Gurudwara Alamgir – Ludhiana
This Gurudwara stands at a place where Guru Gobind Singh stayed for a few days after covering journey full of hazards, because of the presence of Mughal military contingents in the area. On reaching Alamgir 11 km from Ludhiana and not finding any drinking water, the Guru shot an arrow into the ground where appeared a spring. This spring has been converted into a tank known as ‘Tirsar’ (arrow lake).
Nearby stands the magnificent six-storied Gurudwara Manji Sahib. Here a devoted Sikh presented a horse to Guru Gobind Singh. Thenceforth he discarded traveling in a Palki (palanquin). He also gave a very affectionate send off to Nabi Khan and Ghani Khan by bestowing a Hukamnama by which their services were appreciated. This Gurdwara is situated only a few kilometers away from the industrial town of Ludhiana popularly known as Manchester of India. Pilgrims and tourists can get suitable accommodation in private hotels and tourist bungalows of the Punjab Government at reasonable rates.
Gurdwara Alamgir is situated only 11 kilometers south of Ludhiana along the Ludhiana-Malerkotla highway in the memory of Guru Gobind Singh ji who had spent a few days to refresh himself of the tedium of an unrelenting fight against the Machiavellian enemy. The Guru had arrived here in the robes of Pir of Uchch. Bhai Daya Singh, Dharam Singh and Man Singh and two Afgan brothers Ghani Khan and Nabi Khan carried him in a palanquin. The Guru discarded the palanquin at Alamgir and took a horse which was presented to him by Bhai Naudha, a resident of Alamgir. Gurdwara Manji Sahib was later constructed where the Guru had stayed. The shrine is now called Gurdwara Manji Sahib Alamgir which is the most frequently visited Gurdwaras in Ludhiana district
Gurudwara Manji Sahib in Ludhiana’s Alamgir village reflects yet another landmark in the life of the 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh.
The Guru was pursued by the Mughal Army and it was at this Gurudwara that he paused and rested, and blessed it with his presence.
During Guru Gobind Singh’s time, the Mughals under Emperor Aurangzeb were regaining their ascendancy.
Following the battle in Anandpur Sahib, the Guru abandoned the fort and came to Macchiwara, where his family was put to death.
It was then that two Pathan brothers, Ghani Khan and Nabi Khan, even at the prospect of facing certain death, helped the Guru to escape from the Mughal army.
Guru Gobind Singh donned the blue robes of a Muslim saint and accompanied by three Sikhs, all survivors of the Battle of Chamkaur, was carried in a palanquin through enemy lines. He discarded his disguise at Alamgir and took a horse, which was presented to him by Bhai Naudha, a resident of Alamgir.
Gurudwara Manji Sahib was constructed at the place where the Guru stayed.
On reaching Alamgir and unable to find any drinking water, the Guru ordered his followers to fetch drinking water from a nearby well. But they could not, as the boundary wall had fallen into the well and the water was contaminated.
The Guru then shot an arrow into the ground and a spring of water gushed out.
"This spring has been converted into a tank known as ‘Tirsar’, or Arrow Lake. The Guru said that whoever visits the holy tank with full faith, all his pains and worries would be cured," said Kingi Singh, Granthi, Gurudwara Manji Sahib, Alamgir
Due to the Manji or palanquin that brought the disguised Guru to Alamgir, the Peer of Ucch bestowed this Gurudwara its name, the Manji Sahib.
That original rare artefact, the palanquin has been preserved here, in an underground cell, to this day.
For devotees, the Gurudwara Manji Sahib is a pilgrimage as well as a tourist destination, both for its sanctity and the slice of Sikh history that it offers. It is one of the many shrines of the Sikhs, contributing its bit to the glorification of Sikhism.
"We have been visiting this place regularly with great faith. Everyone’s wishes get fulfilled," said Satwant Kaur, a devotee.
"We have so much faith in our guru that we believe that all our problems will be resolved by coming here. All our pains will be cured with faith," said Balbir Singh, another devotee.
The langar or, community meal at the Gurudwara Manji Sahib is said to be one of the biggest among all Sikh religious shrines, catering to hundreds of people free of cost every day in the spirit of service to mankind.
Generations on, Gurudwara Manji Sahib is in itself a picture of Sikhism showcasing its glory in true sense.