My visit to Konya was abrupt and unintentional. I was cool! I was Just taking a simple flight from Cappadocia to Antalya but nature had other plans for me. I had two options,to travel straight to Antalya and reach at midnight or section my trip, stay at Konya and resume my journey in the morning after rest. So I chose latter.
My main aim was to visit Mevlana Museum in Konya, It was highly recommended by my travel agent. I have had wanted to attend sema ceremony (spiritual occasion) there but later found out that it happened once in a week only. Anyhow, I met this really great guy at bus station, Imran, and even though we didn’t share the same language we still had a pleasant conversation with the help of angel “google translator”. It was fun!
While I was trying to recover from the failed attempt to watch their ceremony, I tried to read more about Maulana Rumi, who was a very well known sufi poet and was associated with sufi dance. The best way to understand sufi is by listening to spiritual songs. And I am so proud to tell that one of the famous kalam was sung by our very own Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.
At first I had no idea what I was listening to. The second time it was better, I could figure out some mumbling. Then I looked up for a translation, and trust me the words left me in tears. That is when I decided to stay in the holy place, where such beautiful words were reciprocated.
I reached Konya at about 10pm at night. Before I went to hotel, I went to see Rumi ‘s last destination(akhriaramgah)…The Shrine of this holy man was green and had distinctively cylindrical conic dome. I don’t know why but the first sight of his shrine gave me inner peace and calamity. The shrine was converted into a museum, which closed at 5pm officially. I couldn’t get a sneak peek inside, so instead I walked down to my hotel which was just a couple of miles away. And planned on returning to shrine at night after some little rest..
After I checked in I went back to the museum and sat there for hours, with empty mind, just sitting and gazing at the green dome, fantasizing myself as whirling dervish dancing in the darbar of Rumi. There I found another local man sitting alone, he asked me “Where are you from?” I replied, “Pakistan”. His response was so ravishing. He started singing the famous patriotic song “Jeeway Pakistan”. I am so glad that both the countries have mutual understanding and respect for each other and they endorse healthy friendship. Another thing I realized that people of Konya, actually people of Turkey are so amazing! They are incredibly friendly and welcoming. It was after these series of events that I planned on writing down my feelings and travel experience.
I woke up early in the morning and after having a breakfast, I rushed to the museum without wasting any second. Luckily, that day there was no entrance ticket ( yay me). I crossed many tombs of devotees till I reached the legendary Maulana Rumi’s tomb. I was covered with velvet cloth which was embroidered with gold. I also visited Allamah Iqbal’s honorary tomb. He’s one of the finest personality who has been given this tribute.
I tried my best to get him connected with experts of this field back in Pakistan, so I spoke to one of my friends, Mr. Sulaiman Zaffar, who has a massive experience of motor bike riding in Pakistan. Sulaiman gave Will some good piece of advices. After that i introduced him to Mr Iqbal Jhangla, one of the pioneer motorbike rider in Pakistan. which After that we also spoke to Mr. Iqbal Jhangla, one of the pioneer motorbike riders in Pakistan. Being British Citizen, Will was supposed to get a local tour guide 24/7 with him during his entire stay in Iran when crossing through borders on Motorbike. Unfortunately couldn’t help him with that. We both shared a wonderful meal of lamb shack.
After that I visited to the very famous and the principal monument on the citadel of Konya, Alaeddin Mosque. It was quite an old mosque, built in between 12th and 13th century, and has a lot of history associated. The mosque can be easily distinguished from other mosques in turkey due to its conical dome.
My next destination was Karatay Madrasa Museum. The museum was small yet informative. It was inspired by ancient selcuk building and contained amazing collection of ceramics and artifacts from the prior place. It was built by Celaleddin (Jalaludin) Karatay, a vizier of Sultan IzzeddinKeykavusin 1251, as a response to the growing educational needs of their capital Konya and as part of the Seljuk’s commitment to learning and spreading knowledge
If you are going by walk from Alaedin Mosque to Mevlana Museum you will find many beautiful mosques in your way like Selimiye Mosque&Konya Aziziye Mosque. After offering Zahur pray at the mosque I visited a nearby Bazaar for purchases.
Konya is a hub for education and quality lifestyle. It’s a very pleasant city for students all around the world. I found many students in Konya from different cities of Turkey and also from other countries.
I visited Mevlana twice in my stay. Just couldn’t get over the addiction to that place. I would highly recommend to visit Konya and at-least spare a day or twice to venture this historical place. Sometimes malls and theatres is not all you need. Be a shrewd and let the history take over you.