By Rafique Chakar
If there is any place in Punjgur where you could find peace of mind and spiritual connection, it’s the shrine of Shahu Qalandar.
The shrine is known by the name of Shahu Qalandar but there is no authentic information available about its history. Some people consider it as a shrine of some companion of the Prophet (PBUH) whereas others associate it to ancient era’s famous sufi saint Shahu.
The dome style along with the stones used at the shrine has also great architectural value. The Shrine is situated along the Rakhshan river in the area of Gharibabad, Chatkan , in the heart of Panjgur in Balochistan province.
Over the years, the tomb has undergone many changes due to lack of maintenance and proper care, where the stones and bricks have started to fall causing damage to the structure of the tomb.
Muhammad Ashraf ,95, is a senior citizen and a resident of the area, told PakVoices,”I am an eyewitness of the condition of the tomb for almost 100 years,” adding, “our ancestors told us that there is a grave of a great Sufi saint, who had migrated here and started living here to worship.”
Locals call the Sufi as Shahu as the tomb was named Shahu Qalandar Shrine after his death.
Waja Sher Muhammad, another old resident of the area, told PakVoices, “Disciples of Sufi Shahu used to sit at the shrine and took care of it which kept the shrine intact now the Shrine has started to deteriorate.”
Khuda Raham Baloch, a history professor, told PakVoices, “Condition of the tomb is deteriorating and it is being converted into ruins for the last 30 years.” He further added,” Department of Culture hasn’t taken any step to improve the deteriorating condition.”
Professor Baloch expressed his concerns and further told, “If immediate steps are not taken to save this cultural heritage, very soon there would be no sign of the shrine.”
Residents of the area talked to PakVoices saying, “Criminals are uprooting the bricks used in the tomb due to which Panjgor can lose this tomb of historical value.”
Rafique Chaakar Baloch is working with PakVoices as a citizen journalist from Panjgur.
Translated by Salman Tahir