Friday, October 28, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism


2nd April


1757 Timur Shah (son of Ahmad Shah) and Jahan Khan (Governor of Lahore) attacked Sri Harmandir Sahib, destroyed Sri Darbar Sahib and completely filled sarowar with debris. During the 4th invasion of Ahmad Shah in 1756-7, he reached Delhi and systematically plundered the city. But he was forced to returned back due to outbreak of cholera epidemic in his troops> During this invasion, Sirhind was annexed to his empire. Ala Singh of Patiala submitted to Ahmad Shah. But the Sikhs attacked Timur Shah at Sunam and relieved him of half of his treasure. Sikhs also attacked the rear of Afghan troops and relieved them of a lot of their loot. As a result, the infuriorated Ahmad Shah sent an expedition against the Sikhs that destroyed Sri Harimandir Sahib and filled the holy tank with debris.

==> SRI DARBAR SAHIB also known as Harminder Sahib and Golden Temple was constructed by Guru Arjun in the middle of an sacred water tank (sarowar).

"Har Japae Har Minder Saajia,
Sant Bhagat Gun Gawae Ram" -Suhi Shant Mahala 5

In sunmat 1621, with Guru Amar Das's permission, Guru Ram Das started the digging of a tank (Taal) near villages Tugh, Gumtala, and Sultanwind. This digging was completed by Guru Arjun Dev in sunmat 1645 and named "Santoksar".

Simultaneously, with Guru Amar Das's permission, a village was established nearby and named "Guru Ka Chaak". Guru Sahib's residence in this village were popularly known as "Guru Kae Mahal". To the west of these residences, next to the tree known as "DukhBhanjani Baeri", the digging of a tank was started in 1634. However, this digging remained incomplete and was eventually completed by Guru Arjun Dev after he ascended to the Gur Gadhi. Guru Arjun Dev vigorously pushed all of the projects initiated by Guru Ram Das. He invited business people, scholars, and skilled people from all over, to come and settle around this area and establish new markets. As a result this area came to known as "Ramdas Pur". Bhai Sallo is especially noted for his hard work in establishing and populating this area. His contributions are extremely noteworthy.

In sunmat 1643, the construction of permanent sarowar began and its name changed to "Amritsar". As a result the surrounding city also adopted the "Amritsar" name. On magh 1, sunmat 1645, Guru Arjun Dev Patshah asked Sain Mian Meer to lay the foundation stone of Harminder Sahib. The foundation stone was laid right in the middle of the sarowar and upon completion of its construction, Sri Guru Granth Sahib's prakash was established in sunmat 1661.

Harminder Sahib is the most prominent among all Sikh gurudwaras, where Akhand Kirtan is performed for most of the day. The Vaisakhi Maela celebrations in Harminder Sahib were established by Guru Arjun Dev, while the Diwali Maela celebrations were instituted by Baba Budha Ji, immediately upon the release and safe return of Guru Hargobind from the Gawalior fort.

In Sunmat 1818, Ahmad Shah Abdali blew up the Harminder Sahib with explosives and leveled the sarowar. However, Jassa Singh Ahluwalia once again laid the foundation stone on 11 Vaishakh, sunmat 1821. And through Dees Raj's diligent efforts Harminder Sahib was reconstructed in a few years. Abdali, on three occasions, 1757, 1761, and 1762 pulled down Harimandir Sahib and defiled the sacred tank by caracases of cows. The Sikhs for the first time in 1757 defeated Afghan forces at the battle of Amritsar. The following year, they captured retreating Afghan forces and made them clean Harimandir and the sacred tank.,

Maharaja Ranjit Singh took control of Amritsar in sunmat 1859 and decorated Harminder sahib with white marble and gold. Additionally during 1805-9, "Ram Bagh" was developed in remembrance of Guru Ram Das and "GobindGadh Fort" was established in remembrance of Guru Gobind Singh. Khalsa College was established by the Panth in 1892.

-Ref. Mahan Kosh (pp. 267)

For further details on Harminder Sahib, interested readers are referred to the following:
Madanjit Kaur, "The Golden Temple: Past & Present", Guru Nanak Dev university Press, Amritsar, 1983
Patwant Singh, "The Golden Temple", Time Books International, New Delhi, 1988
Patwant Singh, "Gurudwaras in India and around the world", Himalayan Books, New Delhi, 1992
"Sri Harmandir Sahib Da Sunehiri Itihas" by Late Jathedar (of Akal Takaht Sahib) and former Head Granthi of Golden Temple) Kirpal Singh. pp. 389-390. This is the most authoritative book so far on the Golden Temple.

1809 Treaty of Amritsar signed between Maharaja Ranjit Singh and the British. Maharaja Ranjit Singh desired to be the overlord of all Sikh States. The British gave protection to Cis-Sutlej States and confined Maharaja Ranjit Singh to Sutlej and thus came very close to Lahore. After quite a bit of sabre rattling Maharaja Ranjit Singh succumbed to British pressure. This treaty was a major defeat for Maharaja Ranjit Singh at the hands of the British. Maharaja Ranjit Singh withdrew his forces from Faridkot and Malerkotla.
1850 The Sikh forces of Maharaja Ranjit Singh were disbanded, approximately a year after the East Indian Company gained controled of Punjab on Mar. 29, 1849.
1984 Harbans Lal Khana is murdered. 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. brings to you a unique and comprehensive approach to explore and experience the word of God. It has the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Amrit Kirtan Gutka, Bhai Gurdaas Vaaran, Sri Dasam Granth Sahib and Kabit Bhai Gurdas . You can explore these scriptures page by page, by chapter index or search for a keyword. The Reference section includes Mahankosh, Guru Granth Kosh,and exegesis like Faridkot Teeka, Guru Granth Darpan and lot more.
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