Galata Mevlevihanesi

Galata Mevlevihanesi

You have plenty of opportunities to see the Dervishes whirl but I think, the best place to be witness the Whirling Dervishes is Galata Mevlevihanesi. It is really admiring and fascinating symbolic ritual.

It is an example of euphoric state of mind that the whirling dervishes achieve by going around and around in circles.

Whirling dervishes belong to the order of Sufism, one of the many branches of Islam. So when in Istanbul, I was eager visit the  Galata Mevlevi Whirling Dervish House and Museum, which was built in 1491.

The semahane (whirling-dervish hall) at the centre of this tekke (dervish lodge) was erected in 1491 and renovated in 1608 and 2009. It’s part of a complex including a meydan-ı şerif (courtyard), çeşme (drinking fountain), türbesi (tomb) and hamuşan (cemetery). The oldest of six historic Mevlevihaneleri (Mevlevi tekkes) remaining in İstanbul, the complex was converted into a museum in 1946.

Konya is the centre of the Mawlawi order since 13th century and the world famous guiding spirit, Mewlana (Jelaleddin al-Rumi) was buried here by Ottomans.

Taking their name from Celaleddin Rumi (1207–73) and his disciples created the idea behind of this. Mevlevis believe that they can communicate with God through a sema (ceremony) involving chants, prayers, music and a whirling dance. This tekke ‘s first şeyh (sheikh) was Şemaî Mehmed Çelebi, a grandson of the great Mevlana.

It is truly inspiring and spiritual experience, take you sit at Mevlevihane and watch this fascinating ritual which has been surviving for hundreds of years.