What is 'Urs?' Soon after the right-wing organisation Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha filed a plea recently in the Agra court against the annual 'Urs' to be held at the Taj Mahal, many wondered what the event was all about. According to experts, in Sufism, the death anniversary of saints is celebrated as a wedding ceremony. 'Urs' is an Arabic word which means wedding. This year, the event is to be held at the Taj Mahal from February 6 to 8. Here's why it is conducted in the Taj Mahal.
Urs of Shah Jahan
Taj Mahal was built on the banks of the Yamuna River in 1653, and the 'Urs' here commemorates the demise of Mughal King Shah Jahan, who built the monument. Rituals like 'chadar posh,' 'kul,' 'gusul' and 'sandal' are conducted as part of the 'Urs' and a 1,880 metres-long bedsheet aka 'chadar,' is offered on the final day. This year, the organisers are planning to offer a 1,507-metre-long chadar at Shah Jahan's grave. This is the 369th Urs to be held at the Taj Mahal, according to organisers.
Interestingly, the Taj Mahal offers free entry to the monument on the three days of the Urs. The Archeological Survey of India announces the details of its schedule every year. The 2024 schedule is expected to be out soon.