Photos: Shah Wilayat’s shrine in Amroha where scorpions never sting

Updated On Dec 08, 2017 02:35 PM IST

Inside the shrine of Sharfuddin Shah Wilayat in Amroha, Uttar Pradesh, venomous scorpions are considered the harmless guardians of this Sufi's shrine. Seeking his blessings visitors can even take the scorpions out for a definite period under the belief that they remain harmless unless the visitor crosses a promised period of time after which, all bets are off!

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At the shrine of Sharfuddin Shah Wilayat in Amroha, Uttar Pradesh, the presence of venomous scorpions isn’t an oddity, but the norm. While out in nature, scorpions are known to sting at the slightest provocation, those here are considered its divine protectors and are harmless within the compounds of the shrine. This change in temperament is attributed to the benevolence and piety of Shah Wilayat himself. (Mohd Zakir / HT Photo) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Dec 08, 2017 02:35 PM IST

At the shrine of Sharfuddin Shah Wilayat in Amroha, Uttar Pradesh, the presence of venomous scorpions isn’t an oddity, but the norm. While out in nature, scorpions are known to sting at the slightest provocation, those here are considered its divine protectors and are harmless within the compounds of the shrine. This change in temperament is attributed to the benevolence and piety of Shah Wilayat himself. (Mohd Zakir / HT Photo)

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Amroha is a city in north-western Uttar Pradesh, located near Moradabad. The town was sanctified and developed by Syed Sharfuddin Shah Wilayat popularly known as Dada Shah Wilayat, who migrated from Wasti (Basra), Iraq to India in the 12th century A.D. (Mohd Zakir / HT Photo) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Dec 08, 2017 02:35 PM IST

Amroha is a city in north-western Uttar Pradesh, located near Moradabad. The town was sanctified and developed by Syed Sharfuddin Shah Wilayat popularly known as Dada Shah Wilayat, who migrated from Wasti (Basra), Iraq to India in the 12th century A.D. (Mohd Zakir / HT Photo)

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According to legend when Shah Wilayat arrived, Sufi Geso Daraaz sent him a cup full of water, hinting at the presence of a spiritual leader in the area. Wilayat returned his cup with a rose on top and in response the Sufi cursed that Wilayat’s shrine would be a habitat for deadly scorpions. The Shah in turn ordained that these scorpions would remain harmless. (Mohd Zakir / HT Photo) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Dec 08, 2017 02:35 PM IST

According to legend when Shah Wilayat arrived, Sufi Geso Daraaz sent him a cup full of water, hinting at the presence of a spiritual leader in the area. Wilayat returned his cup with a rose on top and in response the Sufi cursed that Wilayat’s shrine would be a habitat for deadly scorpions. The Shah in turn ordained that these scorpions would remain harmless. (Mohd Zakir / HT Photo)

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Since those medieval times, visitors can even take the scorpions outside the premises of the shrine for a set period of time seeking blessings from the saint. Belief holds that they remain harmless unless the visitor oversteps this fixed duration of returning them to the sanctuary. (Mohd Zakir / HT Photo) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Dec 08, 2017 02:35 PM IST

Since those medieval times, visitors can even take the scorpions outside the premises of the shrine for a set period of time seeking blessings from the saint. Belief holds that they remain harmless unless the visitor oversteps this fixed duration of returning them to the sanctuary. (Mohd Zakir / HT Photo)

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The story of the shrine is incomplete without reference to Daddi Bakhoee, Shah Wilayat’s sister. A legendary tree is believed to have grown from her braid when she wished to be spirited away from earth after her marriage to a prince was called off. A tree with its branches entwined stands to this day in the compounds, testament to this miracle. (Mohd Zakir / HT Photo) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Dec 08, 2017 02:35 PM IST

The story of the shrine is incomplete without reference to Daddi Bakhoee, Shah Wilayat’s sister. A legendary tree is believed to have grown from her braid when she wished to be spirited away from earth after her marriage to a prince was called off. A tree with its branches entwined stands to this day in the compounds, testament to this miracle. (Mohd Zakir / HT Photo)

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The shrine has been a centre of spirituality for centuries and people from different walks of life and religions visit seeking blessings of a saint whose legend and tales of these harmless scorpions have travelled far and wide. (Mohd Zakir / HT Photo) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Dec 08, 2017 02:35 PM IST

The shrine has been a centre of spirituality for centuries and people from different walks of life and religions visit seeking blessings of a saint whose legend and tales of these harmless scorpions have travelled far and wide. (Mohd Zakir / HT Photo)

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While it is difficult to ascertain fact from fiction --especially in matters of faith-- lore of Shah Wilayat’s piety continues to draw people seeking fulfilment of their desires or perhaps just witness first hand the miracle of scorpions that don’t bite. (Mohd Zakir / HT Photo) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Dec 08, 2017 02:35 PM IST

While it is difficult to ascertain fact from fiction --especially in matters of faith-- lore of Shah Wilayat’s piety continues to draw people seeking fulfilment of their desires or perhaps just witness first hand the miracle of scorpions that don’t bite. (Mohd Zakir / HT Photo)

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