"Whirling dervishes in Bursa?!" Top 5 Page for this destination Bursa Things to Do Tip by Tijavi
Bursa Things to Do: 121 reviews and 288 photos
Unknown to many, there is an active Mevlana community in Bursa, which present nighly semas (Mevlevi worship ceremonies) at the Mevlana cultural center (check their website for address). Initially, I thought you could also experience sema in Istanbul and Konya (the center of Mevlana community), but I was pleasantly surprised when I was invited by a school teacher while admiring the beautiful calligraphy of Ulu Cami.
The sema I witnessed was 30 minutes of evocative, romantic performance as the whirling dervishes danced their way to attain union with God - the objective behind every sema. The sight of several whirling white robes dancing around the hall in unison was amazing. The accompanying music coupled with the low hushed chanting make for a truly memorable experience.
It's a truly profound experience that will enhance your spirituality (assuming you have one to begin with, of course) - something that could easily be one of the highlights of your visit.
(For a background on Mevlana, you may wish to click on this website.)
Unlike the semas in Istanbul and Konya, the one in Bursa is free and open to anybody who wish to witness it. If you are having problems with the direction/address in the website (honestly, I have not checked it), the watchman at Osman's tomb in Tophane will tell you how to get there (he speaks very little English, though). He might even accompany you to the sema if he is free that evening. The sema starts at about 8 PM.
Directions: It's in the area behind the PTT office on Attaturk Cad. It's a bit of a walk from PTT, so it would be helpful if you are with someone that is familiar with the location.
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