Photoessay: The Mevlana Museum in Konya, Turkey

Mevlana MuseziThe main reason to go to Konya, Turkey is certainly to visit the home of the whirling dervishes and visit the Mevlana Museum which houses the tomb of Jelaladin Rumi. Despite having died in 1273, Rumi is the best selling poet in the USA.

Mevlana was a Muslim, but not an orthodox type. His doctrine advocates unlimited tolerance, positive reasoning, goodness, charity and awareness through love. To him all religions were more or less truth. Mevlana looked with the same eye on Muslim, Jew and Christian alike. His peaceful and tolerant teachings have appealed to men of all sects and creeds.

Here is some of what Rumi had to say:

Christian, Jew, Muslim, shaman, Zoroastrian, stone, ground, mountain, river, each has a secret way of being with the mystery, unique and not to be judged.

Everyone is so afraid of death, but the real sufis just laugh: nothing tyrannizes their hearts. What strikes the oyster shell does not damage the pearl.

If in thirst you drink water from a cup, you see God in it. Those who are not in love with God will see only their own faces in it.

He is a letter to everyone. You open it. It says, ‘Live!’

In truth everything and everyone

Is a shadow of the Beloved,
And our seeking is His seeking
And our words are His words…
We search for Him here and there,
while looking right at Him.
Sitting by His side, we ask:
‘O Beloved, where is the Beloved?’


While you can still find Dervishes throughout the world, you won’t find them at the Mevlana Museum, though there are plenty of wax work dummies that you can sometimes find people making invocations in front of.

Rumi is a famous Sufi poet and mystic also known as Mevlâna. He  is considered the father of Mevlevi Sufism which the world knows through the visual image of the whirling dervish.

The Mevlana Museum also was the dervish lodge of the Mevlevi order. Our visit took place on a rainy day and while the interior of the tomb was beautiful, no photos were allowed. Still, literally dozens of people were taking photos but out of respect for Rumi and his resting place, we abstained.

The Seljuk sultan invited Mevlâna to Konya from his native town in Tajikstan which was then part of Persia and  offered his rose garden as a fitting place to bury the father of Rumi when he died on 12 January 1231. When Mevlâna died in 17 December 1273 he was buried next to his father.

This bit comes from wikipedia: |
The Seljuk construction, under architect Behrettin Tebrizli, was finished in 1274. Gürcü Hatun, the wife of the Seljuk Emir Suleyman Pervane, and Emir Alameddin Kayser funded the construction. The cylindrical drum of the dome originally rested on four pillars. The conical dome is covered with turquoise faience.

On 6 April 1926, the mausoleum and the dervish lodge were turned into a museum. The museum opened on 2 March 1927. In 1954 it was renamed “Mevlâna museum”.

So, who was Rumi?

Inside the tomb are six coffins in rows of three. These are the dervishes who accompanied Mevlâna and his family from Belkh. Opposite to them on a raised platform, covered by two domes, stand the cenotaphs belonging to the descendants of the Mevlâna family and some high-ranking members of the Mevlevi order.
The sarcophagus of Mevlâna is located under the green dome. It is covered with brocade, embroidered in gold with verses from the Koran.

The adjoining small mosque is filled with illuminated manuscripts and a box containing hairs from the the Holy Beard of Muhammad.

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Damitio  (@vagodamitio) is the Editor-in-Chief for Vagobond. Life is good. You can also find him on Google+ and at Facebook