Guru Gobind Singh Marg : Journey Anandpur Sahib to Talwandi Sabo
Every place on Guru Gobind Singh Marg has a sanctity. The whole Marg is marked by his holy presence. The personality which changed the history, transferred the life of people, made them unique in appearance and deeds, has waded through this route majestically. Thus this route is well marked in the history and deep down in our unconscious mind.
Anandpur Sahib, lit, the revered city of bliss or joy, is one of the many towns founded by Sikh Gurus. Situated on the left bank of the Sutlej river, it lies along the Sirhind – Ropar – Nangal rail and road link. When Guru Tegh Bahadur founded it on a piece of land he bought from the ruler of Kahlur (later Bilaspur) State, in 1665, he named it Chakk Nanaki after the name of his mother. When Guru Gobind Singh returned here after three years stay at Paonta Sahib from 1685 to 1688, he renamed it Anandpur and fortified it by constructing around it a ring of forts. It was in the central fort Kesgarh here that he in 1699 reorganised the community by raising form among themselves a puritanical body of saint-soldiers, which he named the Khalsa. Many shrines had been established meanwhile in and around the town.
Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib
This is the main and the biggest Gurudwara. It was here, khalsa was born in 1699. Baisakhi, Five Singh, namely Panj Pyara’s came forward with dedication and the khalsa Panth was initiated, with the inception of khalsa caste distinction evaporated and Singh’s emerged. Guru himself also took the pahul from those five piaras. It kindled the minds of the people to get baptized. The weapons of Guru Gobind Singh ji are kept here as a treasure.
Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib
Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib inside the town is where the severed head of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji was cremated in November 1675. A Thara (platform) sahib within a small room was constructed here by Guru Gobind Singh himself.Before evacuating Anandpur Sahib in December 1705, the Guru had especially instructed Gurubakhsh, an udasi Sikh, to look after this shrine during the former’s absence. It was renovated and developed into its present shape by Saint Seva Singh during the 1970s. The old pavement of the compound had been left as it was before the renovation.
Opposite the double-storey domed building of Gurdwara Sis Ganj, across the paved compound, there is a raised platform behind glass-panelled screen. Called Akal Bunga, this is said to be the spot sitting where the young Guru Gobind Singh delivered his funeral speech to the Sikhs gathered during the cremation of Guru Teg Bahadur’s Sis. Guru Granth Sahib is now seated here too.
Guru ke Mahal
These were Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Ji’s residence. this is the place where ninth Guru founded ChakNanki. Guru Gobind Singh ji also stayed here and four princes were also born here.
Gurdwara Bhora Sahib
Gurdwara Bhora Sahib close to the Damdama Sahib in the compound called Guru Ke Mahal, marks the site of an underground cell (bhora in Punjabi) which Guru Tegh Bahadur used for solitary meditation. It is now housed in a three-storey domed building, the basement of which represents the orginal Bhora. It has only a raised platform of masonry in the centre. Guru Granth Sahib is seated on the ground floor.
Manji Sahib (Thara Sahib)
At this place Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji used to recite Rehras Sahib along with their disciples. Kashmiri Pandits came here with an appeal to save their religion and the little prophet propelled his father to sacrifice his life for their cause.
Manji Sahib (Damal Garh)
This is the place near Gurdwara Keshgarh Sahib, four princes used to play and get the education in warfare here only.
Guru Gobind Singh Ji was apostolated here in 1675 AD. It was used as congregation place for discussion, justice etc. Adi Granth Sahib was completed here with the inclusion of Ninth Guru’s Sacred hymns.
: Anandgarh Sahib is on the top of another hillock half-a-mile southeast of Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib. This is the site of the Anandgarh Fort, some traces of which are still extant. There is a wide well on a lower level of the hill. It is called Baoli Sahib. A covered passage with 135 steps leads down to its water level. Guru ka Langar in a spacious hall and 300 rooms in different blocks for pilgrims are on the lower level east of the shrine at the top.
Gurdwara Qila Lohgarh Sahib
Lohgarh Sahib is one-and-a-half kilometer southwest of Takht Keshgarh Sahib. This is the site of the Lohgarh Fort built by Guru Gobind Singh. (Bhai Bachittar Singh singlehanded fight against a drunken elephant took place outside the gate of this fort).
Gurdwara Holgarh Sahib
Gurdwara Holgarh Sahib is one-and-a-half kilometre northwest of the town on the site of the Holgarh Fort. It is across the Charan Ganga, a seasonal tributary of the Sutlej. Guru Gobind Singh introduced the sportive festival of Hola Mahalla on the plain ground near this fort in 1701. Even now the finale of Hola Mahalla, the biggest annual festival of Anandpur Sahib, is staged here.
Gurdwara Mata Jito Ji
Gurdwara Mata Jito Ji is dedicated to Mata Jito Ji, wife of Guru Gobind Singh and mother of Sahibzadas Jujhar Singh, Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh. She died in December 1700 and was cremated at this place just outside Agampur village two killometres northwest of Anandpur Sahib.
Nirmohgarh is the name given by chroniclers to a hilly tract south of Kiratpur Sahib where a battle took place between Guru Gobind Singh and hill chiefs who were supported by a strong contingent of Mughal troops equipped with a cannons. The battle was fought in two phases. On 7th October 1700, the hill chiefs attacked the Guru’s positions but the attack was repulsed. Then they requisitioned imperial troops from Sirhind and on their arrival they encircled the Sikhs and launched another attack on the 12th of the same month in which they, at least once, directed cannon fire at the Guru himself. Guru Gobind Singh escaped unhurt but his attendant, Bhai Ram Singh was killed. The Guru returned the fire with an arrow-shot which made short work of the cannoneer. On the 13th, the Guru and his warriors broke the encirclement and crossed the Sutlej to reach Basali, a friendly principality.
Gurdwara Parivar Vichhora
Gurdwara Parivar Vichhora Sahib Patsahi Dasvin standing on the right bank of Sarsa river, a tributary of the Sutlej, 12 kilometres north of Ropar commemorates the fateful battle and desperate river crossing on the night of 5th-6th Decmber 1705. It was a cold December night and it had started raining when the column headed by Guru Gobind Singh arrived here only to find the torrential current in full fury. Sarsa is a hilly stream where floods occur suddenly and also abate equally fast, but under the conditions there was no time to wait for the flood to subside . The enemy had again caught up with them. The Guru ordered the Sikhs to plunge into the river and swim across while some of them were to engage the enemy. Not many could get to the opposite bank and those who did were stranded in the darkness. For the holy family it was a parivar vichhora (lit. seperation of the family) Indeed. Of its eight members,only three survived the subsequent events to be reunited at Damdama Sahib, Talwandi Sabo.
Ghanaula is an old village 10 kilometres north of Ropar along the Ropar-Nalagarh road. Guru Gobind Singh is believed to have halted here during his travels to and from Nahan/Paonta Sahib and Kurukshetra.
Guru Ji came here from Ghanaula, Historical Gurudwara Lohgarh is situated here.
This place is at 2 kilometres from fide Sutlej. This place is constructed in the memory of Guruji.
Gurdwara Sri Bhattha Sahib
When Guru ji reached near Ropar, He was blocked by Pathans. Both the side indulged in swording and there was mortal loss. Then they advanced towards Ropar via Ropar they reached village Kotla Nihang Khan, Mughal army was at their heels. Guru ji went straight towards a brick kiln. When Guru ji enquired about a safe place from the labour working there, the innocent labourers jokingly directed them towards the fire given brick Kiln. According to Sikh history, as soon as the horse of the Guru put its step on the kiln, it got cold. You can visit the Gurdwara Bhattha Sahib and have a look the sword and shield of Guruji Gurdwara Bhattha Sahib ji is 40 kilometre away from Anandpur Sahib.
From Kotla Nihang Khan, Guru ji reached Bahman Majra via Lakhmipur. He rested here for some time, the Gurudwara Manji Sahib here. This place is situated in 25 kilometres away east of Chandigarh-Ropar road.
This place is 55 kilometres away form Anandpur Sahib. Guruji took some rest here. Here he also came to know that Mughal army is following him.
After a long siege, Guru Gobind Singh agreed to evacuate Anandpur Sahib on assurance on oath of safe conduct by the enemy. He along with the members of his household and all his Sikh warriors vacated the forts and took the southern trail to the plains of Punjab. But the enemy played false to their oaths, and as soon as they had secured the town and the forts, they set upon in pursuit of the Guru. The evacuees had hardly covered 14 kilometres when they found the enemy right upon their heels. Guru Gobind Singh hastily reorganised the column and deputed Bhai Ude Singh with 50 mens to act as rear guard and engage the enemy while the main body would continue the march with speed higher than their hitherto relaxed place. Ude Singh and his men took position on a crest astride the trail known to chroniclers as Shahi Tibbi. Here they gave a desperate fight to the enemy far superior in numbers, and fell to the last man, but gave the main column enough time to be at a safer distance form the persuers until a formidable obstacle, the Sarsa river in spate, held them 11 kilometres further south.
Chamkaur Sahib in Ropar district is connected by road to Ropar and to the Ludhiana-Chandigarh highway at Samrala and Morinda. Two battles took place at Chamkaur between Guru Gobind Singh and Mughal troops. One in the beginning of 1703 while the Guru Ji was on his way back form Kurukshetra after the solar eclipse fair, and the other, much more bloody and tragic, on 7th December 1705 after the evacuation of Anandpur Sahib.
Guru Gobind Singh with a handful of his warriors stood up to a host that comprised according to his Zafarnama, one million. During the night, he posted his men as sentries who took whatever rest they could afford in turn while the imperial force, equally tired by their hot chase, laid a siege to the town. The battle raged throughout the following day, 7th December 1705. When their supply of arrows and powder was exhausted, the Sikhs including the Sahibzadas (the Guru’s sons) made sallies in small batches to kill and be killed. By nightfall when the fighting stopped, only the Guru Ji and five of his Sikhs remained alive in the garhi. The five then assuming the role of Panj Piare as representatives of the panth and continue his struggle against tyranny. Guru Gobind Singh then exchanged dress including his plumed turban with one of the Sikhs, Bhai Sangat Singh and he and three others, Bhai Daya Singh, Dharma Singh and Man Singh slipped though the enemy who lay clustered around their bonfires in the cold December night. Next day, when they resumed their attack and killed Bhai Sangat Singh in Guru’s attire, they felt happy over the kill until they recognized him to be someone other than the Guru.
Gurdwara Tari Sahib
Gurdwara Tari Sahib, situated on a low mound two furlongs west of Gurdwara Qatalgarh Sahib has been recently raised by Nihang Singhs. It is said that when Guru Gobind Singh and his three Sikhs came out of the Garhi on the night of December 7-8, 1705, they scattered in different directions to escape enemy’s notice. The Guru, however, would not slip away quietly like a coward. Therefore, on reaching the top of this mound he gave a loud clap (tari) and shouted “Here goes the Pir of Hind (lit. saint of India) !”
Gurdwara Qatalgarh Sahib
Gurdwara Qatalgarh Sahib (Shahid Ganj), about 50 metres to the west of Garhi Sahib, is on the site where most of the hand-to-hand fights took place and where Sahibzada Ajit Singh and Sahibzada Jujhar Singh earned martyrdom.
Gurdwara Damdama Sahib
Gurdwara Damdama Sahib marks the site of a garden where Guru Gobind Singh accompanied by his two elder sons and 40 Sikhs first alighted on the evening of 6th December 1705. Conscious of the vulnerability of the place with the enemy in pursuit, he shifted to a walled house which he fortified into a defensive position.
Gurdwara Shahid Burj Bhai Jivan Singh
Gurdwara Shahid Burj Bhai Jivan Singh is at the gate of the old Garhi, part of which still survives. It is named after Bhai Jivan Singh, originally Bhai Jaita, who had brought the head of Guru Tegh Bahadur and had stayed at Anandpur. He was martyred here guarding the gate of the Garhi Sahib during the battle of Chamkaur on 7th December,1705.
Jand Sahib (Bir Guru)
After his escape from Chamkaur Sahib during the night of December 7-8, 1705, Guru Gobind Singh at first went in a northwesterly direction through the forest. His first halt was near a jand tree, five kilometres away, where he relaxed his weary limbs before turning towards Machhiwara.
This place is in the south of Jand Sahib. Guruji reached here during the day whole of the province was Muslim Jagir. It was very risky to pass through the villages of this area during the day. It is said that master justified his appetite by eating the wild berries of the shrubs on the way and during day he took the same shrubs for respite. Here you will now find a beautiful Gurdwara Jhar Sahib.
This place at 95 km from Anandpur Sahib and 31 km from Chamkaur Sahib.
Gurudwara Charan Kamal
This was beautiful and rich park outside the village. Master took some water out of the well. Here Guruji slept on bareland and used his arm as pillow.
Guru Gobind Singh Ji and other Singhs were brought to chubara of Bhai Gulab. This home known as chubara of Gulabe. There they were given food and shelter.In the adjoining room, there is another room which has a mutt(the earthen vessel). It is believed that Guru ji got his clothes dyed in the mutt with blue colour.
Guruji was moving of out Macchiwara in the guise of ‘Uch Da Pir’ with Ghani Khan Nabi khan his followers. They were halted by the Mughal forces stationed out side Macchiwara. Their commander Dilawar khan wanted to check the identity of the ‘Uch Da pir’ they were given food to eat which they took after offering it to the ‘holy Kirpan’ while reciting ‘Tav Parsad Abarm Ka Nar’
Ghulal or Kuhlal is eight kilometers west of Samrala and lies close to Ludhiana-Chandigarh highway. According to local tradition, it is believed that after his escape incognito from Machhiwara, Guru Gobind Singh and his palanquin-bearers stopped near Ghulal a while before Proceeding on to Lall Kalan.
Two kilometers ahead of Ghulal, near Lall Kalan the party was confronted and closely interrogated by a government mobile patrol in search of the absconding Guruji. Luckily Sayyad Pir Muhammad of Nurpur happened to be there. He assured the patrol leader that the personage in the palanquin was indeed the revered Pir of Uch. Still not rid of his suspicion, the officer took recourse to a strategem. He invited the ‘Pir’ and his disciples to dinner knowing that if the Pir was in fact Guru Gobind Singh, he and his Sikhs would not dine with Muslims. The ‘Pir’ however, excusing himself because he was on a long fast, instructed his attendants, Bhai Daya Singh and Man Singh to go and take food after making it a sacrifice to the sword. The party was allowed to resume their journey the following morning. The shrine later established at Lall Kalan was developed into Gurdwara Gurusar.
Guru Gobind Singh after his narrow escape at Lall Kalan, next stopped at this place. Gurdwara Katana Sahib or Deg Sar Sahib is right on the right bank Sirhind Canal over a km away from Katani village and is accessible along Guru Gobind Singh Marg which links up Grand Trunk Road and Ludhiana-Chandigarh roads.
Rampur village, also called Rampur Katani because of its contiguity with the latter named village, is situated along Guru Gobind Singh Marg between Gurdwara Katana Sahib and Kanech Guru Gobind Singh relaxed here for some time under a reru tree half-a-kilometre west of the village while he was on his way from Macchiwara towards Alamgir during December 1705. The shrine later established here developed in time into Gurdwara Reru Sahib patshahi Dasvin
Kanech village, 20 kilometres southeast of Ludhiana, is 2.5 kilometres from the Sahnewal railway station and only one kilometer from where Guru Gobind Singh Marg meets the G.T.Road. Leaving the place now marked by Gurdwara Katana Sahib, Guru Gobind Singh came to Kanech. For the last three days he had been travelling in palanquin borne by his devotees. He now desired to relieve them and to travel on horse back. Still disguised as a Muslim divine, he asked Chaudhari phatta of Kanech to lend him a horse. Phatta provided only a weak mare. The Guru asked him to spare his best horse. ” But my best horse has been taken away by my son-in-law,” lied Phatta. The Guru dismissed him with a smile and resumed his journey in the palanquin. It is said that Phatta went back to his house, he found that horse lying dead of snake-bite. The shrine established later in honour of the Guru is now called Gurdwara Manji Sahib patsahi Dasvin.
This is in district of Ludhiana which is situated at the distance of 116 kilometres from Anandpur. Gurdwara Damdama Sahib here marks the route from which Guruji travelled. This Gurdwara is a mile away in the east of from G.T. Road Gurdwara stayed here after the journey of 2.5 kilometers from Kanech.
This is a village at G.T.Road which is a kilometer away from Sahnewal. We have a historical Gurdwara Reru a Sahib at this place. It is said that at this place Guruji said that the air here has a touch of Anandpur Sahib.
Guruji reached village Tibba as the next halting point. There is a Gurdwara at the out skirt of the village Gurdwara Soma Sahib situated at the Tibba of sand and it is only a few kilometers from Nandpur . It is said that water of spring came out of earth with the blessing of Guruji.
Alamgir is an old village 13 km south of Ludhiana along the Ludhiana-Malerkotla highway. Guru Gobind Singh arrived here disguised as the Pir of Uch and carried in a palanquin by Bhai Daya Singh and Man Singh and the two Afghan brothers Ghani Khan and Nabi Khan. Here he discarded the palanquin and took a horse which a Sikh resident of Alamgir, Bhai Naudha, presented to him. A Manji Sahib was later established where the Guruji had stayed. The shrine is still called Gurdwara Manji Sahib Patshahi Dasvin.
Jodh village, better known as Jodhan,is 16 km southwest of Ludhiana to which it is connected by metalled road. Guru Gobind Singh stayed here a while during his journey from Alamgir to Heraan in December 1705.
From Jodhan,Guru Gobind Singh came to Mohi, 9 km from to the west. Mohi is situated along Guru Gobind Singh Marg and also connected to Mullanpur-Raikot road further to its west . Guru stayed for some time to get a tight fitting ring removed from one of his fingers by a blacksmith.
Heraan is 13 kilometres away from Mohi, Guruji along with Bhai Daya Singh, Bhai Dharam Singh and Bhai Maan Singh reached here. It was a place where Mahant Kirpal Dass of Udasi seat used to live. He was with Guruji in the battle of Bhangani he gave all the respect to Guru and welcomed him, but when he came to know that royal forces were reaching for him, he showed the white feather.It is also said that Gani Khan and Nabi khan came with Guruji and from here they departed with Hukumnama. There is a Gurdwara at the east of village. Guru Har Gobind Singh ji also stayed here. The cot of Guruji and the stove on which food for Guruji was cooked are treasured here.This place is about 169 kilometres from Anandpur Sahib and 55 kilometres from Alamgir.
Back at Muktsar, Guru Gobind Singh decided to travel south in search of a place suitable for setting down in order to reorganize Khalsa. His first camp was at Rupana, seven km from Muktsar along the Muktsar-Malout road.