The Astana

The Astana2018-08-17T10:01:17+00:00

The Astana is the new North American Headquarters of the Inayati Order.

Our intention is to create a home for the authentic study of Inayati Sufism for murids (students) and friends from across North America and worldwide.

At the Astana, Pir Zia Inayat-Khan (also known as Sarafil Bawa) is the primary teacher, offering classes Sunday afternoons and Wednesday evenings, as well as special programs and trainings.

The word Astana means “threshold” and is often used in India to describe a place for Sufi study and community gathering. We hope you visit us here soon!

Details about visiting the Astana are provided below.

Please email or call 518-794-7834 to arrange a visit or with any questions.

Astana News

May 2017 & July 2017

Astana Calendar


Astana Opening Weekend Photos

Visiting the Astana

The Astana offers weekly public programs Sunday afternoons and Wednesday evenings. On Sundays, there is a short Universal Worship at 3 pm, followed by Gatha Class + Suhbat (spiritual conversation) with Sarafil Bawa. On Wednesdays, there is a Healing Service + Zikr (a Sufi practice of remembrance), also led by Sarafil Bawa. Please check the Astana Calendar to confirm meeting times and to see when Bawa may be out of town. 

Also, there are regular Astana Open Houses featuring a variety of activities and special guests. Our first Astana Open House is scheduled for Saturday, February 24, 2018.

If you would like to visit at another time, please email to make an appointment. We have a small, devoted, busy staff, and we want to make sure to set a time to properly greet and host you.

Getting Here

The Astana can be easily found using GPS: 112 E Cary Street, Richmond, Virginia 23219.

Uber and Lyft are active in the city. Also taxis through Henrico Taxi.

Public Buses run throughout the city. Find a route here: GRTC Transit System


Parking is available on the street for free and using meters, during the day for two hour increments. Parking is abundant and free after 6 pm daily and on Sundays.

There are also many inexpensive lots close by, as well as underground parking at the Holiday Inn Express across the street for $12/day. (see address below)

Garages & Lots:

Second Street Deck, 107 N 2nd Street (2 Blocks to Astana); $6 Per Day

Lot 102, 401 E Cary Street (3 blocks to Astana); $5 Evenings or Weekends; $7/day M-F

Lot 103, 369 E. Cary St. (3 Blocks to Astana); $5/day

Lot 112, 16 S 3rd Street (2 Blocks to Astana); $7/day mobile payment only

Parkway Corporation, 370 East Main Street; $10 for 24 hours

City parking can be paid using Passport. For all parking, be ready for coin, cash, credit or mobile payment.

Public Transportation

Richmond is accessible via plane, train, or bus, as well as auto.


If flying, we highly recommend that you come into Richmond International Airport. RIC is an easy 20 minute or less drive to the Astana and much more seamless than coming into Washington, DC airports.

Direct flights are available from Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Denver, Dallas, Detroit, Newark, Houston, Jacksonville, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, and St. Petersburg.


Amtrak services Richmond, with stops in Henrico County on Staples Mill Road and also in Downtown Richmond.


Bus service comes in and out of Richmond through the following lines:




The Astana is located in an area with many housing options, including a Holiday Inn Express right across the street, and a brand new and beautiful Hosteling International one block up and behind the building.

Also, the upscale and reputable Jefferson Hotel is only four blocks away, as is Linden Row Inn, another favorite option for many people.

Closest & Preferred Hotels:

Holiday Inn Express
201 East Cary Street
Richmond, VA 23219
$119/night (Special Rate)

Contact the Holiday Inn Express directly at 1-804-788-1600 to ask for the Inayati Order’s special rate. 

Linden Row Inn
100 East Franklin Street
Richmond, VA 23219
Prices: $90-$220/night

To make a reservation at the Inayati Order’s special rate, please follow these instructions:

1. Go to Linden Row’s Reservations Page at  

2. Select your Arrival and Departure Dates and Number of Adults

3. Enter the following Access Code to view your Corporate Rate: INO

4. Click on Search for Availability and Pricing

5. Select the appropriate Room Type

6. Complete Reservation Form including Contact and Payment Information

7. Click on Cancellation Policy check-box and submit the Reservation Form

 Also, if you visit directly, you can also click on Reservations and follow the instructions above.

HI Richmond Hostel USA
7 North Second Street
Richmond, VA 23219
Prices: $30-$120/night (Dorm Options to Private Family Rooms) 

Additional housing resources can be found through AirBnB and Trip Advisor.

Restaurants & Amenities

Within a few blocks from the Astana are numerous restaurants and take-out markets. Here are a few examples. For additional options the perfect resource is always

Sang Jun Thai, 103 E Cary Street, right across the street. Indoor and Outdoor Seating. 

Mamusu’s African, 120 E Main Street, a block behind the Astana. African buffet priced by the pound. 

Kohlmann’s Neighborhood Market, 109 E Grace Street. Along with pick-up breakfast, coffee, salads and sandwiches, small dinners and sides, they have a small selection of essentials. 

Perly’s, 112 E Grace Street. Best Jewish Delicatessen.

Pasture, 416 E Grace Street. Famed farm to table dining.

Pop’s Market on Grace, 415 E Grace Street. Beautiful homemade bread, sandwiches & pasta dinners. Good for hanging out and refillable coffee and ice tea.

Urban Farmhouse Market & Café, 100 E Franklin Street, next to The Linden Inn. Organic, locally sourced.

Lucy’s on 2nd, 404 N 2nd Street. Fresh and cozy, something for everyone.

Saadia’s Juice Box, 402 ½ N 2nd Street. Healthy, fresh juices and light lunch box pick up, along with yoga classes.

A bit farther up the road:

Ipanema Café, 917 West Grace Street. The Fan. Best vegan options in the city. 

The Daily Kitchen & Bar, 2934 W Cary Street. Carytown. Healthy and organic food in a variety of styles.

The Pit & the Peel, 1102 W Main Street. The Fan. Juices, smoothies, acai bowls and healthy café food.

Goatacado, 1823 W Main Street. The Fan. Vegan, vegetarian and protein options for bowls and wraps.

Lamplighter Coffee Roasters, 26 N Morris Street. The Fan. Local Coffee Roaster owned in part by a Sufi. Breakfast sandwiches and lunch. One of three locations.

Nile Restaurant: Ethiopian Bistro and Cafe, 306 N 29th Street. Healthy and all gluten-free.

Sub Rosa Bakery, 620 N 25th Street. Church Hill. Best, homemade pastries made from grains stone-ground on site.

Also note that there are clusters of restaurants four blocks north of the Astana at 4th and Grace Streets. Also in Carytown, 2.5 miles west of us. In general, there are very good and healthy restaurants throughout Richmond in neighborhoods such as The Fan, Shockoe Bottom, Church Hill, Jackson Ward, and many others.