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  • Writer's pictureFolkloristan

A Saint Battles a Dragon

Updated: Jul 22, 2023

Legend has it that a lake close to present-day Ziarat was home to a nine-headed dragon. The story goes on that the dragon, whenever hungry, would feed off people from closeby villages. Fearful of the beast's rage, the villagers would sacrifice someone each day to the dragon.

Once, it so happened, that an Afghan saint, Baba Ghundi, was passing by the lake, on ond of his many outings to preach. He saw a young lad standing by the lake, frightened for his life. The young man explained the story about the dragon, how it would feast on villagers, and told the saint how he had been marked as a sacrifice to the monster.

Upon hearing this, Baba Ghundi told the man to gesture when the dragon reveals itself. Surprised at this demand, which sounded rather peculiar coming from an aged man with a white beard, the young man was too relieved to disagree.

The dragon showed itself, and Baba Ghundi slahsed the beast into hundreds of pieces. He was nicknamed the "Dragonslayer" by the locals, who celebrated with joy. Upset about the music and dance, Baba Ghundi cursed the villages.

It is said that the town village soon was destroyed due to torrential rains. However, the lake, as well as the bones of the dragon can be seen on the way to Baba Ghundi's Masoleum.


Note: Baba Ghundi is a celebrated Sufi saint in the upper Gojal region of Northern Pakistan. Hailing from Ghund, Afghanistan, he is revered for ridding the lands of evil spirits and for spreading Islam in the region. A water stream flows right behind the shrine, said to have healing qualities for all. An annual festival is held to commemorate the saint every year, bringing together the Wakhi people every year.

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