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 Historical Gurdwaras Of Pakistan                 


(Gurdwara Birth Place of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji)

Gurdwara Sri Nankana Sahib Ji

Nankana Sahib is a holy place where the founder of Sikh religion, the dispeller of darkness, the most enlightened global Guru, Guru Nanak Dev ji was born early in the morning to Mata Tripta Ji and Mehta Kalu Ji on 15th April, 1469 (Baisakh sudi 3, Samwat 1526).
Bhai Gurdas in his Var (Var 1/27) has equated this event with the sun that lights up the earth after a dark night :
      Jeeu Kar suraj nikaleya, taare chhipe andher paloa. (Var 1/27)
According to Puratan Janam Sakhi, the trees starting dripping juice, many a pauper became rich, the diseased were blessed with health. The earth heaved a sigh of relief.
       According to Janam Sakhis, when Daulta Dai, the maid nurse was offered money, she refused it on the plea that she had already been rewarded by the very glimpse of the holy baby. Guru Nanak gave his first message that he belong to God and would exert the people to worship His Name. Bhai Nand lal ji has well said that Guru Nanak was asked by the Almighty to turn the face of humanity towards Him.
       The township of Nankana Sahib was earlier known as Raipur and later on as Rai-Bhoi-di-Talwandi but after the birth of Guru Nanak, it began to be known as Nankian Sahib/Nankana Sahib. It is situated at a distance 48 miles on the west from Lahore.
         Guru Nanak dev ji passed his whole childhood and young age in Nankana Sahib. At the age of nine, when Pandit Hardyal asked the boy Nanak to put on Janeo, he refused to have the thread that discriminated amongst mankind. The Janeo which was made of the silk for a brahmin, of cotton for a khatri, of wool for a Vaish and which was strictly abondoned for Shudara. And again which is three folds for brahmin, two folds for Khatri and only one fold for Vaish. He asked the Pandit if he had the thread made of compassion the cotton, contentment the yarn, continence the knot and purity the twist, he was ready to wear it. The Pandit was dumb-founded :

                            Daeya kapah santokh soot jatu gandhi sat watt.
                            Eihu janeo jeea ka hai ta pande ghatt. (p. 471)
     When he joined a school at Nankana Sahib, the Guru is said to have written fundamentals of education on the wooden takhti provided to him. He enlightened the people when he wrote simply the first alphabet of Persian script 'alaf' and conveyed the message of unity of Godhood.
      Guru Nanak Dev got married on 21st , may 1487 to Bibi Sulakhani, Daghter of Mulchand Khatri of Batala. It was at Nankana Sahib that he met Bhai Mardana, who was his life long companion for 47 years, listening and singing Guru's gospel. According to the Sikh history, Guru Nanak at the age of 22 years, in 1491 A.D. went into silence for days together. He did not eat a single morsel and utter a single word.
      His father Kalu ji sent for a local physician / Vaid. The vaid found nothing wrong with the young Nanak and found himself in a quandary as to what to tell his father because Nanak was absolutely healthy. Guru Nanak said ," I have no physical ailment. Thou, the simple physician, knows not the pangs arising from the heart"
      Bhola vaid na jaaneie karak Kaleje maah. (P. 1279)
Guru Nanak Dev Ji stayed at his birthplace uptil 35 years of age and hereafter went to Sultanpur.
      For a long time, this place remained in normal form. In A.D. 1613 (Samwat 1670), Guru Hargobind visited the birth place of Guru Nanak and entrusted the responsibility of looking after this place to Alamst, an ardent disciple of Baba Sri Chand. Since then Udasis, (the followers of Guru Nanak's Son) looked after this place for a long time.
       Maharaja Ranjit Singh got a magnificent building built there and at the behest of Baba Sahib Singh, the Maharaja gave 700 acres land as religious endowment to his holy shrine but the Udasis continued to maintain the place. They had the charge of this place during the times full of stress and strife for the Sikhs But with the passage of time, in early 20th century, these Udasis Mahants began to treat this revenue free jagir as their personal property and indulged in erotic and luxorious life. To get these historical Gurdwaras from the hands of these apostates the Gurdwara Prabandh Sudhar Movement was started. One peaceful Jatha that entered Gurdwara Janam Asthan was mercilessly hacked by the mercenaries of Mahant Narain Dass. Even the holy Sri Guru Granth Sahib was made target of thier bullets. Many a people belonging to this jatha were tied to a Jand and burnt alive. The Martyred half-burnt bodies were thrown into the well.
        This incident gave such an impetus to the Gurdwara Reform Movement that the Mahants had to handover the shrines to the Sikh Sangats. The magnificent building of this gurdwara alongwith the beautiful gardens, enthrals the onlookers and devotees. There is a big sarovar and a spacious inn which provides accomodation to the pilgrims. The historical Jand and the well are still existing, telling the tale of atrocities perpetuated by Mahant Narain Dass on simple-hearted and peace-loving Sikhs. According to Bhai Kahn Singh Nabha, the auther of Gurshabd Ratnakar Mahan Kosh, this shrine had 18 thousand acres of land attached to it and a cash endowment of Rs. nine thousand eight hundred and ninety two also.
      By the partition of the Indian sub-continent, the Sikhs not only lost many lives, wealth etc. but also thier most loved and revered shrines which went to the other side of the border. After this partition, a mention of Nankana Sahib Gurdwara in the daily ardasa or prayer has become a reguler feature. These Sikh shrines in Pakistan are managed by a Waqf Board and every year, Sikh Jathas visit these shrines on four different occasions.
        At present there are 25-30 Sikh families residing in Nankana Sahib and as a result of this, daily service is performed and bani is recited. Bhai Partap Singh is functioning as the Granthi. At the occassion of Guru Nanak's anniversary, about three thousand Sikh devotees from India visit Nankana Sahib. Sikhs from all over the world come there too.



Gurdwara Bal Lilah is situated 400 yards away from the holy shrine of Janam Asthan. The holy pond Nanaksar with this Gurdwara was got built by Rai Bular, the ruler of Talwandi. As is apparent from the name, this site is related with the wonderful adventure of the early childhood of the Guru. The Guru in his infancy, used to transport the enlightment of the Nama in the minds of his mates, while playing with them. The Gurdwara had formerly 120 acres of land and a little cash endowment also. Before the Saka of 1921, the arrangement of this Gurdwara was in the hands of the Nirmala Singhs. Besides Tirath Singh, the Mahant there were also 37 other patidaars. The Gurdwara came under the panthic management at the time of the Gurdwara Sudhar Movement. This Gurdwara remained in the panthic hands up to 1947, but after the partition, the Pakistan Waqf Board has been serving the Gurdwara. The sarovar adjacent to the Gurdwara is lying dried up and the Gurdwara is opened only at the time of visiting to it by the Sikhs. There is no arrangement of Parkasha of Guru Granth Sahib. It is only the building which is safe and sound.




      This Gurdwara is close to the gurdwara Bal Lilah. At this site, Guru Nanak Dev Ji used to learn Devnagri. Later on, he was sent to Pandit Brij Lal for learning Sanskrit. At the age of 13, the Guru was sent to Maulvi Kutab-Ud-Din of Talwandi to learn Persian. But the wisdom and the spiritual enlightment of the Guru Nanak Dev urged all three of them to make obeiance before the Guru's clear expressions of truth and wisdom. Guru Nanak while criticising the prevalent education system, enlightened them with the actual pupose of learning. He gave new meaning to each and every word. The Maulvis and the Pandits were quite ignorent about the mode of education. Guru Nanak was endowded with the wisdom from the very childhood. His composition in Sri Guru Granth Sahib known as Patti was written especially to remove the suspicious and doubts in the minds of the Pandits. The very first stanza of Patti hymn says: He who created all existence is the sole lord of all. Those who serve Him are his devotees; Fruitful is their coming into the world:
                         Sasei soi srisht jin saaji Sabhana sahib ek bhaeya ...
               Sevat rahe chit jin ka laagaa, Aaaya tin ka safal bhaeya. (p. 432)
      The place where education was imparted to Guru Nanak is known as Gurdwara Patti sahib. This place is also called Gurdwara Maulvi Patti Sahib as the Guru learnt persian from one Maulvi Kutub-Ud-Din at this place. The Sikh residents of Nankana Sahib have been organising a regular citation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib at this place for the last few years. The building of this Gurdwara is vast and maintained well.


      This holy place is associated with the childhood activities of Guru Nanak Dev ji. One day while grazing the cattle, the Guru was taking rest under a shady tree. He went into trance. When the shadows were falling down, his divinely face happened to be covered with the sunshine. A big cobra spread its hood on the very face of the Guru for relieving him from the scorching heat. Rai Bular, the hakam of Talwandi saw this from a far off place. He got the impression that the child Guru Nanak was bitten by the snake. On approaching the the place, where the Guru Nanak was lying, the snake snailed to its pit. The Guru was awakened by the Rai Bular and he found him quite safe and sound. The Rai Bular, thus came to realise the divine personality of the Guru and became his disciple from that very day. He made it clear to Mehta Kalu that he should not take the former as merely his son but a revered holy prophet. A grant building stands erected to day at this historical site.
     This place is presently situated amidst the thick population of Nankana Sahib. After partition, unfortunately, Sri Guru Granth Sahib has not been ceremoniously opened anyhow a portrait of the Guru is placed at the sanctorum, where the pilgrims pay a visit. A vana tree immortalises the historical place.



      This Gurdwara is situated at a distance of one and a half kilometres from Gurdwara Janam Asthan. According to Janam Sakhi, when Guru Nanak was yet a young man, he was to graze cattle. While resting underneath a shady tree, Guru was immersed in thoughts and the cattle went astray in the feilds of a farmer. On having seen this, the peasant got red with rage. The clamouring made by the peasent disturbed the Guru from his trnace. On beholding the Guru, he got embarrassed and made a complaint to Rai Bular. The Guru drove the cattle towards his house. On his return, the Guru just had a kind look at the fields which turned green. By watching this miracle, the Hindus and the Muslims revered the Guru. This Gurdwara is situated in that historical field. The building is large.
        A boundry wall and a sarovar has been got built around the whole field. Before obtaining the management of this Gurdwara by the panth in February 1921, a trio consisting of Mahant Fauja Singh, Mahant Ujjagar Singh and Mahantani Inder Kaur, was managing the affairs of this Gurdwara. After the partition of 1947, This Gurdwara came under the Pakistan Waqf Board and is continueing as such. The holy tank stands dry and Sri Guru Granth Sahib is not opened ceremoniously.


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