the old structure by modern architecture. The construction of the present marble structure was started by the Muslim Waqf Trust headed by Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah in 1968 and completed in l979. The Moi-e-Muqaddas is displayed on various occasions related with the life of the Prophet and his four holy companions. Apart from these occasions, Friday prayers are offered at Hazratbal and attended by throngs of people. The Shrine attracts lakhs of devotees and thousands of tourists every year. Moi-e-Muqqadas being the centre of attraction, Hazratbal today is a major pilgrimage centre of Jammu and Kashmir where not only folowes of Islam, but also people belonging to other religions seek the blessings of Prophet Munammad.Hazratbal is remarkable being the only domed mosque in Srinagar, the others having distinct pagoda like roofs.

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