Ghutiari Sharif is a nondescript village in the South-24 Parganas district of West Bengal. It is where the notable medieval Islamic ascetic’s – Pir Ghazi Mubarak Shah – mazar is situated. Yesterday (03.08.2007), marked the death anniversary of this ascetic and there were over a lac of visitors who came to offer prayers. Legend has it that the ascetic possessed spiritual powers, and it was he who had once brought rainfall ending a long period of drought back in the days, providing relief for the suffering mass. It was through intensive meditation carried out in this very mazar (which now draws lacs of visitors) that this ascetic was believed to have made this possible. But it cost him his life. It was both tragic and miraculous at the same time. No wonder then that the mood of the place was marked by both a sense of fervent celebrations and also that of gratitude towards the almighty. People from all walks of life, traveling great distances had come to be a part of this holy event.

A word of caution for travelers: Ghutiari Sharif is otherwise quite notoriously renowned for being a hub of criminals, and there is also a huge presence of red light areas here. IF you are planning to visit this place you must be cautious about your belongings and not carry any expensive materials with you. I heard that all pick pockets that operate in the cities are trained here!!