The order of Mevlevi, better known in the West as the Whirling Dervishes, was founded by the 13th century Sufi mystic, Celaleddin Rumi, who was also known as Mevlana. He was a poet, who believed that music and dance provided the means to enter a religious state of ecstasy thereby discovering divine love, and formed a religion, or philosophy based on tolerance. His most famous poem represents the central beliefs of Sufism: Come, come, whoever you are, come! Heathen, fire-worshipper or idolator, come! Come even if you have broken your penitence a hundred times. Ours is the door of hope, come as you are.
There were dervish lodges or tekke throughout Anatolia but Konya, where he settled, was the centre of the movement. His museum, situated in the original tekke, can be visited today where there is a Mevlana festival held in December every year.
Mevlana Dergahı (Dervish Lodge) which is presently used as a museum formerly the Rose Garden of the Seljuks Palace it was given as a gift to Mevlana's father Sultanü'l-Ulema Bahaaeddin Veled by Sultan Alaeddin Keykubad.
After the death of Sultanü'l-Ulema, his friends and disciples approached Mevlana and expressed their wish to build a maussoleum over his grave. Mevlana refused this request remarking "How could there be a better mausoleum than the sky itself?” However when he died on 17 December 1273, his son Sultan Veled accepted the request of those who wanted to build a maussoleum over Mevlana's grave. The mausoleum called "Kubbe-i Hadra" (Green mausoleum) was built by the architect Bedrettin from Tebriz for 130.000 Seljuk dirhem (currency) on four elephant feet (thick columns).
Mevlevi Derhgahı (Dervish Lodge) and the mausoleum started to function as a museum in 1926 under the name of Konya Museum of Historical Works. In 1954 the display pattern of the museum was once more taken up and it was renamed as the Mevlevi Museum.