Konya, in the a-whirl of its own

I t ‘s the cardiovascular system off Poultry. Konya, a region out-of a million souls, squatting slap in the middle of Anatolia’s nuts plain, in the middle of open, limitless prairie. Turkey’s really culturally old-fashioned city, Konya appears initially to-be an area away from rigid headscarves and you can foreboding beards, off ostentatiously observed pieties and you will taboo drinks. But uncovering Konya is simple – to own right here, in the centre of dated town, within his tomb out-of turquoise tiles, is Jelaluddin Rumi.

Rumi is just one of the earth’s really realize poets. Throughout their life, and since their demise inside the 1273, pilgrims have come so you can Konya. Now Armensk brudebilde, Rumi’s tomb was Turkey’s 2nd really-visited visitors attraction pursuing the Topkapi Palace within the Istanbul. Rumi is a mystical, good Sufi saint exactly who liked most of the religions, and whoever own faith is like. Their followers create (nonetheless carry out) eliminate on their own when you look at the trance and dance, sometimes spinning eg passes day long.

There is certainly a giant, epic the latest civil auditorium in which it sensitive spinning individual dancing is actually performed, and you may people number of pleasant sleek-eyed mystics within the carpeting stores, cafes and you will gothic bazaars, every happier in order to ask you to definitely a personal zikhr

This type of whirling dervishes are now the symbol off Turkey’s tourist ways, and you may sip teas in your Istanbul hotel reception watching specific poor bloke inside the a large beige felt cap whirling for their amusement. Toward real deal, even in the event, been heree to help you Konya and you also come to Turkey’s spirit. Into the Rumi’s words:

“Whoever you may be, become Even although you can be A keen infidel, a good pagan, or an excellent fireworshipper, been Our brotherhood isn’t among depression If you enjoys busted Their vows from repentance a hundred moments, started.”

Almost every season as the 1983, I have already been coming into the a couple million-or-thus tourists whom go to Konya per year. Most are Turkish, although many Iranians (whom claim Rumi since their own, since the guy penned in their words and you will grew up in eastern Persia) also improve pilgrimage.

Rather than and come up with Konya a stop on the a shuttle tour, I will suggest existence for many weeks, taking in an impression, eating several of Turkey’s top mutton, enjoying their finest Seljuk architecture and you can – maybe – falling crazy about Rumi. You could potentially travel within the cheaply away from Istanbul, from which there is a scruffy, atmospheric teach, or appear by-road. Konya is within simple visited of your own cavern dwellers and you will carpet providers out-of Cappadocia.

Rumi showed up right here because a boy, whenever Konya had been an area for a couple of,000 age. It was depending of the Hittites, who have been succeeded by the Phrygians, then your Lydians, Persians, Cappadocians, the latest kings off Pergamon as well as the Romans, who called the place Iconium. Saints Paul and you may Barnabus one another preached right here, but of the 1071 this new Seljuks, good Turcoman tribe, were in charge, and their architectural legacy suffers.

The Karatay Medrese away from 1251 is a work of art from embellished tiling and you can unified domes. It is today this new Museum out-of Tiles and you can Ceramics, whoever material keep up with the vibrancy and strike they had whenever very first discharged. Nearby, the newest Ince Minarali Medrese is actually the new Art gallery from Stone and you will Timber Carving, and that is a lot less dead than just I have made it sound. These two property whet your appetite to find the ornately tiled Sircali Medrese, plus the breathtaking Sahip Ata mosque: rather than a lot of this new Muslim community, in Chicken you’re encouraged to head to mosques, any kind of the spiritual needs.

On junction of your old area and its unappealing the brand new neighbor ‘s the Alaaddin mosque, new city’s vantage area, whoever stunning ebony pulpit and sensitive prayer-specific niche are from 1155 (the fresh advanced try completed in 1221). This new boulevard radiating from this point provides you to definitely Rumi’s tomb, where significantly more after. Rumi may Turks while the Mevlana (this new Sainted One), and today Konya is in thrall to help you Mevlanamania.

As i first showed up, Mevlana’s followers, the newest Mevlevi, was in fact a banned organization, tolerated only for its “folkloric dancing” and you may whirlings. Group meetings were held covertly, illegally.

I pointed out dinner, as well. Konya’s lamb-centric cooking is very good. Etli ekmek is actually a lengthy, narrow move-right up pizza give having delicately spiced mince, and you will Konya kebab try a lamb shank, most more sluggish roasted and offered toward a pillow out of dough having a nice red onion. The very best was at Konak (Restoran, Akcesme mah. Piriesat Cad. Zero 5, +90 332 352 85 47), whose soup and you can home made yoghurt is heaven-made.

Hence, wonderfully fed, in accordance with of numerous glasses of sweet tannic teas inside you, create your treatment for Rumi’s tomb. You join the awestruck, brand new curious additionally the fervent. A strange twinkly light performs on the tombs out of Rumi and you can their followers. Brand new structure is stitched with calligraphy, in addition to ceilings is a great kaleidoscope of beautifully executed arabesques. Rumi’s tomb is covered into the significantly padded content of gold, and you will appears to shine light and you can serenity and mercy.

Are common gone, to own here is love

The your own fellow pilgrims tend to discover Korans, while others Rumi’s poetry. Most take photo, while this is strictly forbidden. You’ll find people who cry quietly, and those who make fun of aloud; people that reflect day long, and those who hurry thanks to.

To try out quietly and you may insinuating by itself into your consciousness is the ney, an excellent reed flute. It sounds such as breathy sky, it is actually the sound regarding flame, and that increases and you can falls to the us. This isn’t particular sullen religious whining, although voice away from yearning, regarding communion, of one’s heart. You have they – it is soul audio, therefore very supplies you with. So already been.

Turkish Airlines (020-7471 6666) flies to Konya via Istanbul away from Heathrow, Stansted, Birmingham and you can Manchester, off ?219 rtn inc taxes. Istanbul so you’re able to Konya from the rail will cost you throughout ?24 get back, or about ?thirty six get back because of the coach. Resort Balikcilar has rooms or about ?70 (and have now provides cooler beers). Resort Dergah (+90 332 351 76 61) room around ?20. Tickets to see the newest spinning dervishes is actually free from the brand new website visitors work environment, trailing Mevlana’s tomb. Mete Horzum at the SeleneTour (+ninety 532 564 9192, ) organizes personal whirling and you will zikhr off ?30pp.

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