Friday, September 30, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

Gurudwara Sadhu Bela, Sukkur

This sacred shrine is on an islet in the River Indus flowing between Rohri and Sukkur. After crossing Rohri bridge a road runs along the river towards Sukkur. Walking along this road a very big and spacious building is seen in a grove of trees on the left hand side. This is the shrine of Sadhu Bela. This shrine can only be reached by a boat which lands right at the main gate of the shrine. There is a beautiful building in white marble on the left of the foyer. It was the sacred place where Sat Guru Nanak Dev Ji had stayed and showed the sadhus the correct path to lead life.
It is a big islet.There is a captivating building of white marble on this islet which is known as Dharam Mandir. There are other temples and Samadhs of Udasi Sadhus. There is a library about half a kilometer from the Gurdwara. In this temple Prakash takes place alongside the idol of Udasi Guru Baba. On the front face of the building this Shabd composed in Sri Rag (Mohalla 1 Ghar 1) is engraved:

If I had a palace made of pearls, inlaid with jewels, scented with musk, saffron and sandalwood, a sheer deli lit to behold - seeing this, I might go astray and forget You, and Your Name would not enter into my mind. 11 1

According to the priests this Shabd was revealed in this place.
The fairs of Diwali and Janamashtami are held. Sangat assembles on different occasions. They call themselves Nanakpanthi, whereas priest Baba Dhanna Ramji is an Udasi Sadhu. The tree beneath which Gun Ji seated himself is still present. It is a normal part of the rituals to have a dip in the river. The care and control of Gurdwara is in the hands of Waqf Board.

Acknowledgements:

Text and photographs:Historical Sikh Shrines in Pakistan : Iqbal Qaiser

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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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