The second revered Eid and major Muslim festival in the year, Eid-ul-Adha is celebrated across the world. It marks the beginning of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and in India it is most commonly associated with the sacrifice of a goat. The festival, after all, celebrates the willingness of the prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son to Allah.
As he laid his son on the altar and raised his sword, it is said that Allah's angel Jibril (Gabriel) swooped in, replacing the boy with a goat and saving his life. For this reason, the festival is also popularly called Bakr-Id or Bakar Eid, especially in India.
This year, Bakr-Id will fall on September 2, 2017. Eid-ul-Adha is generally celebrated for four days, during which the food on offer is the highlight of the festivities. Made from the meat of the sacrificed goat or sheep, the feast served on Bakr-Id is one that you cannot miss. Here is a list of cities where you can find the best celebrations of Eid-ul-Adha.
The cosmopolitan city of New Delhi has been the seat of power in the Indian subcontinent for centuries, rising to prominence during the days of the Mughal Empire. Its deep-rooted Mughal heritage means that the city celebrates both forms of Eid in a very grand way. The Jama Masjid is the religious center of the celebrations for Eid-ul-Adha, with people gathering in thousands to offer special prayers. Old Delhi and its restaurants come alive as special meals are prepared for the day. Haleem at the Gali Kebabiyan near Jama Masjid and other delicious food at stalls everywhere; all of it is worth trying.
Up north, the capital of Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar, has its own rich history. The scenic destination, said to be the place where heaven resides on earth, celebrates Eid-ul-Adha with much pomp and zeal. You can hear special prayers at the Aasar-e-Shareef Hazratbal, and special foods prepared at various stalls and restaurants. The popular hotspots like Regal Chowk, Goni Market and Lal Chawk get busy with activity, with many using the opportunity to buy new items. Many come to Eidgah, a history point in Srinagar, to offer prayers just like during Eid-ul-Fitr.
Bara Imambara, Lucknow
The city of Nawabs and Nawabi andaaz, Lucknow is also famous for its taste palette. The city has plenty of places for its cuisine, derived heavily from Islamic and other cultures that made their mark in the region. For Eid-ul-Adha, you can catch citizens offering their prayers at the popular Asifi Masjid and at the Aishbagh Eidgah, the largest communal praying ground in the city. You can sense the spirit of Bakr-Id across the city and savor the delicious food on offer.
Kolkata, the City of Joy, celebrates Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha with as much happiness as it does other festivals. Many parts of the city can been seen decked up and decorated for the occasion; most of them are Muslim strongholds. People, both Muslim and otherwise, can be seen across the city celebrating Eid and visiting Kolkata's famous eateries for some delicious cuisine.
While Lucknow is the city of Nawabs, Hyderabad is the city of Nizams. Once the seat of power for the Indian caliphate, Hyderabad remains rooted to its ancient heritage and celebrates Bakri-id with much fanfare. Many head to Charminar for special prayers, and you can find some incredible food being served for the occasion, not that the city's food is any less tasty on other days. Masab Tank, Secunderabad and Madannapet are popular spots for celebrations.
Haji Ali Dargah, Mumbai
The Maximum city of Mumbai will also be celebrating Eid-ul-Adha, though the ongoing Ganesh Utsav celebrations mean that Bakr-Id festivities won't stand out much. But head to the mosques in the city for some special prayers on the day, especially the Minara Masjid and Haji Ali Dargah. Mohammad Ali Road is also a good place to visit this day, where some delicious food will be served to mark Bakr-Id.
The author writes features on travels and festivities. This article first appeared on www.india.com
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