Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

 

Gurdwara Garhi Sahib, Chamkaur Sahib, Dist. Ropar      

This gurdwara commemorates the spot of the bloody battle of Chamkaur. After the attack at the river Sarsa, Guru Gobind Singh, his two eldest sons and 40 Sikhs made it to the town of Chamkaur while being pursued by an army of 1,000. Guru Gobind Singh and the 40 Sikhs sought shelter in a mud-built double story house. They were attacked by the enemy on December 22, 1705. Against these overwhelming odds, the Sikhs ventured our in small groups to fight the enemy and bravely lay down their lives. Thirty Seven Sikhs were martyred that day including Guru Gobind Singhs two eldest sons as well as three of the Five Beloved Ones (the first baptized Khalsa). Guru Gobind Singh himself was preparing for battle and martyrdom, but the five remaining Sikhs in the fort enacted the scene at Anandpur, where they were had the authority of Guruship and Gobind Singh their Khalsa disciple. Quoting the Gurus words giving them authority to issue resolutions, they ordered Guru Gobind Singh to escape the fort at night followed by three of the five remaining Sikhs.

Gurdwara Garhi Sahib is situated at Chamkaur Sahib in Ropar district and is connected by road to Ropar and Ludhiana-Chandigarh highway at Samrala and Morinda.

Gurdwara Garhi Sahib marks the site of the fortress like double storeyed house, with a high compound wall around it and only one entrance from the north, which was used by Guru Gobind Singh Ji as a temporary citadel in the unequal battle of Chamkaur on 7th December, 1705. While occupying the house during the night of 6-7 December, Guruji ordered 8 sikhs each to guard four sides.

While another two, Maan Singh and Kotha Singh was posted at the entrance. Guru Gobind Singh Ji, with his sons Ajit Singh and Jujhar Singh took position on the first floor of the house in the centre. Mughal now sorrounded the `Garhi'. The battle raged throughout the day. Sikhs started coming out in small batches to engage the enemy the hand to hand fight. Two such successive sallies were led by the Sahibzada Ajit Singh and Jujhar Singh, 18 and 14 years old respectively, who like the other sikhs fell fighting heroically.

By nightfall Guru Gobind Singh was left with only five sikhs in the fortress. These five sikhs urged him to escape so that he could rally his supporters again and continue the struggle against oppression. The Guruji agreed, he gave his own attire to Sangat Singh who resembled him in features and physical stature.

Under the cover of darkness Guruji made good his way through the encircling host slackened by the fatique of the day's battle. Daya Singh, Dharam Singh and Man Singh also escaped leaving behind only two sikhs, Sangat Singh and Sant Singh. Next day when, imperial trops entered the garhi, they were surprised to find only two occupants, who died rather than giving in. This place is also known as Tilak Asthan (Anointment Site) in the belief that Guru Gobind Singh Ji obeyed the five sikh here and gave his dress to Bhai Sangat Singh. Salana Jor Mela and Dussehra are celebrated here.

Gurdwara Garhi Sahib
Chamkaur Sahib
Ropar
Punjab
Phone: 01881-260289

 

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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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