Nov 022009
 

Gurudwara Rakab Ganj Sahib in Delhi

Gurudwara Rakab Ganj SahibRakab Ganj Sahib is an important historic Gurdwara in Delhi, India. It’s located at the exact spot where Dhan Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur’s headless body was cremated after the Mughal executioner Jalaudin of Samana beheaded the ninth Guru of the Sikhs. Two brave Sikhs of the Guru, Bhai Lakhi Shah Banjara and his son, Bhai Naghaiya rescued the headless body of the revered ninth Sikh Guru from Chandni Chowk, Delhi after the execution of the Guru. Guru ji’s body was rescued by these two with a convoy of several ox-driven carts carrying bales of cotton and foodstuffs. Due to the strong dust storm, these brave Sikhs managed to lift the body of the Guru without the Guards discovering what was going on.

These two Sikhs were able to lift the body with great speed under the cover of the storm and then conceal the body in the cart under bales of cotton. They then quickly moved towards Raisina village, the place where they lived. To avoid any suspicion by the authorities Bhai Lakhi Shah Banjara placed the body on a bed and set fire to his whole house. This place came to be known as Rakab Ganj. This tragedy took place on November 11, 1675 under orders of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. Another devoted Sikh, Bhai Jaita took the Guru ji’s head to Anandpur Sahib, 500Km (300 miles) away from Sis Ganj, Chandni Chowk.

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Gurudwara Bala Sahib

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Nov 022009
 

Gurudwara Bala Sahib in Delhi

Gurudwara Bala SahibGurdwara Bala Sahib is one of the most important Sikh shrines in Delhi, next in importance to Gurdwara Sis Ganj and Gurdwara Bangla Sahib. Large number of Sikhs and Hindus visit this holy place daily. This Gurdwara is associated with the eighth Guru Sri Harkrishan Saheb ji and two wives of Guru Gobind Singh namely Mata Sundri ji and Mata Sahib Kaur ji. During his stay in Delhi, Guru Harkrishan Saheb won hearts of a large number of admirers by applying healing touch on ailing bodies. He cured hundreds of people, suffering from acute attack of cholera and smallpox. For Sikhs of Delhi, his very presence amidst them, had a very healthy impact. For them the Guru was the boat of salvation, a ladder to reach one’s ultimate home, a key to open the lock,a unifier of man with God and so on. In fact for Sikhs a Guru is indispensable, yet he is not an end in himself, but only a means for the attainment of salvation. So they were all happy to be in close association of their spiritual preceptor. But their joy was short-lived as he soon, left for his heavenly abode. During his stay in Delhi as guest of Raja Jai Singh,Guru Harkrishan Saheb performed the humane miracle of healing and giving solace to the poor and the sick. In fact the noble deeds of serving the suffering humanity won him more adherents than any other religious leader living in Delhi at that time. Even Muslims respected him greatly for the radiant peace and the hope his serene personality reflected. As if he had taken the burden and sufferings of others on his own shoulders, he himself got a severe attack of smallpox and died on March 30, 1684.

Earlier, he had shifted from the bungalow of Raja Jai Singh to the bank of river Yamuna. He was cremated at the same spot where Gurdwara Bala Sahib has been raised. This shrine is situated on the ring road on the other side of Maharani Bagh Colony. The Gurdwara is no longer on the bank of the river as Yamuna has since changed its course. Gurdwara Bala Sahib is also sacred because Mata Sundri and Mata Sahib Kaur were also cremated there. The samadhi of Mata Sahib Kaur, a small marble room, is in the main hall of the Gurdwara, whereas that of Mata Sundri is outside the new Gurdwara building.

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Nov 022009
 

Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib in Delhi

Gurdwara Sis Ganj SahibGurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib was built to commemorate the martyrdom of Guru Teg Bahadur. It is situated in Chandni Chowk, on the same site where Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb ordered the beheading of Sikh Guru Tegh Bahadur in the year 1675. It is said that when Guru Tegh Bahadur died, no one had the courage to pick up his body. Suddenly, it started raining heavily. Then, two of the brave followers of Guruji took his head and body and fled. The head was taken to Chakk Nanaki in Anandpur Sahib, while the body was taken to the place where Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib now stands.

After almost a century, Baba Baghel Singh, a devotee of Guru Teg Bahadur, discovered the site where Guruji was beheaded. He was the one who built the Sisganj Gurdwara, in New Delhi, there. Even today, the trunk of the banyan tree under which the Guru was martyred can be seen at the Gurudwara. The well where Guruji took his daily bath, while being imprisoned, also stands at the Delhi Sis Ganj Gurdwara. Then, there is the enclosed structure where Guruji was held captive as a prisoner before his beheading. Guru Gobind Singh Sahib also visited this holy place in the year 1702.

Dedicated to      Guru Teg Bahadur

Location     Chandni Chowk, New Delhi

Constructed By     Baba Baghel Singh

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Nov 022009
 

Gurdwara Shahidi Asthaan Baba Banda Singh Bahadur in Delhi

Gurdwara Shahidi Asthaan Baba BandaGurdwara Shahidi Asthaan Baba Banda Singh Bahadur  is situated near Post Office in Meharauli Area of Delhi near the Qutab Minar. It is a place where Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Ji, his four year old son Ajai Singh along with forty Sikhs were tortured to death by the Mughals.

Mughal Ruler Farrukh Siyar, gave him unusual choice of death or to converts his religion to Islam, but Baba Banda Singh Bahadur chooses death. Farrukh Siyar then ordered Banda Singh to kill his own son Ajai Singh, but Baba Banda Singh Bahadur refuses to do so. Thereafter they butchered the innocent child. His heart was cut out and forced into Banda’s mouth. Banda’s Body was then hung on a Gate where he was skinned alive. Then his body was pierced with red hot rods; finally he dismembered limb by limb. His courage is unique. This Gurudwara marks the site of the martyrdom of Banda Singh Bahadur.

Bahadur was earlier known as Madho Das, had been a yogi, who uses his magical powers to impress people. But when he met Guru Gobind Singh Ji, his life changed, he became great disciple of Guru Ji. Guru Sahib asked him his name, Madhu replied, “I am Banda your slave”. The Guru added the name Bahadur to the name Singh that all members of the Khalsa don after taking Amrit. Thus it was Banda Singh Bahadur who was sent to Punjab to fight to free the people of Punjab, no matter their faith, from foreign rule. Banda Bahadur and his army of Sikhs soon freed many areas of Punjab. Finally, after an exhaustive siege the almost starved Banda Bahadur was defeated and captured in 1715. He and his fellow nearly dead Sikhs were brought to Delhi and, on the orders of Ruler Farrukh Siyar, brutally tortured and killed.

Gurdwara Shahidi Asthaan Baba Banda Singh Bahadur is situated near Post Office in Meharauli Area of Delhi near the Qutab Minar. It is a place where Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Ji, his four year old son Ajai Singh along with forty Sikhs were tortured to death by the Mughals.

Mughal Ruler Farrukh Siyar, gave him unusual choice of death or to converts his religion to Islam, but Baba Banda Singh Bahadur chooses death. Farrukh Siyar then ordered Banda Singh to kill his own son Ajai Singh, but Baba Banda Singh Bahadur refuses to do so. Thereafter they butchered the innocent child. His heart was cut out and forced into Banda’s mouth. Banda’s Body was then hung on a Gate where he was skinned alive. Then his body was pierced with red hot rods; finally he dismembered limb by limb. His courage is unique. This Gurudwara marks the site of the martyrdom of Banda Singh Bahadur.

Bahadur was earlier known as Madho Das, had been a yogi, who uses his magical powers to impress people. But when he met Guru Gobind Singh Ji, his life changed, he became great disciple of Guru Ji. Guru Sahib asked him his name, Madhu replied, “I am Banda your slave”. The Guru added the name Bahadur to the name Singh that all members of the Khalsa don after taking Amrit. Thus it was Banda Singh Bahadur who was sent to Punjab to fight to free the people of Punjab, no matter their faith, from foreign rule. Banda Bahadur and his army of Sikhs soon freed many areas of Punjab. Finally, after an exhaustive siege the almost starved Banda Bahadur was defeated and captured in 1715. He and his fellow nearly dead Sikhs were brought to Delhi and, on the orders of Ruler Farrukh Siyar, brutally tortured and killed.

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Nov 022009
 

Gurdwara Nanak Piao in Delhi

gurdwara-nanak-piaoGurdwara Nanak Piao is situated on Rana Pratap Road in the Shakti Nagar area of New Delhi. The gurdwara was built to commemorate Sri Nanak Dev, the first Sikh Guru. The site where the Delhi Gurdwara Nanak Piao stands was once a garden where the Guru camped during his visit to Delhi in 1505. The people, who came to visit the Guru during his visit, used to present him and his bard Mardana with numerous gifts, which he distributed among the deprived and poor. Infact, the Gurudwara Nanakpiao, in New Delhi, got its name from the habit of Guruji to offer food and water to the hungry and thirsty people. The well from which Guru Nanak served water to the people is still inside the compound of the Gurudwara.

There is an interesting legend associated with the Gurudwara Nanak Piao. It is said that when Guru Nanak came to Delhi, Sultan Sikander Shah Lodi came to know of his visit. He had heard that Guru had performed the miracle of reviving a dead elephant. So, he asked Guru Nanak Dev to revive the one of his dead royal elephants. However, Guru Nanak refused and as a punishment, the ruler ordered his imprisonment. During the time of his incarceration, Delhi suffered a massive earthquake on July 3, 1505. It was assumed that the ill treatment and captivity of the Guru had caused the calamity. Finally, Sikander Shah Lodi conceded and ordered the release of the Guru Nanak.

Location:  Shakti Nagar, New Delhi

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Nov 022009
 

Gurdwara Motibagh Sahib in Delhi

Gurdwara Motibagh SahibGurdwara Motibagh Sahib is situauted on Ring Road in Delhi city near Dhaula Kuaan. Guru Gobind Singh JI camped here with his army at this place. Earlier it was known as Mochi Bagh and later the name was known as Moti Bagh. It is told that the Guru announced his arrival in delhi by shooting an arrow into the right foot of the Emperor Bahadur Shah’s chair from a distance of eight miles, Bahadur Shah was sitting in Red fort at the time. Seeing an arrow, Bahadur Shah took this as a miracle. Soon another arrow was shoot in the left foot with a note that this was not a miracle but skill in archery. The Emperor was said to be so impressed with the skill that he immediately aknowledged Guru Sahib’s supermacy.

This Gurdwara is situated in Delhi, India on the Ring road between Dhaula Kuan and RK Puram. Guru Gobind Singh ji had halted here and had fired a arrow which hit the wooden leg of the cot on which the Mughal Emperor was resting. He fired another arrow which hit the second leg of the cot to tell that it was by design that he had hit the leg of the cot and not by mistake.

Gurdwara Moti Bagh is associated with the tenth Guru Sri Gobind Singh. He camped here during his first visit to Delhi. He had come to Delhi in response to the request made by Prince Muazzam who sought his help in the battle of succession for the throne of Delhi. This happened in 1707, when the struggle for succession started due to sudden death of Emperor Aurangzeb in Decean. Bhai Nand Lal great scholar and poet of Persian, a devotee of Guruji, requested him to help Prince Muazzam, the eldest son of Aurangzeb.

Guru Gobind Singh already had a good impression about the prince who earned the displeasure of his father by refusing to attack the former at Anandpur Sahib. The prince had been deputed by the Mughal Emperor to surpress the activities of the Guru in Punjab. He had received alarming reports in Deccan from Chiefs of Shivalik Hills against the Guru. But the prince after making impartial inquiry into the false reports sent by the hill chiefs wrote to the Emperor that Guru Gobind Singh was a darvesh (Holyman) and the real trouble makers were the Hill Rajas. Opposition to father’s will had cost the prince imprisonment.

Aurangzeb did not believe in what his son wrote and sent four of his best generals as messengers to find out the truth. These generals also reported that the Guru had done nothing against anyone and he led a saintly life in his city state. They infact also punished some trouble-makers who had been creating problems for the Guru.

In 1704, Anandpur Sahib was again beseiged by the combined troops of hill chiefs and the Mughal contingent when Aurangzeb envisaged to dislodge the Guru from his stronghold on the persuasion of hill rulers and the Mughal Governors. After putting up a tough fight the Guru chose to vacate Anandpur Sahib.

In subsequent battles the Guru suffered heavy losses. But he still had no ill-will against the eldest son of the Mughal Emperor and agreed to help him in the battle of succession. He was such a fine archer that when he shot two arrows from a colony of cobblers in Moti Bagh they hit the ‘Divan’ of the Prince Muazzam (King Bahadurshah). The Guru shot first arrow to announce his arrival in Delhi and the second arrow carried a chit saying, “It is not magic but skill of archery”.

The deohri from where Guru Gobind Singh shot the arrows has been preserved and Guru Granth Sahib has been installed there as a mark of respect to the superb archery of the Guru. Even now from the top of the deohri (gate) one can see the skyline of Delhi and the Red Fort.

The Sikhs of Delhi have constructed a new Gurdwara building. But old building from where the tenth Guru shot two arrows to Red Fort is still intact. The Gurdwara Moti Bagh is situated on the Ring Road between Dhaula Kuan and Shanti Path.

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Nov 022009
 

Gurdwara Mata Sundri in Delhi

Gurdwara Mata SundriGurdwara Mata Sundri Ji ate Mat Sahib Devan Ji, to the southeast of the Takht Sri Damdama Sahib, marks the place where the holy ladies lived during their stay at Talwandi Sabo in 1706. The Gurdwara comprises a square domed room with the Guru Granth Sahib seated on a platform in the middle of it. Gurdwara is a square hall, including a domed sanctum within it, at the southeastern corner of the sarovar, holy tank. According to Bhai Kuir Singh, Gurbilas Patsahi X, there used to be a pool of water here at the time of Guru Gobind Singh, who sitting here sometimes would have reed-pens f or the writers made and then throw them into the pool. Once, Bhai Dalla, the local chief converted a disciple, entreated him to explain why he ordered thousands of pens to be cut and thrown away. To quote the Sakhi Pothi, the Guru said: “Thousands of Sikhs will hereafter study the holy texts in this place and then pens will come into use. This is our Kashi (seat of learning); those who study here will cast off their ignorance and rise to be authors, poets and commentators.”

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Nov 022009
 

Gurdwara Majnu Ka Tila in Delhi

gurudwara-majnu-ka-tilaDedicated to      Guru Nanak
Location     Opposite Timarpur Colony, Delhi

Gurdwara Majnu Ka TilaGurdwara Majnu Ka Tila is situated opposite Timarpur Colony beyond Khyber Pass in Delhi. The Gurdwara is dedicated to Guru Nanak who sanctified this place in the 15th century. Delhi Gurdwara Majnu Ka Tilla has quite an interesting story behind its foundation. It is believed that a fakir (Muslim hermit) used to live on the banks of river Yamuna during the rule of Sultan Sikander Lodi. Carrying people across the river in his boat for free, prayer and meditation were the sole aims in his life. He craved for a Darshan of God so much that the local people started calling him “Majnu”, after the Persian lover. One fine day, he had the chance of meeting Guru Nanak, who blessed him and helped him achieve enlightenment.

Thereafter, he became a staunch devotee of Guru Nanak. It was his hermitage on the banks of the river Yamuna that later came to be known as Majnu-Ka-Tila. The site of Majnu Ka Teela Gurudwara, in New Delhi, has seen many spiritual discourses between yogis, sufis, fakirs and Guru Nanak. Guru Har Gobind, the Sixth Guru also stayed at the Majnu Ka Tila, when Emperor Jehangir invited him. Slowly and gradually, this place acquired significance and a gurdwara was constructed here. The Gurdwara also houses a well inside its compound. Every year, the birth anniversary of Khalsa is celebrated at the Gurdwara on Baisakhi with much fanfare and a “langar” is arranged for all.

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Nov 022009
 

Gurdwara Damdama Sahib in Delhi

damdama-sahibDamdama means the breathing or resting place. Damdama Sahib is one of the Five Takhts of the Sikhs. (The other four Takhts are  Akal Takht, Amritsar, Takht Keshgarh Sahib, Anandpur, Takht Hazur Sahib, Nanded (Maharashtra) and Takht Harmandir Sahib Patna (Bihar). It is located at village Talwandi Sabo, 28 km southeast of Bathinda. It is also known as Talwandi Sabo and Guru Ki Kashi. Guru Gobind Singh stayed here after fighting battles against Mughal atrocities. Before his arrival at Talwandi, two of the Guru’s sons were bricked alive at Sarhind and two laid down their lives at Chamkaur Sahib. After writing Zafarnama, Guru Gobind Singh fought a successful battle at Muktsar and then moved towards Talwandi Sabo Ki.

While at Talwandi, Sikhs started coming to the Guru from all over Punjab and other places. Here Takht Shri Damdama Sahib, Talwandi Sabo, Gurudwara Damdama Sahib, Damdama Tour a  Gurudwara was erected in Guru’s memory. This place is also known as Guru -Ki -Kanshi as it was made a center of the Sikh learning.

Damdame Wali Bir of Sri Guru Granth Sahib was prepared here by Guru Gobind Singh. It was transcribed by Bhai Mani Singh. The hymns of Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib were added into the Bir.

It was at Dam Dama Sahib that Bhai Dalla was tested for his bravery by Guru Gobind Singh and brought into the order of Khalsa. It was from Damdama Sahib that the Guru moved towards south. In the meantime, Aurangzeb died and the Guru helped Bahadur Shah, Aurangzeb’s eldest son to sit on the throne.

The Guru was honored by Bahadur Shah at Agra. The new Emperor also left for south but parted from the Guru at Nanded. It is said that Bahadur Shah did not fulfill his promise to punish the officials who had committed atrocities upon the Sikhs and killed Guru’s young children. The Guru commissioned Banda Bahadur to Go to Punjab and punish the guilty and bring peace to the state.

Guru Gobind Singh arrived here on 20-21 January, 1706 and camped outside the village. The magnificent Gurudwara Sri Damdama Sahib marks the place of his stav. Here local Chaudhari Bhai Dalla looked after Guruji with great devotion. He refused to arrest the Guru as directed by Wazir Khan, Nawab of Sirhind.

Mata Sundri and Mata Sahib Kaur escorted by Bhai Mani Singh came here from Delhi to meet Guruji. Guruji spent nine months of intense literary activities.

Here Bhai Mani Singh prepared the holy volume under the guidance of Guruji. Talwandi thus became a seat of learning and assumed the status of Guru Ki Kashi. It was here that Chaudhari Tiloka and Rama, ancestors of the Pulkian (Patiala, Nabha and Jind) rulers received Amni from the blessed hands of the Guru. Sacred articles of the tenth Guru, namely Sri Sahib (Sword), a mirror, a match lock, a portrait of the tenth Guru, a pothi. (book) transcribed by Baba Deep Singh, Sword of Baba Deep Singh and a Persian sword are displayed in the Gurudwara Damdama Sahib. The other sacred place at Talwandi Sabo are, Jand Sahib, Tibbi Sahib, Likhansar and Gurusar.

Besides, there are two Gurudwaras in memory of the ninth Guru Sri Tegh Bahadur, known as Wada Darbar Sahib and Gurusar.

Guru Gobind Singh had come to Talwandi Sabo at the request of Bhai Dala, a devoted follower. He was the Chief of Brar jats of Ma!wa area. He liked the place immensely and stayed here for over nine months. During his stay, the place was transformed into abode of the Khalsa and became a second Anandpur.

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Nov 022009
 

Gurdwara Bangla Sahib in Delhi

gurudwaraGurdwara Bangla Sahib is an important historical and religious place in India. Dedicated to the eighth Sikh Guru, Sri Harkishen Sahib, it is situated near Connaught Place Market in New Delhi. Its main hall is kept simple, except for the open central shrine, covered by a small golden dome sporting a sculpted bronze cupola. Devotional music is relayed throughout the complex continuously. There is a higher secondary school, Baba Baghel Singh Museum, a library and a hospital in the Gurdwara complex. Holy water of Bangla Sahib Gurudwara, known as ‘Amrit, is said to have miraculous powers of curing the sick.

Before entering the shrine, the devotees take a holy dip in the holy pond, known as ‘sarovar’. The birth of Guru Sri Harkrishan Sahib and death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjit Singhji is celebrated here every year. ‘Langar’ or Community Kitchen Hall is organized on the east side of the complex. Here, free food is served to all the devotees, without any distinction of caste, creed or status. One can visit the main complex bare-footed only, covering one’s head and wearing conservative clothes, covering legs and shoulders.

According to the legend related to this Gurdwara, the seat of Guru Sahib was disputed and Ram Rai, brother of Harkishen, sought the help of Aurungzeb. Aurungzeb called Guru Harkishen to Delhi, where he was entertained royally by Mirza Raja Jai Singh in his own palace, along with Diwan Dargah Mull, Bhai Gurditta Ji, Bhai Mati Das Ji and the mother of the Guruji. Later, this fabulous mansion was converted into a Gurdwara in the memory of the Guru Sahib and was called as Gurdwara Bangla Sahib. This shrine has also had the honor of hosting sixth Guru Sri Hargobind Sahib, on his arrival in Delhi.

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