Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism


13th January

1588 Foundation stone of Sri Darbar Sahib, Amritsar, laid by Sain Mia Mir.

Foundation stone of Sri Harmandir Sahib, Amritsar, was laid down by the renowned Sufi Saint of Qadiry order, Mir Mohamed Khan, popularly known as Hazarat Mian Mir of Lahore. Sri Harimandir Sahib, unlike any other place of worship, was built at a lower level than the surrounding area. It has doors on all four sides, signifying both humanity and universalism and that it was open to people of all the denominations.

Sri Harmandir Sahib was established for signing the praises of Almight -- "Har Japae Har Mandir Sajia ||"
To lay the foundation, a huge stone slab had removed. It was broken into smaller pieces after ardas. It was subsequently noticed that the rock pieces were being moved by a beautiful human. However, the basket he used to carry the pieces over his head, never actually ever tocuhed his head-top. It always remained a hand and a half above his head. This incidence is captured in Guru Shabad:

"Santa Kae Karag Aap Khaloiya,
Hur Kam Karawan Aaiya Ram ||"
- Guru Granth Sahib pp. 783

-Ref. "Amritsar Ji Dae Darshan Eshnan Utay 500 Sala Di Ethasak Directory," Satnam Singh Khalsa Advocate, page 26

1761 Janam Din Akali Phula Singh Ji.

==> PHULA SINGH AKALI was son of Siha village (Bangar) resident Eshwar Singh. After being introduced to amrit through Nihangh Singh (of Naena Singh Shaheedhi misl), he assumed the name Phula Singh. He was one of the precious flowers of Kalgidhar's Akali garden. He led the Akali movement in restoration of our Gurudwaras and general improvement of the whole Panth. He traveled extensively in pursuit of Gurudwara reforms. However, he maintained his residence in Amritsar. Even today there is a "burgh" and an establishment, named after him, in Amritsar. Akali Phula Singh helped Maharaja Ranjit Singh fight and successfully win numerous wars. He was so true to his faith and strong in his principles that he did not hesitate in pointing Maharaja Ranjit Singh's lapses in public forums. Further he actively sought appropriate punishment (Tankha) for such lapses.

On 14th March. 1823, Akali Phula Singh accepted shaheedhi while fighting with the Khalsa Dal forces in the battle of Sarhadhi and Mulkhaayo. The Shaheedhi place is marked on the banks of Ludhae river, four miles north of Naushehra city. Even today, several Nihanghs reside on this location and serve langer from the land associated with Singh Sahib's Jagir. Both Vaisakhi and Deshehra maela celebrations are held each year on this location. Akali Phula Singh never married and hence did not have any children. However, generations from his younger brother, Bhai Sant Singh, do flourish in Taran Taran region. The Mahant managing Akali Phula Singh's Angitha (place of Shahadat) once attempted to sell some of the associated land. As a result, a bitter dispute erupted in 1916, among the Sikhs and the Mahant. A court case was filed in this regard. As a result in 1918, the Mahant was removed by court orders and a committee was established to manage the affairs of this location.

-Ref. Mahan Kosh (pp. 822)

1764 Conquest of Sirhind by the Khalsa Dal.

Sirhind was attacked and successfully conquered by the Khalsa Dal. The city was plundered and the walls of the fort were pulled down. Sirhind is the place where the younger sahibzadas, Baba Zorawar Singh Ji and Fateh Singh Ji, were bricked alive at this place. Ahmed Shah Abdali's proclation to blow up Sri Harminder Sahib was answered by the total demolition of Sirhind.

==> SIRHIND: one of the prominent historical cities of India. Under mughals, Sirhind was a wealthy city. It is at this place where on 13th Poh sunmat 1761, Baba Jorawar Singh and Baba Fateh Singh, the younger sahibzadas of Guru Gobind Singh, were bricked alive and murdered by Wajir Khan. Subsequently Matta Gujri also passed away near this area.

On 1st of Jaeth sunmat 1767, Bandha Bahadhur captured Sirhind and killed Wajir Khan. In sunmat 1820, KhalsaDal forces captured Sirhind after killing the then ruler Jain Khan, and constructed the historical Gurudwaras. This city is popularly known as "GurMari" among GurSikh Panth.

Historical Gurudwaras in Sirhind include:

  1. ShaheedGanj 1: the place marking the cremation of 6,000 Gursikhs, when Bandha Bahadhur captured Sirhind.
  2. ShaheedGanj 2: marking the place where Jathaedar Sukha Singh fell while fighting Jain Khan. The Khalsa forces successfully captured Sirhind during this attack.
  3. ShaheedGanj 3: marking the place where Jathaedar Malla Singh fell while fighting Jain Khan. The Khalsa forces successfully captured Sirhind during this attack.
  4. JottiSaroop: marking the cremation place of younger Sahibzadas of Guru Gobind Singh and Matta Gujri, mother of Guru Gobind Singh.
  5. ThadhaSahib: the place where sixth Patshah, Guru Har Gobind Sahib stayed for a short while.
  6. FatehGadh: marking the shaheedi place of Sahibzadas. It is about 1.5 miles from the Sirhind railway station where maela celebrations are held annually.
  7. Matta Gujri Ji Da Burj: the place where Matta Gujri and the younger Sahibzadas were imprisoned by Wajir Khan. It is also the place of Matta Gujri's Akal Chalana.
  8. VimaanGadh: the place where the bodies of younger Sahibzadas and Matta Gujri were brought from FatehGadh and held for the evening. Subsequently the bodies were washed and honorably cremated at JottiSaroop.

-Ref. Mahan Kosh

1849 Battle of ChellianWala fought between Khalsa Army and East India Company resulting in tremendous loss of lives on both sides.

The battle of ChellianWala (now in Gujrat District, Pakistan) was successfully fought by the Khalsa Army of the Lahore Darbar against the East India Company. Lord Gough fought the bloodiest battle of his life against Sher Singh when he lost 2331 men. Initially the Sikhs gained upper hand but lost in a later battle at Gujrat, which led to the annexation of the Sikh Kingdom by the British in 1849.

1913 Walls of the Gurudwara RakabGanj forcibly demolished by the British Government.

The wall of the historic Gurudwara RakabGanj was forcibly levelled to ground by the British Govt. This was done in accordance with the decision to acquire a portion of land of Gurudwara Rakab Ganj, Delhi, to plan a straight road for the proposed government house, following the transfer of capital to Delhi. The resulting Sikh anger culminated in an agitation. The Chief Commissioner, Delhi, by the end of 1913 received telegrams from almost all Singh Sabhas in Punjab. Harchand Singh of Lyallpur played a prominent role in the early stages of the Rakab Ganj affair but was prevented from raising the issue at the Sikh Educational Conference at Jalandhar in Aoril 1914.

==> RAKAB GANJ Gurudwara marks the place where Guru Teg Bahadhur's beheaded body was cremated. When Guru Teg Bahadur was beheaded by Aurangzeb in Chandni Chowk Delhi and his body was carried away by Bhai Lakhi Rai (Shah), his disciple, to his residence at Rikabganj, he put his whole house to flames to creamate the body of Guru Sahib. Later he placed the remains in a metal vessel, buries it at the exact location of creamation hoping to build a shrine to commemorate the Guru's martyrdom. In 1707, when Guru Gobind Singh came to Delhi, the shrines were built at Sis Ganj and Rakab Ganj. Rakab Ganj is the place where the body of 9th Guru was cremated. Later in 1790, when Bhagael Singh conquered Delhi, he constructed the Gurudwara on this location. Today, RakabGanj is situated on Gurudwara road in New Delhi, right opposite the goverment buildings.

1974 Harbhajan Singh Yogi was honored with the title of "Bhai Sahib" at Sri Akal Takhat, Amritsar. He had been honored for his contributions for the American Sikh movement that accounted for 500,000 of American decent.
1989 Sikhs killed and injured in Jammu, Kashmir.

The Sikhs of Jammu arranged for a procession to commemorate the Advent Day of Guru Gobind Singh. In the procession, the Sikhs carried portraits of the Sikh martyrs Sirdar Satwant Singh and Kehar Singh. The Hindus, belonging to Congress as well as non-Congress parties, attacked the procession with deadly weapons. Several Sikhs were killed and about 100 wounded, some of them seriously. No Hindu was ever arrested or punished for these killings even though the police were present at the killings.

-Ref. "The Sikhs' Struggle for Sovereignity - An Historical Perspective." by Harjinder Singh Dilgeer and Awtar Singh Sekhon, 1992.

Worldgurudwaras.com will strive to be most comprehensive directory of Historical Gurudwaras and Non Historical Gurudwaras around the world.

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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