Dewa Sharif is a town in Barabanki district in the state of Uttar Pradesh. It is located at a distance of 25 kms from Lucknow. Dewa Sharif is well known for the shrine of Haji Waris Ali, a Sufi saint with his followers throughout India and the world. Haji Waris Ali Shah was born in early 19th century in Dewa in a family of Hussaini Syeds. The father of Waris Ali Shah, Qurban Ali Shah too was a Sufi saint. Waris Ali Shah was the founder of the Warsi order of Sufism. He travelled widely in the west and admitted people to his spiritual warsi order.
He visited Mecca for pilgrimage several times in his life span & during his general travels in Europe, Sarkar visited to the Sultan of Turkey and Bismarck of Berlin. He travelled to England also & had an audience with Queen Victoria.
Waris Ali accepted millions of people belonging to all faith into his commune. During that period, Firangi Mahal was the most famous religious centre for Muslims, and they too respected Waris Ali Shah. Hindus too held him in high esteem and regarded him as a great Sufi saint. Thousands of Hindus, including Sadhus and Fakirs of different Panthas paid homage to him and respected his order. He always welcomed them with these words ‘You and I are the same’. He did not ask non-Muslims to abjure their religion on the contrary he advised them to follow it with greater zeal and sincerity. Waris Ali Shah died on 7th April 1905.
Dewa Sharif is the ‘Mazar’ of Waris Ali shah and Qurban Ali Shah. A grand monument is built here in his memory. The architecture represents communal harmony. It was constructed on a configuration, merging the Hindu and Iranian architecture. It is an epitome of love for humanity and is believed to fulfill sincere wishes
Waris Ali Shah is revered by Hindu and Muslim, all communities alike. People from all communities visit here and on any given day one can find as many Hindus and Sikhs as Muslims visiting this shrine to seek blessings. Near the shrine, there is a majestic mosque and a Khaankaah, a place for spiritual salvation as well as shops selling souvenirs and sweets. It is custom in Barabanki to visit the shrine after every marriage and birth in the family.
The majestic shrine is breath taking in view and Sufi music is filled in the air all the time. The shrine is about 300 meters away from the parking area. All along the three hundred meters stretch to Dewa Sharif, there are unique cuisines that are difficult to be found elsewhere including the famous sweet Mughlai paratha with halva made of dates. Karim Shah Baba’s Dargah is also in Deva Sharif. He was the disciple of Waris Ali Shah.
Every year on the occasion of annual ‘Urs’, a ten day fair known as Dewa Mela is organized here in the month of October. It is one of the biggest and most popular gatherings in the city of Barabanki. It includes various plays, performances, Mushaira, kavi sammelan etc. Some of the biggest poets have recited their verses at the Dewa mela.
It also houses one of the biggest markets and people all over come here for shopping goods and for an evening of entertainment. A range of handicrafts are also in the display during the fair. The fair is concluded by a marvelous display of fireworks. The fair is visited and participated by all and is a symbol of universal brotherhood.
There are several ways to reach Dewa Sharif. One can travel to Lucknow through a flight and take a train from there. Also one can travel through road to Barabanki
The route is accompanied by trees enveloping the road and is a pleasant ride even in the summers. Dewa Sharif has very good road connectivity from Lucknow, Barabanki and Fatehpur. It has a regular bus service from Lucknow and Barabanki.
The month of October is the best to visit as it’s the occasion of Dewa Mela. One can also visit during the winters to have some peace and alone time.
Lodges and small hotels are available and one can also visit in a day and return to Lucknow and stay there.