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Stop At: Hacibektas, Nevsehir Turkey
Hacibektas, located 46 km from Nevsehir is the sacred center of Alevi Islam, and a center of pilgrimage for the communities which follow the teaching of Haci Bektas Veli, whose emphasis on peace and tolerance make his doctrine still universal and widely popular today. Alevi has an estimated 15 million followers in Turkey.
The life of Haci Bektas Veli is shrouded in mystery. Stories and Legends of his life were passed down by word of mouth and finally written in a book entitled the ‘Velayetname’, by a Bektasi dervish, several centuries after his death. It is believed that he is descended from the Caliph Ali. The word ‘Alevi’ means ‘those who follow in the footsteps of Ali.’ He was born around the beginning of the 13th century and came from Nishapur in Turkistan. He was a student of Lokman Perende, one of the followers of Ahmed Yesevi. Alevi has an estimated 15 million followers in Turkey.
Visiting Hacibektas any time of the year is an unforgettable experience, and it is often possible to see the men and women doing the traditional semah dance of the dervishes, but every year there is a music and folk festival on the 16th, 17th, and 18th of August when thousands of people make a pilgrimage here and teams of Alevi semah dancers from different regions in colorful costumes perform these ceremonial dances, each of which represents a separate thread in the rich cultural tapestry, and is the last representative of the folk minstrel tradition. Mark it on your calendar!
Leave from your hotel at 8:30 to drive to Hacibektas. First we visit the Haci Bektas Veli Museum.
The Museum, former dervishes lodge also called “dergâh” of Hacibektas, consists of three courtyards lined side by side.
First courtyard: (Nadar avlusu): You entered the courtyard by a big arched door. On the right side,are the “Ucler cesmesi “(set of three fountains), built in 1902. Also can be found a Laundry-room and a turkish bath .
Second courtyard (Dergah Avlusu): Entrance door of this yard is called “Ucler Kapisi” (set of three Doors). On the right side, there is a Fountain with sculptured lions built in 1554 , which lions were sent from Egypt by Kavalali Mehmet Ali Pahsa’s daughter in 1875. This fountain is known as the “ Fountain with Lions”. Further there is a mosque, built by the Sultan Mahmut II., a guest house and the kitchens.
Third courtyard (Hazret Avlusu): The entrance door is called “Altiyar Kapisi” (set of Six Doors). This courtyard consists of a main garden within you can find the tombs of the dervishes Tomb, influenced by Seldjoukide art .
The entrance of the tomb has Seldjoukide motifs carved marble doors. His engraved green sarcophagus is decorated with delicate Chandeliers. There is a small prayer room and a place where the dervishes used to perform the ceremonial dance called “Kirklar Meydani. Haci Bektas Veli and Khorasan Erens were buried on the east side, Celebies and Güvenç Abdal on the west side of the Kirklar Meydani. In 1519, Balim Sultan’s Tomb was added on the right side of the main Garden.
By driving few minutes from the town center , you come to a type of open-air museum with an amphi-theatre and a “cilehane”. “Cilehane” is a small cave and if you can pass through the small hole, this means that you are free from your sins.
Return to your hotel in Cappadocia around 18:00 (6 pm)
Duration: 8 hours