Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

Gurudwara Tham Sahib - Kartarpur

Kartarpur town in Jalandhar district,was founded by the fifth Guru Sri Arjun Dev Ji. He visited Kartarpur in 1598, and stuck his walking stick fast in the ground, exclaming, "This shall be the support of our faith". The village which rapidly thrived under his protection and patronage, is now a town of considerable importance. Guru Arjun's stick is still shown to the pilgrims. It is a stout piece of sandalwood, known as Tham. This shrine is called Gurdwara 'Tham Sahib'.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh made a grant of one and a quarter lakh rupees in 1833, towards the building of the fine edifice known as 'Thamji" in which this stick is kept. He also set apart the revenue of Fatehpur village in Amritsar district for the maintenance of the institution. Today it is a popular resort for pilgrims of every sect.

Guru Arjun Dev sunk a well near the shrine and called it Gangsar. -It is said that the Ganga water flows into it by an underground channel. This was established during the life time of the Guru. One of his followers, having visited Hardwar, mentioned on his return that he had 'lost his brass Lota in the Ganga while bathing. "Let not this trouble you!", remarked the Guru, "for you will find it here in the Gangsar. "The half believing disciple, let himself dive into the well by a rope in the presence of a large gathering of followers and emerged full of joy, with the Lota in his hand. Since then pilgrims have been freely coming here to bathe in the holy water of the well.

The Kartarpur town was also sanctified by the visit -of the sixth Sikh Guru Sri Hargobind who fought his fourth battle against the Mughals in May 1634 near this place. Here Pendhe Khan, who had eaten from the hands of the Guru all his life, turned traitor and joined hands with a big Mughal army to attack the Guru. As usual the Guru's army fought with such determination and valour that the opponents could not withstand them. Kale Khan the commander of the army, was caught and his men fled away. Pendhe Khan, the traitor, also paid with his life and died in the battle field. It was the last battle of Guru Hargobind.

Kartarpur is also regarded as a holy place by Sikhs because the ninth Guru Sri Tegh Bahadur was married here. A small monument stands at the place where the marriage ceremony took place. This town is situated on the Jalandhar--Amritsar road now popularly known as Shershah Suri Marg. It is only 20 km south of Jalandhar city. It is well connected by rail and road. The nearest airport is Raja Sansi in Amritsar, situated 50 km away.

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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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Encyclopedias encapsulate accurate information in a given area of knowledge and have indispensable in an age which the volume and rapidity of social change are making inaccessible much that outside one's immediate domain of concentration.At the time when Sikhism is attracting world wide notice, an online reference work embracing all essential facets of this vibrant faithis a singular contribution to the world of knowledge.
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