Konya and

Konya Travel Blog

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Mevlana's tomb is under the green tower.

We took a one day package tour from Ankara to the city of Konya which included our lunch, entrance into the Mevlana museum and tickets to watch the Wirling Dervishes in action for the annual Seb-i-Aruz! The bus ride was a little over 3 hours long and stopped first a local and well renowned restaurant. The food was mostly meat based (not too suprising), but the waiters did bring out for me some type of veggie soup and made a special veggie plate with rice. It was decent, but to be honest I was not very hungry at the time. I was more eager to see the town and the Dervishes. That would be the downside to taking any tour package.

Mevlana Museum
You are on their schedule, instead of your own :P.

Konya is known to be the resting place of Mevlana (Rumi), a well known Persian sufi poet from the 13th century, and for being the center of the Dervish community. I later learned that in the past it was also known for its large exporting of highly coveted Turkish Carpets to wealthy Europeans.

The first stop after after everyone from the tour finished eating lunch, was the Mevlana Museum. The museum was established in 1927 by the New Turkish Republic. It was definitely an interesting place to walk through. Inside the museum is the final resting place for Mevlana and several of his friends, close relatives and disciples. Before entering we had to cover our shoes with these plastic blue booties. They protected the carpet from dirt tracked in by visitors.
The interior of the mausoleum was possibly the most decorative room I have ever seen in my lifetime! So much pattern! Every little nook was filled with beautiful traditional Islamic designs and Arabic writing. Mevlana's tomb, located directly under the green dome visible from outside, was HUGE and was covered with a Brocade (type of woven cloth) and topped with a type of hat that I later also saw adorning the tombs of Ottoman Sultans. Next to the tombs was a room filled with artifacts of interest. Many beautifully hand written and designed Korans, prayer rugs, bits of old costume and more. The hand written Korans were amazing to look at! Every page was a work of art thanks to all the dedicated work and skill that went into the design of each book. Through out the building I saw several people found corners and nooks on the floor to sit for individual prayer, meditation or poetry reading.

Across from the mausoleum were a couple of buildings that were once the Dervish lodges, but now converted into several displays of what a traditional Dervish life consisted of so many centuries ago. We were not allowed to photograph inside any of the buildings, though some people still tried, including Semih :P. You will find in Turkey that rules are not really set in stone, but merely guildelines that can be bent depending on moods. More on that thought later :P

We finished exploring the museum before the rest of our tour and ventured outside for a walk. Behind the museum is a Ceramic Art center. Ceramics is a common form of art in Turkey. Everywhere in the country are vendors selling beautiful ceramic bowls, vases, plates, cups and tiles design with traditional Turkish patterns.

After the museum, the tour bus took us to the Mevlana Cultural Center to watch the Dervishes mark the 735 anniversary of Mevlana's death with a Sema performance. This commemorative performance is widely known as Seb-i-Aruz and takes place every December. Sema is a ritual movement that symbolizes communication with Allah (god). It was ritual that lasted for two hours and I was so impressed with the skill of the dervishes. I know if it was me spinning for that long I would have crashed into my neighbor and make a huge mess of the everything, but these men were so graceful as the wilred across the floor and around one another.

Sem made some videos and posted them onto Youtube you can check them out from the below links. You can even hear me taking my blurry photos! :P:P

Ceramic art house behind the Mevlana museum.

After the show was finished we were able to walk around the town for an hour or so before the bus returned to Ankara. I really wished we could have had more time during the daylight hours to explore the city. Like any other metropolitan there were plenty of vendors selling souvenirs and restaurants serving local food favorites. One thing I noticed was the plethora of candy shops. Turks love sweets :P we picked up some candy to try, but I wasn't to crazy about them. They were large, white and had a chalky taste to them. They reminded me of a candy I had tried and didn't like very much when I was a kid.

The Seven Advice of Mevlana
-In generosity and helping others be like a river.
-In compassion and grace be like sun
-In concealing others' faults be like night
-In anger and fury be like dead
-In modesty and humility be like earth
-In tolerance be like sea
-Either exist as you are or be as you look. 

dothoin says:
saw the Mevlevi before in Cappadocia ...amazing
Posted on: Sep 08, 2009
Auditarchi says:
Hi, I very much liked your blog! very educational and there I have been in Konya myself but only for one afternoon. I didn't have a chanse to see the Dervishes performance. I suppose it was very great to see that? I'm certainly going back to that place because I didn't see much of the city myself. There is a huge Aladdin mosque as well that is worth a visit. Take care
Posted on: Feb 11, 2009
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Mevlanas tomb is under the green …
Mevlana's tomb is under the green…
Mevlana Museum
Mevlana Museum
Ceramic art house behind the Mevla…
Ceramic art house behind the Mevl…
The little blue plastic booties th…
The little blue plastic booties t…
photo by: herman_munster