A Sheikh or a Female Saint?
İbrahim Hakkı, a famous Historian, conveys the following information about Tavus Baba from Konya; “Hatamu Dede Lodge was in Meram, but today we are not sure about the exact place of it. We guess that it is next to the mausoleum, which is called TAVUS BABA TOMB today. It is very likely that Tavus Baba is the name of one of the sheikhs of this lodge. The interior of the tomb is made of brick and the exterior is made of stone. It is covered in a way called a monastery vault. There is only one window on the right side of the building. There is a sarcophagus plastered with common mortar inside.” He does not give a name about the person buried here.
Mesut Koman Bey and Mehmet Önder awere of the opinion that the deceased person's name was Şeyh Tavus Mehmet. Another conclusion from the research is that Tavus Baba's real name is Mehmet, his hometown is India. He lived during the reigns of Rükneddin Süleyman and Alaeddin Keykubat, who were the sultans of the Anatolian Seljuks. He was one of sheikhs of that period. He came and settled in Konya because of the respect shown by the Seljuk sultans to the people of culture and mysticism. Birth and death dates are unknown. (M. Ferit Uğur, Konya)
One of the legends about Tavus Baba is as follows:
“During the time of Rumi, many people come from faraway places to see and talk to him. One of them was a woman lover. She came and settled in a hut where her tomb is located today. The sound of the rebab was heard from the hut. Rumi spends the hot summer nights in various districts of Meram, full of nightingales. On such a night, a meeting of conversation and tersanctus opened on the skirts of Meram Hill, but that night, the sound of the rebab, which spread around every night, was not heard from the hut.
In the morning, when the meeting finished, Rumi said: “Go and look inside the hut”.
When a few disciples entered the hut, they found nothing but a pile of peacock feathers in the corner. Until that day, it was not known who he was, and it is not known after that. Rumi ordered a tomb to be built in the place where the hut was located.
A large masjid was built to the east of the tomb, and a Darü'l-Hufaz was built on the east side of it during the reign of Karamanoglu Mehmet II. These are still standing. But there is no trace of the aforementioned Islamic monastery.
According to Gordelevsky, Tavus was a woman. After her death, the Bektashi community nicknamed her Tavus Baba. When the mevlevies gained strength Bektashis withdrew from here. Once upon a time, Bektashis and Ahis had lands in Meram and around Konya.
The tomb, which was destroyed over time, was repaired in 1905 by Postnishin Abdulvahid Çelebi and in 1958 by a benefactor from Konya. Whoever lies here, the important thing is that s/he has been remembered as a guardian among the people for centuries. Tavus Baba's Tomb is one of the most visited places, especially in summer.