LAHORE: Devotees started a three-day celebration on Thursday in Lahore, for the 971st death anniversary of Sufi Saint Syed Ali bin Osman Al-Hajvery popularly known as Data Ganj Bakhsh.

Thousands of people travel from all over Pakistan to attend celebrations at the shrine of Data Ganj Bakhsh, during the annual religious festival.

Data Ganj Bakhsh was a Persian Sufi scholar during the 11th century. He was born in Ghazni, Afghanistan in 990 AD during the Ghaznavid Empire and settled and died in Lahore, spreading Islam in South Asia.

During the festival the shrine is lit up with candles and lights, donated food is prepared for the people and Sufis dance and play music for hours.

A devotee balances pots over his head while dancing at the shrine during the urs - AFP
A devotee balances pots over his head while dancing at the shrine during the urs - AFP
Devotees arrive at the Mazar of saint Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh in Lahore - INP
Devotees arrive at the Mazar of saint Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh in Lahore - INP
A devotee whirls as he beats drums while another hangs from his back to balance their weight, at the shrine of Sufi Saint Data Ganj Bakhsh in Lahore. - Reuters
A devotee whirls as he beats drums while another hangs from his back to balance their weight, at the shrine of Sufi Saint Data Ganj Bakhsh in Lahore. - Reuters
A sufi blows a horn during the celebrations of three-day annual congregation of famous saint Data Ganjbaksh at his shrine in Lahore, Thursday. - AP
A sufi blows a horn during the celebrations of three-day annual congregation of famous saint Data Ganjbaksh at his shrine in Lahore, Thursday. - AP
A malang dances to celebrate the three-day annual congregation of  saint Data Ganjbaksh. - AP
A malang dances to celebrate the three-day annual congregation of saint Data Ganjbaksh. - AP
A devotee smokes during the celebrations of the three-day annual congregation at the shrine of Data Ganjbaksh at his shrine. - AP
A devotee smokes during the celebrations of the three-day annual congregation at the shrine of Data Ganjbaksh at his shrine. - AP
Devotees gather at the shrine of Data Ganj Bakhsh - AFP
Devotees gather at the shrine of Data Ganj Bakhsh - AFP
Man pours oil in clay lamps at the shrine of Data Ganj Bakhsh, which is decorated with lights - Online
Man pours oil in clay lamps at the shrine of Data Ganj Bakhsh, which is decorated with lights - Online
The Urs of Data Ganjbaksh has its own religious significance but at the same time it is also considered as Lahore's biggest cultural event. - Online
The Urs of Data Ganjbaksh has its own religious significance but at the same time it is also considered as Lahore's biggest cultural event. - Online

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