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Historical Gurdwaras in India

State of BIHAR



Patna Sahib


Patna, capital of Bihar State is reverently called Patna Sahib by the Sikhs because of its consecration by Guru Nanak Dev, Guru Tegh Bahadur and Guru Gobind Singh. The latter was born here during the holy family's sojourn at Patna during Guru Tegh Bahadur's tour of eastern Bihar, Bengal and Assam from 1666 to 1670. Patna Sahib is situated on the right bank of the River Ganges. The nearest railway station to the old city, where most of the Sikh shrines are located, is Patna Sahib, east of the main junction.


1) Gurdwara Pahila Bara
- commonly known as Gurdwara Gae Ghat, is dedicated to Guru Nanak Dev, who during his visit to Patna stayed here with Bhai Jaita, a pious man, confectioner by trade, who became the Guru's follower and later converted his house into a dharmsal. The congregation that gathered here came to be called Bari Sangat or Gae Ghat Sangat. Later Salas Rai, a wealthy jeweler, became a convert and took the Guru to his own place where, too, a small community of Sikh believers was formed into what was known as Chhoti Sangat. A new building comprising a spacious square hall with the sanctum in the middle was constructed during the 1980s. Two relics are preserved here - a rebeck claimed to be once Bhai Mardana' and a stone called Mata Gujari's grindstone.

2) Takht Sri Harimandir Sahib - the principal shrine at Patna Sahib and one of the five Takhts or the highest seats of religious authority for the Sikhs, marks the site of the Chhoti Sangat. Guru Tegh Bahadur had first alighted at Bari Sangat at Gae Ghat from where he was brought in a procession to this place which had once been the commodious mansion of Salas Rai, the jeweler, and where Raja Fateh Chand Maini now built a new house to accommodate the holy family. Guru Tegh Bahadur himself leaving his family here in the care of his brother-in-law Kirpal Chand and the local sangat proceeded on further to the east. Guru Gobind Singh was born here. He spent his early childhood here until his departure for Punjab in 1670. The house continued to be maintained as a holy place of worship. Its building was replaced by Maharaja Ranjit Singh during 1837-39 with a square flat-roofed hall surrounded by a covered passage for circumambulation. Rulers of Patiala, Jind and Faridkot jointly added several rooms and a gateway to the compound in 1887. An earthquake in 1934 seriously damaged the older building of the Takht Sahib. The present five-storey building was constructed during 1954-57 through kar-seva under the supervision of Sant Nischal Singh and Sant Kartar Singh. The sanctorum representing the room where Guru Gobind Singh was born has a circumambulatory passage around it. Adjacent to it is the spacious high-ceilinged congregation hall. The arch of the door of the inner sanctum opening on the congregation hall is covered with gilded copper plates embossed with floral design matching the marble sculpture on the interior walls. Of the three canopied seats facing the hall, the central one has Guru Granth Sahib seated on it. Guru Granth Sahib is placed on the seat on its right and the Dasam Granth on the one on the left, both attended by granthis holding whisks over them. The compound of the Takht Sahib also has several blocks of rooms for staff and visitors as well as for Guru ka Langar. The relics preserved here include a pair of wooden sandals, an old gown, several weapons and hukamnamas.

3) Gurdwara Bal Lila Maini
- in a narrow lane close to Takht Sahib marks the house where Raja Fateh Chand Maini lived. His childless Rani had developed special fondness for the young Gobind Das, who, too, often came here to sit in the Rani's lap giving her immense delight and spiritual solace. She fed the Sahibzada and his playmates, at this demand, with boiled and salted gram. Even now boiled and salted gram is served as prasad (consecrated food) in this Gurdwara, which, unlike the other shrines in Patna Sahib, is served by Nirmala Sikhs. A wood carving on the old front door is dated Assu sudi 1, 1725 Bikrami corresponding to 28th August 1668, but the hall housing the sanctum and other blocks of rooms in the inner compound have been reconstructed during recent decades.

4) Gurdwara Sri Guru Gobind SinghGhat- is where the child Gobind used to play with his playmates on the bank of the Ganges. Ghat means a place on the bank, usually paved, for bathing, drawing water or for landing or harboring boats. This ghat about one furlong from Takht Sahib is marked by a gateway over which this Gurdwara is situated in a single room. The river has, however, receded since away to the north.

5) Gurdwara Guru Ka Bagh - about three kilometers east of Takht Harminder Sahib is where Guru Tegh Bahadur first alighted in a garden (bagh) belonging to Nawabs Rahim Bakhsh and Karim Bakhsh, nobles of Patna, and where the sangat of Patna along with the young Sahibzada came out to receive him back from his four year long odyssey. A shrine commemorative of the first meeting of Holy Father and son was established here soon after. Its present building was constructed during the 1970s and 1980s. An old well still in use and a dried stump of the imli tree under which the sangat met Guru Tegh Bahadur still exist.


Danapur


1) Gurdwara Handi Sahib - Danapur is a cantonment station, 20 kilometres west of old Patna City. Guru Tegh Bahadur had returned to Punjab in April 1670 leaving his family behind at Patna. It was only after he had been at Kiratpur and Chakk Nanaki for a few months that he sent for the rest of the family to return. The family after leaving Patna Sahib made their first halt here. An old lady named Mai Pardhani served a kettleful (handi) of khichari (rice and lentils) to them after which the shrine subsequently built here was named as Handiwali Sangat, which is now called Gurdwara handi Sahib. It is housed in a small hall with verandah on three sides and a small brick-paved walled compound in front on the bank of a seasonal stream, Son Nadi.



Sasaram


1) Gurdwar Bari or Taksali Sangat - From Benaras, Guru Tegh Bahadur did not proceed direct to Patna Sahib but made a detour to Sasaram and Gaya. At Sasaram, in Shahabad district of Bihar, about 80 kilometres southeast of Benaras along the main Mughal Serai-Howarh railway line. There already existed a Sikh Sangat under the local masand Phaggu Mal affectionately called Chacha (uncle) Phaggu by one and all. Chacha Phaggu had constructed a high doorway to his house so that, he told, everyone, "When the Guru comes, he would enter the house without having to dismount at the entrance." He had long longed and hoped that the Guru would come to him. Guru Tegh Bahadur fulfilled his desire when he came and stayed at Sasaram for about a month. There are now three Gurdwaras here. first one is Gurdwar Bari or Taksali Sangat.

2) Gurdwara Chacha Phaggu Mal - The Gurdwara Chacha Phaggu Mal marking the site of the old masand's house where the Guru stayed. This is the principal Gurdwara of the town housed in a spacious high-ceilinged hall with a gallery at mid-height. Three copies of Guru Granth Sahib are seated side by side under a domed rectangular pavilion of white marble.

3) Gurdwara Guru Bagh - The Gurdwara Guru Bagh is attached to a Nirmala Sikh seminary.



Gaya


1) Gurdwara Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji - Gaya is an ancient Hindu pilgrimage center on the bank of Phalgu River, a tributary of the Ganges, where the pilgrims go to have worship and ceremony conducted by local priests for the benefit of their ancestors. Guru Nanak Dev and Guru Tegh Bahadur visited it and tried to explain to the people that it was one's own good actions during the life-span on this earth and not the rituals of one's descendants that would benefit a departed soul. Gurdwara Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji near Vishnupad is controlled by Udasi priests. As in Gurdwara Chacha Phaggu Mal at Sasaram, here too three copies of Guru Granth sahib in Gurmukhi and Devnagri script are seated side by side in a rectangular pavilion on a raised platform.



Monghyr


1) Gurdwara Pakki Sangat - 1) Monghyr, a district town, 170 kilometres east of Patna Sahib by rail, is another place where Guru Tegh Bahadr is known to have stayed during his eastward journey. It was during his stay here that he got the news of the birth of Guru Gobind Singh. The commemorative shrine Gurdwara Pakki (lit. firm or permanent) Sangat is in Belan Bazar area near the ld fort. Its old building also damaged badly by the 1934 earthquake was, however, rebuilt within a year. It is a rectangular room with a verandah in front and is served by Brahaman priests. Two relics, a cot and a pillow said to have been used by the Guru during his stay here, are kept in the same room where Guru Granth Sahib is seated.


Bhagalpur


1) Gurdwara Bari Sangat Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji Chauki
- Bhagalpur, another district town on the right bank of the Ganges, 63 kilometres east of Monghyr by rail, had two Sikh Sangats when Guru Tegh Bahadur visited it in 1667. Guru Tegh Bahadur is said to have stayed at Bari Sangat on Burhanath Ghat of which what is left is a stone slab, still considered holy. Over it Sardar Inder Singh Atwal got a room built in 1974. On every amavas, Guru Granth Sahib is brought from Grudwara Singh Sabha in the interior of the town and a congregation is held here with the holy book placed on the old slab called Chauki sahib. The place itself is named Gurdwara Bari Sangat Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji Chauki Sahib. An old hand-written copy of Guru of Guru Granth Sahib acquired from the former Udasi priest of the shrine is preserved in Gurdwara Singh Sabha. The other place, Chhoti Sangat, also on the Ghat a little distance away from Bari Sangat has since been converted into a Hindu temple.



Lakshmipur


1) Gurdwara Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur - Bhagalpur, another district town on the right bank of the Ganges, 63 kilometres east of Monghyr by rail, had two Sikh Sangats when Guru Tegh Bahadur visited it in 1667. Guru Tegh Bahadur is said to have stayed at Bari Sangat on Burhanath Ghat of which what is left is a stone slab, still considered holy. Over it Sardar Inder Singh Atwal got a room built in 1974. On every amavas, Guru Granth Sahib is brought from Grudwara Singh Sabha in the interior of the town and a congregation is held here with the holy book placed on the old slab called Chauki sahib. The place itself is named Gurdwara Bari Sangat Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji Chauki Sahib. An old hand-written copy of Guru of Guru Granth Sahib acquired from the former Udasi priest of the shrine is preserved in Gurdwara Singh Sabha. The other place, Chhoti Sangat, also on the Ghat a little distance away from Bari Sangat has since been converted into a Hindu temple.






 
Other Historical Gurdwaras in India
Assam Madhya Pradesh
Delhi Maharashtra
Haryana Orissa
Himachal Pradesh Punjab
Jammu and Kashmir Rajasthan
Karnataka Uttar Pradesh
....
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