The mosque of Shah-i-Hamdan, better known as Khanqah-e-Maulla, is situated in the heart of Srinagar City. The mosque, a classic example of medieval wooden architecture, stands on then right bank of the Jhelum against the background of snowy mountains. The origin of Khanqah-e-Maulla goes back to the construction of a platform (Suffah) by Sultan Qutb-ud-Din in honour of Mir Syed Ali Hamdani, the famous Muslim Saint of Kubrawi order, who set foot in the Valley in 1384 during the reign of Sultan Qutb-ud-Din. Apart from being the place of prayer, Khanqah-e-Maulla became the main centre of the propagation of Islam by Mir Syed Ali Hamdani. Syed Ali Hamdani is popularly known in Kashmir as Shah-i-Hamdan, Amiri Kabir, and Bani Musalmani for playing major role in conversion to Islam in Kashmir. He was born at Hamdan in 1314. He was a Kubrawi Sufi and came to Kashmir along with 700 desciples. A sizable number of them settled in different parts of Kashmir for preaching and teaching of Islam. Syed Ali left the Valley after staying in Kashmir for few months. He passed away on his way to neighbouring Swat on 19 January 1385. His body was carried to Khatlan in Tajkistan where he lies buried. Besides a Sufi Master, Syed Ali Hamdani was a prolific writer who has 170 works to his credit. Khanqah-e-Maulla, till date, has gone through several ravages of time.

For one, the Shrine was completely damaged by a sudden blaze of fire in 1480. However, Sultan Hassan Shah rebuilt the Khanqah-e-Maulla the same year. Then again in 1731 AD, Abul Barkat Khan had to re-establish the Shrine of Khanqah-e-Maulla as it came under the grip of a devastating fire. Khanqah-e-Maulla is visited by a huge number of Muslim devotees on the pious occasion of the death anniversary of Mir Syed Ali Hamdani which falls in the last month of Muslim calendar. Khanqah-e-Maulla is one of the most revered shrines visited by the devotees and lovers of cultural heritage.

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