One of the most popular Muslim shrines in Jammu, Shahdra-Sharif is situated in Rajouri district and is approximately 177 km from Jammu. The shrine is dedicated to Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah and dates back to the 19th century. Standing atop a beautiful hillock in Thanna Mandi area, 29 km from Rajouri town, Shahdra Sharif has quite a story attached to it. It is believed that Gulab Singh, once the army general of Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Punjab, got this shrine constructed.
As per the historical sources, in 1820 AD, Maharaja Ranjit Singh of
Punjab sent his army general, Gulab Singh, to defeat an adversary.
However, the general lost most of the soldiers and was left with 25 odd
ones. When he was camping at Thanna-Mandi, he came to know about Baba
Ghulam Shah 'Badshah' and went to meet him. The Baba, who lived in the
nearby locality of Shahdra, looked at him and smiled. On being asked the
reason for his smile, he said that he was smiling at the prosperous
future of Gulab Singh.
Then the Baba asked him to climb on top of the mountain and look
around. He further added that all the places that he can see with his
naked eyed today, would be a part of his territory someday. Gulab Singh
climbed and saw Jammu, Kashmir, Kishtwar and Tibet. Delighted, Gulab
Singh asked Baba to take some Jagir (land) from him. Baba Ghulam Shah
Badshah asked him just for the land of Shahdra Sharief in Jammu. Gulab
Singh got the land transferred in the name of Baba.
Some time later, the prediction of Baba Ghulam Shah came true and Gulab
Sigh became the Maharaja of the State of Jammu and Kashmir. After his
victory, he again went to visit Baba Ghulam Shah to express his
gratitude. However, the Baba had left for the holy abode, by that time.
As a mark of his gratitude towards the saint, Gulab Sigh got the shrine
of Jammu Shahdra Sharif constructed. Even today, devotees of each and
every faith visit this shrine to pay respect to the holy saint.