Qalandaria a sufi tariqa (way) originating from Iran. No authentic information is available about its founder. According to a tradition, a man named Yusuf Qalandaria of Spain was the founder of this tariqa while according to others, Shaikh Jamaluddin Absawi of Persia was its founder.

Curiously though the Qalandaria tariqa originated in the Middle East, it was greatly influenced by Indian practices, especially by those of Budhists. The term qalandar also means a traveling fakir or saint and is believed to have its origin in India. Hazrat Sharfuddin-Bu-Ali Shah Qalandar of Panipath was the first spiritual guide of this community. Shah Shafiuddin of Pandua in the district of Hughli is regarded as the first Sufi of this order to enter Bengal, conveying the message of this community.

Qalandaria sufis are predominantly nomadic. They usually subsist on charity, own nothing but a few personal necessities, and do not marry. They wear metallic bangles on their arms and sometimes on their feet. They do not consider it obligatory to shave beards and cut nails and haircut. They are lax in following the obligatory precepts and practices of Islam. [Muhammad Ruhul Amin]