Sunday, 17 March 2013

Bangla Sahib Gurdwara: Sikh shrine that was once a haveli

Delhi’s list of tourist attractions is incomplete without the mention of Bangla Sahib Gurdwara. Located on Baba Kharak Singh Marg, near Connaught Place, this prominent Sikh shrine is alive with visitors and tourists all the year round. The name — Bangla Sahib — hardly matters to the

devout, but a general visitor is curious about its origin. This was originally Jaisinghpura Palace, a haveli of the Jaipur kings. It was in 1664 that Sawai Raja Jai Singh of Amber (Jaipur) hosted Guru Hari Krishan — the boy prophet who became the eighth Sikh Guru in 1661.

“It was a typical haveli and a bangla (an enclosure especially made for special guests) was erected for the guru. The place of guruji sangat (where he addressed the devotees) is now the takht sahib (decorated platform on which Guru Granth Sahib is kept),” says Gyani Kuldeep Singh of the gurdwara.

The guru stayed for about 8-10 months at a time of cholera and chicken pox epidemics. “He sat with his feet dipped in a small pond of water, which people — both Hindus and Muslims — partook and was saved. It is still there next to the shrine,” Singh said.

After Independence, the place saw rapid changes. An artificial pond was added. Beautiful golden filigree work adorning the sanctum sanctorum were also put in place.

Nivedita Khandekar, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, March 17, 2013


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