Odero Lal Shrine: The Prominent Shrine in Sindh

The Odero Lal Shrine is a joint Muslim-Hindu shrine which is situated in the village of Odero Lal, near the city of Tando Adam Khan in Sindh. The shrine is famous as it is jointly utilized for worship by members of both religions, while both communities also reflect reverence for the nearby Indus River at the mausoleum.

History of Odero Lal Shrine

Sindhi Muslims consider that the saint interred at the shrine is Sheikh Tahir – who they consider was a notable Hindu convert to the religion of Islam born as Odero Lal. Hindus also revere the interred saint as Odero Lal, but provide a distinctive explanation for his origins. Hindus also refer to the saint in the shrine as Jhulelal, a name which mostly Sindhi Muslims also use to refer to Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, whose tomb is in the city of Sehwan Sharif. Both the populace also terms this saint by the several religiously-neutral words as Zinda Pir, or “The Living Saint.”

The building is refuge to both a Muslim shrine and Hindu temple. The merged arrangement was devised as a compromise to stem any dispute that might arise regarding by which religious custom the corpse should be disposed of. The caretakers of tomb hail from both the Muslim and Hindu communities. In the evening, Muslims offer namaz prayers at the shrine while Hindus perform aarti and puja prayers.

Importance

For Muslims

In accordance with the Muslim customs, Sheikh Tahir was born as a Hindu by the name of Odero Lal, but turned to Islam as a teenager. Odero Lal Shrine in his youth was claimed to have been fiercely opposed to the Hindu caste system, and as an outcome, attracted the attention of a Sufi saint from the city of Multan, whose association then lead Odero Lal to convert to Islam and embrace the name Sheikh Tahir.

For Hindus

Hindus usually refer to Odero Lal Shrine as Jhulelal. In accordance with Hindu tradition, a fictional tyrannical ruler named Mirkh Shah from nearby Thatta claimed that local Hindus convert to Islam within 24 hours. Local Hindus, fearful of this edict, prayed at the banks of the Indus River, where they then saw a vision of the Hindu deity Varuna who informed the worshippers that he would re-incarnate himself as an infant to be born in the region of Nasirpur in case to deliver them from their hardships.

Jhulelal is also termed by the Sindhi Hindus people to have performed miracles, like stepping into the Indus river at Nasirpur, and coming up at Bukkur, at the northernmost extent of Sindh province.

 

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