Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

Gurudwara Guru Gobind Singh Sahib-Nahan

Gurdwara Guru Gobind Singh Sahib Patshahi 10 - Nahan, district town in Sirmaur district (erstwhile Sirmaur State) is approachable by road from Chandigarh, Ambala and Yamuna Nagar. When Raja Medni Prakash became the ruler of Sirmaur in 1684, he found the State threatened by covetous designs of his eastern neighbour, Raja Fateh Chand of Garhwal. Having heard of the rising power and spiritual influence of the young Sikh Guru Gobind Singh, he thought of wining the latter's support and invited him to Nahan. Meanwhile, Guru Gobind Singh was feeling ill at ease at Chakk Nanaki because the local ruler, Raja Bhim Chand of Kahlur, had treacherously tried to grab an elephant presented to the Guru by a devotee and was chagrined by the Guru's refusal to part with the animal. The Guru therefore accepted Medni Prakash's invitation, and arrived at Nahan in April 1685. But his stay at the capital was brief. The Raja offered to him some territory along the river Yamuna, the eastern boundary of the State. Guru Gobind Singh moved there and founded the present township of Paonta Sahib. The site of his stay at Nahan too became sacred, and a shrine, now known as Gurdwara Guru Gobind Singh Sahib Patshahi 10, was established here. Close to the high archway called the Lytton Memorial, is new building, small but impressive, was completed in 1954. Its high-ceilinged domed congregation hall has marble door-frames and a marbled canopied high seat for Guru Granth Sahib. Accommodation for pilgrims is not available in the Gurdwara but can be had elsewhere in the town.

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The etymology of the term 'gurdwara' is from the words 'Gur (ਗੁਰ)' (a reference to the Sikh Gurus) and 'Dwara (ਦੁਆਰਾ)' (gateway in Gurmukhi), together meaning 'the gateway through which the Guru could be reached'. Thereafter, all Sikh places of worship came to be known as gurdwaras.
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