Thanjavur Maratha kings were also the patrons of Dargah (Mosque)

Nagore Dargah. Periya Manara (fifth Minaret).

Periya Manara (fifth Minaret) of the Nagore Dargah was built by King Pratap Singh in Hijiri 1177 year (according to Islamic calender) and has been designed in Maharastrian Architecture. The height of the Minaret is 131 feet. It is taller than other four Minarets of the dargah. It is infront of Shrine’s main entrance.

King Pratap Singh (left) and his son Tulaja II. Courtesy: from my archives.

One of the tallest Minaret was built by King Pratap Singh (ruler of Thanjavur from 1740-1763 A.D). He built the tallest of the five minarets (called Periya Manara locally) with a height of 131 ft (40 m) once his wish was fulfilled.The Marathas of the later period were patrons to the dargah.

Nagore Dargah (also called as Hazrat Syed Shahul Hameed Dargah) is a dargah built over the tomb of the Sufi Saint Hazrath Nagore Shahul Hamid (1490–1579 CE). It is located in Nagore, a coastal town in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Shahul Hamid is believed to have performed many miracles in Nagore, and cured the physical affliction of king Achutappa Nayak, a 16th-century Hindu ruler of Thanjavur. He is locally referred as Nagore Andavar, meaning the “god of Nagore”. Nagore dargah as it stands now, is believed to be built by ardent devotees of Shahul Hamid, with major contribution from Hindus. There are five minarets in the dargah, with the Hindu Maratha ruler of Thanjavur Pratap Singh (1739–1763 CE), building the tallest minaret. The dargah is a major pilgrim centre in the region that attracts pilgrims from both Islam and Hinduism, symbolizing peaceful coexistence between the two religions.

Maharajah Pratap Singh (1739–1763 A.D.), the Hindu Maratha ruler of Thanjavur prayed for a son and built one of the five and the tallest minaret (called Periya Manara locally) with a height of 131 ft (40 m) once his wish was fulfilled. The Marathas of the later period were patrons to the dargah, with the Maratha king Tulaja ll, the son of Pratap Singh, donating 4,000 acres (1,600 ha) of agricultural land to the dargah. Then the Maratha King of Thanjavur endowed the village called ‘Elakadambanoore’ as his Gift. Then Maharajah Tulaja ll presented 14 other villages to Dargah as his Gift. During the last quarter of 18th century, when there was conflict between European powers, the Nawab of Arcot, the Maratha kings and Tipu Sultan of Mysore over Thanjavur region, the dargah was considered strategically important by all of them.

Nagore Dargah.

King Serfoji II (ruler of Thanjavur from 1798 A.D to 1832 A.D) continued the endowments to muslims initiated by his forefathers. He sent Chadra and fatiah materials to Nagore Dargah, which had traditionally received the munificence of his forefathers for prayers during the annual khandhoori festival. He was also the patron of the Thanjavur Bade Hussein Dargah.

King Serfoji II (left) and his son Shivaji II. Courtesy : Peabody Essex Museum.

Every year, even today we give offerings to the Nagore Dargah i.e saffron flag (saffron flag is given from the time of king Pratap Singh), shawl (that will be put on the tomb of the saint) and sweets. In return, we do receive the mosque honours on the first day of their festival.