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Poa-Mecca, Hajo (Assam)

 

Hajo is a small district in Kamrup district, 32 kms west of Guwahati. Situated on the banks of the Brahmaputra, it is a place of pilgrimage for Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists and Christians alike. One such popular pilgrimage site is Poa Mecca.

Poa Mecca, meaning a quarter of Mecca, also known as Barmagam, is a place of pilgrimage for the Muslims, situated atop the Garurachala Hills. An Iraqi Prince turned Preacher, Ghiyasuddin Auliya, is said to have built the mosque here in the 12th century A. D. It is held by the Muslims that the preacher had brought a lump of earth from Mecca and enshrined the same at a spot where the mosque was built at a later period. It is believed that by offering prayer, a faithful gains one-fourth (Poa) spiritual enlightenment of what could be gained at Mecca and so this place is known as Poa-Mecca.

However, a Persian epigraph at the site indicates that the original masjid of Poa Mecca, built in 1657 by Mir Lutfulla-e-Siraj during the reign of Emperor Shah Jahan, is no more.

A pilgrimage to this shrine is believed to be equivalent to a quarter of the piety attained by a Haj pilgrimage to Mecca. 

The Ahom King, Rudra Singha, continued to pay great attention to this Muslim shrine at Poa Mecca even after the expulsion of the Mughals from Assam in 1682. During the months of March and April, thousands of Hindu and Muslim pilgrims assemble here to celebrate Urs.