Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism


Gurudwara Katalgarh Sahib, Chamkaur Sahib, Dist. Ropar 

 During the battle of Chamkaur in 1704 in which the Guru and 40 Sikhs fought against overwhelming odds, both of Guru Gobind Singhs sons died in battle at this spot. The remaining Sikhs in the fort at Chamkaur were being martyred one by one, but they did not want the Gurus two sons to go into battle. Guru Gobind Singh declared that all the Sikhs in the fort were his beloved sons. During the battle Baba Ajit Singh asked his fathers permission to go out of the fort and fight the enemy. He said, Dear father, my name is Ajit or Unconquerable. I will not be conquered. And if conquered, I will not flee or come back alive. Permit me to go, dear father. Guru Gobind Singh hugged and kissed his beloved son before sending him into battle where he fought heroically until his last breath. Baba Jujhar Singh having watched his brother fight, asked Guru Gobind Singh, Permit me, dear father to go where my brother has gone. Don't say that I am too young. I am your son, I am a Singh or Lion of yours. I shall prove worthy of you. I shall die fighting, with my face towards the enemy, with God and the Guru on my lips and in my heart. Guru Gobind Singh embraced him and said, Go my son and wed life-giving Death. We have been here for a while. Now we shall return to our real home. Go and wait for me there. Your grandfather and elder brother are already waiting for you. Thus the Guru watched his two sons achieve eternal peace through martyrdom. Guru Gobind Singh was prepared to follow his sons and Sikhs in martyrdom, but it was not the great Gurus time yet.

Gurudwara Qatalgarh Sahib (Shahid Ganj), west of Garhi Sahib, is the main shrine at Chamkaur Sahib. This marks the site where the thickest hand to hand fight took place on 7 December 1705 between the Mughal army and the Sikhs, including the Sahibzadas, Ajit Singh and Jujhar Singh, and three of the original five Piare (the Five Beloved). A gurdwara was constructed here by Sardar Hardial Singh of Bela in 1831 but that building was replaced during the 1960's by a new complex raised under the supervision of Sant Piara Singh of Jhar Sahib and later of Sant Bishan Singh of Amritsar. The main building called Mariji Sahib is an elegant three storeyed domed structure standing upon a high base. The large divan hall contains an eight metre square sanctum. Another vast hall close by is called Akal Buriga. It was used for the daily congregations before Mariji Sahib was constructed. To the west of Akal Buriga is an old Baoli Sahib still in use. The Guru ka Langar, community kitchen, is further north from Baoli Sahib and Akal Buriga. The Gurdwara also houses the offices of the local managing committee which administers all historical shrines at Chamkaur under the overall control of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee. In addition to the daily services, largely attended assemblies take place on the first of each Bikrami month and on important anniversaries on Sikh calendar. A three day fair called Shahidi Jor Mela is held on 6,7 and 8 Poh, usually corresponding with 20, 21 and 22 December, commemorating the martyrs of Chamkaur.

Gurdwara Sri Qatalgarh Sahib
P.O. Tel Chamkaur Sahib,
District Ropar,
Phone: 01881-260125





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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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