Gurudwara Damdama Sahib at Dhubri ,Assam
Sikh holy shrines having bearing on the history of Punjab, are spread all over India. Whichever place the great Gurus visited during their life time, became a place of worship for the devotees of the spiritual leaders and benefactors. Out of five Takhts, * two are outside Punjab, namely Takht Sri Hazur Sahib at Nanded in Maharashtra and Takht Sri Harmandir Sahib at Patna in Bihar. Both these historical shrines are associated with the tenth Guru Sri Gobind Singh. These holy shrines have become places of pilgrimage and the followers visit these Gurdwaras from all over India and abroad to pay their homage to the great Guru.
Dhubri in Assam was sanctified by the visit of Guru Nanak and Guru Tegh Bahadur. During his stay in Dhubri, the ninth Guru received the news that a son was born to him at Patna. This son was Gobind Rai who later became the most respected tenth Guru popularly known as Sri Guru Gobind Singh. He succeeded Guru Gaddi after the execution of his father in Chandni Chowk, Delhi by the order of Emperor Aurangzeb in 1675.
Historic shrine Damdama Sahib at Dhubri in Assam was built in memory of the visit of Guru Nanak. Hence it has great importance for Sikh community.
When Raja Ram Singh son of Mirza Raja Jai Singh was deputed by Emperor Aurangzeb to crush the revolt of King Chakradhwaj Singh of Kamrup (Assam), he called on Guru Tegh Bahadur at Dhaka and requested him to accompany him on the expedition to Assam. His request was accepted by the Guru as the latter himself Jiad planned to visit Assam to revive the religious centre built to commemorate the visit of Guru Nanak in the land of magic and beauty. Together Raja Ram Singh and Guruji, marched along the river Dhubri and Brahmaputra and reached Kamrup early in February, 1669 A.D. Guru Tegh Bahadur camped at Dhubri while Raja Ram Singh camped at Rangamati. The Imperial Army was confident of its strength but was not as yet sure whether the holyman with them would be able to destroy the evil effects of magic and witchcraft. The Assamese were unnerved by the superior strength of the Imperial Army but they were confident that the supernatural powers of their magicians backed by tactful resistance would keep the enemy away.
The magic women with their tantric paraphernalia began reciting mantras of destruction while camping on the other side of the river just opposite the camp of Guru Tegh Bahadur. But their magic failed to harm the great Guru. The magicians were too confident about their ability to destory any human being. Across the river they hurled a 26 feet long stone, which came swinging across the sky like a missile and struck the ground near Guruji’s camp so. hard that nearly half of it went into the ground. It can still be seen in the same position.
When the stone-missile failed to harm the holy benefactor, the magician flung a tree, which fell very close to Guru’s camp without causing injury to any one. Afterwards, Guru Tegh Bahadur took a bow and arrow and aimed at the altar of magic. There ended all their magic and sorcery. The magicians realised that superior powers appeared to have completely deprived them of their strength and willpower, so they appeared before the Guru and begged forgiveness for having offended him. They told him that they were only fighting against the foreigners who had come to enslave them. Guru Tegh Bahadur assured the magicians that he would try to bring about peace between Raja Ram Singh and the Ahom King, for which, change of heart is necessary on both sides. Consequently, he advised Raja Ram Singh to try to achieve his end through peaceful negotiations and not to fight unless he was provoked to do it. The rest of the story is a part of the history as to how succeeded in patching up the differences between the Imperial Commander Raja Ram Singh and Ahom King of Assam. The grateful Ahom King invited Guruji to the Kamakhya shrine, where he was honoured with great respect.
The happy occasion of the peace settlement brought about by the blessings of Guru Tegh Bahadur was celebrated by a joint homage to the shrine of Guru Nanak by both Mughal and the Ahom armies. The mound of peace of Dhubri was erected with the red earth brought by the soldiers of both the armies on their shields. This permanent monument to Guru Tegh Bahadur’s a successful peace efforts stands at Dhubri to this day. Pilgrims from all over India visit Dhubri to pay homage at Gurdwara Damdama Sahib. They also visit the mound of peace constructed by Hindus an& Muslims soldiers of the two armies.
Janamsakhis are unanimous about Guru Nanak Dev’s visit to Kamrup (Assam) but no sangat or historical shrine dedicated to him survives.
Guru Tegh Bahadur visited Assam in 1670. He had accompanied Raja Ram Singh of Amber who had been sent by Aurangzeb to quell a rebellion by the Ahom chief Chakradhwaj. Assam was a difficult country to operate in and for Raja Ram Singh it was a task assigned to him as a punishment because it was from his custody that Shiva Ji had escaped a few years earlier. Guru Tegh Bahadur’s presence, therefore, was a moral booster to him and his troop’s morale. The Guru’s role was, however, more active than a mere presence. A pacifist that he was, he helped conclude a no-war agreement between the two sides. As a monument to peace, a high mound as raised to which every soldier contributed five shieldfuls of earth. This mound standing on the right bank of Brahmpra River at Dhubri, a sub-divisional town in Goalpara district of Assam, came to be treated as a sacred shrine. A Gurdwara was also built near it on the spot where Guru Tegh Bahadur had stayed and negotiated peace. It was looked after by Udasi priests until it was destroyed in an earthquake in 1896-97 circa. Bhai Ram Singh, an officiant of the shrine, reconstructed a room in 1901. The mahants also possessed a farman (fiat) of a Mughal emperor pertaining to a land grant to the shrine. In 1902-03, Mahant Jai Singh took this Farman with him when he went to Punjab to raise funds through donations for the Gurdwara building under reconstruction. Unfortunately Bhai Jai Singh died somewhere near Amritsar, and the Farman was lost.
1) Gurdwara Thara Sahib or Damdama Sahib – In 1966, a Gurdwara in a small octagonal hut with sloping roof was also set up on top of the mound. It is called Thara Sahib or Damdama Sahib.
2) Gurdwara Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur – The other shrine called Gurdwara Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur is in a square hall with wooden walls and sloping roof. Further development of the Gurdwara is afoot under the Sikh Pratinidhi Board Eastern Zone and the local managing committee.
For reaching Dhubri rail route via Katihar and Siliguri convenient. One has to change at Fakiragram junction for Dhubri, a distance of about 70 kilometres by rail or road.