Myths of Manghopir
There are many places in Pakistan which have an interesting story associated with them. One of such places is Manghopir. Situated north of Karachi, Manghopir is a land of legends. How it got its name is a mystery itself.
Mangho Wasa was a bandit who looted travelers. Once he came across the famous Sufi saint Baba Farid Gang Baksh (some claim it was Sakhi Sultan Baba he met.) He was so impressed by the saint that he converted to Islam.
Later his pious conduct aimed him the name “Pir” (saint) hence the name “Manghopir.” The shrine at Manghopir draws many devotes but who is actually buried there no one knows.
Another feature of Manghopir is the crocodile pond. Here around a 100 crocodiles lie basking in the sun. The crocodiles have never harmed a human. There are many interesting stories associated with the origins of the crocodiles. The famous one being that these crocodiles were actually head lice of the Pir and once irritated him so much that he stamped his feet in anger. Sulfur springs sprung up from the ground and the head lice changed into crocs. A more logical explanation being that the crocodiles came from the marshy areas of the hub delta nearby.
The week long Sheedi Mela is held annually at Manghopir. Sheedis are people of African descent. The Sheedi Mela has many bizarre rituals, like garlanding the king of crocodiles. Offering sacrificial meat and halwa (sweets) to crocodiles and sprinkling the pond with colours.
Manghopir is also known for its “sulphur springs.” The warm water of these springs has medicinal qualities and can cure skin ailments.
Do visit Manghopir next time you come to Karachi.
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