Bohra Hajira Jamnagar

Jamnagar is a royal city. The Jams established their kingdom here with Jam Rava Jadeja building this city in 1540 AD. The city is close to a port that served as a gateway to Middle East and Africa. Located on the trade route, the city also attracted Muslims and Jains who built up their communities, lived their distinctive lifestyles and had mosques or temples for worship. Jamnagar is home to people from across the world. Predominantly Hindu, the city has a sizeable population of Dawoodi Bohras who established themselves here and their pride is the Bohra Hajira, also known as Mota Bawa Mazar locally. When you approach the city from Rajkot, you can see the magnificent white structure standing tall against the sky. It is located off Jamnagar Road near Rani Lakshmibai Circle and lies plumb in the center of the Dawoodi Bohra Community, close to their burial grounds.

Bohra Hajira Jamnagar

Dawoodi Bohra Belonging to Bohra Hajira Jamnagar

The Dawoodi Bohras are Shiite Muslims tracing their origins to Yemen. Victims of persecution by the Sunnis in the sixteenth century, they fled to India and some of them established themselves in Jamnagar. The Dawoodi Bohras are peaceful, have integrated well with local communities and are mostly traders. Their culture is interesting as it is a fusion of African, Indian, Yemeni and Egyptian traditions. The community is small and close but is spread throughout the world. Even in India the Dawoodi Bohras were persecuted by the Mughals. Despite centuries of persecution the Dawoodis thrived and had a spiritual leader based in Yemen originally. The 34th Dai, or spiritual head, was Syedna Ismail Badruddin, based in Gujarat, around 1657 AD. He shifted the seat of power from Ahmedabad to Jamnagar, showing that even in those days Jamnagar was an important city for the community. However, the Dawat or spiritual head office of the Bohras was finally shifted to Mumbai, headed for decaded by Syedna Burhanuddin, recently deceased.

The Beauty of Bohra Hajira Jamnagar

The Bohra Hajira is a beautiful mausoleum, the resting place of Mota Bawa. It is a place of pilgrimage and is visited by devout Dawoodi Bohras from all over the world, here to pay their respects, make a wish or take a vow. The Mausoleum is in white marble in the Saracenic style of architecture and has intricate carvings. Impressive as it is from a distance, from close up, it is even more striking, infused with an air of serenity and calm in the midst of bustling traffic and chaos all around. At one time the Bohra Hajira was the place where one boarded boats to sail the Nagmati or Rangmati to travel from one bank of the river to the other. The rivers have almost dried up. If you wish to visit Bohra Hajira, you need to obtain permission in advance. Curiously, the dried up river banks in proximity to the Bohra Hajira play host to Hindu fairs during the holy month of Shravana.

About Bohra's Roza: The Bohra’s Roza in Ahmedabad is another grand structure, similar in style of the Bohra Hajira. You can also find similar replicas in Surat and in Mumbai. However, the Bohra Hajira stands apart, magnificent and awe-inspiring, a tribute to the saint who rests in eternal sleep. If you are in Jamnagar and visit the Palaces and Forts, you must also take time off to visit Bohra Hajira, not only to admire it from the architectural perspective but also to pay a tribute to a monument of communal harmony.

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