Today on 21st March 2015 is going to be a day for the celebration of 458th year Kanduri festival in commemoration of the death anniversary of Shahul Hamid at Nagore, in Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu. This festival shows the harmony between the Hindus and Muslims.
The Sufi Saint Hazrath Nagore Shahul Hamid (1490-1579 CE) came from Uttar Pradesh and died at Nagore where a Darga was constructed. It attracts pilgrims from different parts of India as well as pilgrims from Burma, Sri Lanka and Maldives.
The tomb of the saint shrine was initially a smaller one and gradually additions were made. The Maratha ruler of Thanjavur king Pratap Singh (1739–1763CE.), prayed for a son and built the tallest of the five minarets (called as Periya Minar) with a height of 40 metre; Sahib minar, Talaimattu minar, Mudbagh minar, Ottuminar are the other four minars where the flags are hoisted during the festival. The Maratha king Tulaji, the son of Pratap Singh, also donated agricultural land to the dargah.
To begin with the Urs or the procession commences at Jumada-al-Akhira’ when pilgrims assemble at Meera Palli (17th century CE mosque) in Nagapattinam. They proceed towards Nagore in procession with a chariot that carries flags of the Dargah brought from Singapore. On reaching Nagore Dargah Complex, the flags are hoisted marking the inauguration of Kandhuri Urs. The celebration have continues for fourteen days. On the tenth day a grand procession with a pyramid shaped chariot known as koodu, carries a pot containing Sandalwood paste starts at ‘Koottadi’, an open ground at Nagapattinam. The procession ends at the tomb of Meeran Sahib and the sandal paste is spread over his tomb. On the fourteenth day the flags are pulled down marking the end of the festive season.