Himachal Pradesh. Popularly known as the Devbhumi – “Land of the Gods”, Himachal Pradesh is a beautiful hill state in India, nestles in north-west region of western Himalayas. The state is landlocked with the Tibetan plateau to the east, Jammu and Kashmir to the north, and the Punjab to the west. However, the state stands apart from its neighbors in terms of its sheer topographic diversity and breathtaking pristine natural beauty. From vast tracts of high-altitude Trans-Himalayan desert to dense green deodar forests, from apple orchards to cultivated terraces, from snow capped high Himalayan mountain ranges to snow fed lakes and gushing rivers. Numbers of Historical Gurdwaras are located in Himachal Pradesh. Some of the popular Gurdwaras of the state are briefly described District wise as under:-
Gurdwara Manikaran Sahab, Kullu. Manikaran, on the banks of Parvati river in Kullu District is known for its curing waters. The place famous for its hot boiling Sulphur springs is revered by lakhs who come here for a dip in the curing waters. It is believed that the hot springs can cure skin diseases like gout.
A huge gurdwara has been erected in the memory of Guru Nanak who is believed to have visited this place. A number of Sikh and Hindu pilgrims visit the gurdwara every year.
A Ram Temple, built in the 16th century, is also situated near the gurdwara. The gurdwara management prepares tea and food by putting huge vessels in water.
There is a water pool in the gurdwara where one can enjoy a hot bath. The local residents use hot water in narrow bazaar through pipes.
On 15 Asoo 1574 Bikrmi, Shri Guru Nanak Dev ji reached Manikaran with his two disciples Bala and Mardana. Here Mardana felt hungry but there was no source to cook meals. Guruji asked Mardana to lift a stone. Mardana did and a hot water spring discovered. As directed by Guruji Mardana put the rolled chapatis in the spring, to his despair the chapatis going down. As said by Guruji he prayed to God in case his chapatis float he would donate one chapati in the name of God. When he prayed all the chapatis started floating duly baked then Guru ji said listen Mardana whoever donate something in the name of God all his/ her articles float. Since then, hot spring discovered by Guru ji is still flowing and food is still being prepared in that spring. Sant Baba Narain Hari ji discovered this place and constructed Gurudwara in 1940.
It is also believed once Goddess Parvati lost her Chintamani (ear ring) which reached straight to Shesh Nag in Patalok. On being told by Parvati, Lord Shiva ordered Ganas and Bhootas to search Mani but they failed. Shiva grew angry and opened his third eye. Naina Devi produced from the eye of Shiva and Manikaran became the birth place of Naina Bhagwati. She went to Shesh Nag and asked to return Mani. Shesh Nag obliged by making a loud snif. Due to snif hot water springs busted out and many other jewels came out. Goddess Parvati took away her Mani and Lord Shiva’s became calm and from then this place is known as ‘Manikaran’.
Tibetans dominate the market here where one can buy religious idols, offerings, books, prasad, and Tibetan products. The amazing union of cold water and boiling springs in Parvati river has mystified many a scientist and the devout alike. Nature has used an array of colors, textures and materials to form fascinating mountains with many medicinal herbs. Transparent stone crystals, which resemble topaz, can be found at some points. Water flowing through the curves of hill land shapes has given rise to driftwood in various shapes and forms. Due to the climate, local vegetables and pulses like rajmah and urad are of rare quality and taste different from those available in the plains. A number of breathtaking places can be part of the expedition to Manikaran. Pulga, 16 km on left bank of the river, is a stiff march with a challenging climb of 1600 m. Khirganga is also famous for its hot springs containing medicinal properties. Pandapul has an ancient heritage. Two kilometres ahead, Mantala is another enchanting place. Chandra khannipass, which can be reached after stiff climbing, looks like a flower paradise in season. There is no end to nature’s captivating places around Manikaran. Besides a comfortable stay in the premises of the gurdwara and private guest houses, the Himachal Pradesh Tourism runs Hotel Parvati on the banks of the river. You can also have sulphur bath in attached bathroom of the hotel.
Bilaspur. Bilaspur district is situated in the Sub-mountain and low hills sub-tropical zone of Himachal Pradesh. The district in the outer hills of the Himalayas next to the Punjab plains and forms a part of the basin the river Sutluj which flows across it for about 90 km. It is bounded on the north by Mandi and Hamirpur district on the west by Hamirpur and Una district on its south lies the Solan district. It is encircled in the east and north-east by Solan and Mandi district. The district is mostly hilly and elevation of the lowest point is about 290m and that of the highest is about 1980m. Some of the historical Gurdwaras located in the district are as under:-
Gurdwara Budha Sahib. Gurdwara was situated in the old Bilaspur City, Himachal Pradesh. As the historic town was submerged in 1954 when the Sutlej River was dammed to create the Govind Sagar (Bhakhra Dam), and a new town was built upslope of the old. So the Actual Gurdwara Sahib is not accessible but Administration had given land to Gurdwara Sahib here in now Bilaspur City. Guru Tegh Bahadur along with family (Mata Ji and Gobind Rai (later Guru) in Childhood) went to Bilaspur to attend the mourning for Raja Dip Chand of Bilaspur.
The Dowager Rani Champa of Bilaspur offered to give the Guru Sahib a piece of land in her state. Guru Sahib bought the site on payment of Rs 500 (Five Hundred Ruppees). The land consisted of the villages of Lodhipur, Mianpur and Sahota. Here on the mound of Makhowal, Guru Ji raised a new habitation. The new village was named after the Guru Sahib’s mother, Mata Nanki. Chakk Nanaki later became famous as Anandpur Sahib.
Guru Ka Lahaur (Village Basantgarh). Guru Ka Lahaur is located near Basantgarh village in Bilaspur district of Himachal Pradesh. It isabout 12 kilometers north of Anandpur Sahib in Punjab and related to Guru Gobind Singh’s marriage. The betrothal had taken place during the lifetime of Guru Tegh Bahdur, but the marriage had been postponed in view of the elder Guru’s martyrdom in November 1675. Early in 1677, Jito Ji’s father, Bhai Hari Jas, a resident of Lahore, came to Chakk Nannki (Anandpur Sahib) and proposed that the bridegroom’s marriage party should go to Lahore and the marriage performed at an early and suitable date. The elders in the holy family considered that it was still not politic to go to Lahore. The young Guru said, “We shall create a Lahaur here. The bride’s family may come and reside in it, and the marriage may take place as agreed.” Consequently, a temporary camp was set up near Basantgarh and named Guru Ka Lahaur. Bhai Hari Jas brought his family and relations there and the marriage took place on 23rd Har 1734 Bikrami/21st June 1677. Even after the camp had been wounded up, the place continued to be considered holy. A Gurdwara was established at the camp site.
Gurdwara Sehra Sahib. Gurdwara is located on top of a hillock near Basi or Basantgarh village, one kilometre south of Guru ka Lahore. The Gurdwara, a square domed room with a circumambulatory verandah, was constructed by Sant Seva Singh of Anandpur Sahib in 1962. Guru Gobind Singh, who halted here for a short time on his way to Guru ka Lahore for his marriage in 1677.
According to tradition the Guru donned his sehra (bridegroom’s floral headband) here.
Gurdwara Anand Karaj Sthan Patshahi Dasvin. Gurdwara represents the spot where the marriage was performed. Its present building, a square hall with the domed sanctum in the middle of it was constructed by Sant Seva Singh Anandgarhwale during the 1960s.
Gurdwara Triveni Sahib. Gurdwara enclosing a spring formerly called Karpa (spear) Baoli. It is a domed square hall with a pavilion over the spring in front of the hall. When Guru Gobind Singh came to this place, people requested that there was scarcity of water in that area. Guru Sahib hit the ground with his Barcha and spring of sweet water started flowing.
Gurdwara Paur Sahib. It a small domed room with a verandah in front, near another spring is also based on legend similar to the one related to Triveni Sahib.
In this case a spring of salted water came when Guru Ji’s horse touched a stone with his hoof (Paur).
Sirmaur. It is the south-eastern district of Himachal Pradesh. It is largely mountainous and rural with 90% of its population living in villages. It includes the towns of Nahan (its capital) and the Shiwalic Fossil Park at Suketi, where fossils of over 85 million years old have been found. Agriculture is the backbone of economy of the district. Farmers of Sirmour produce potato and ginger. Sirmour is also known for its good quality of peach that comes from the Rajgarh region which is also called the Peach Bowl. Sirmour is also known for growing tons of fruits every year. Dhaula Kuan near Paonta Sahib is known for its Govt. operated fruit research centre. Sirmour district is significantly capable of growing both Apple and Mangos on its land. Tomato is also becoming choice for farmers these days. Village Lana-cheta is known for its fertile land and farmers here grow grains as first option. The Giri River divides the district into two almost-equal parts: Giripar and Giriwar. The famous Gurdwaras in this district are located at the following places :-
Nahan. At an altitude of 9,32m, Nahan is a well-laid out picturesque city, situated on an isolated ridge in the Shiwalik hills. This district town in Sirmaur district (erstwhile Sirmaur State) is approachable by road from Chandigarh, Ambala and Yamuna Nagar. When Raja Medni Prakash became the ruler of Sirmaur in 1684, he found the State threatened by covetous designs of his eastern neighbor, Raja Fateh Chand of Garhwal. Having heard of the rising power and spiritual influence of the young Sikh Guru Gobind Singh, he thought of wining the latter’s support and invited him to Nahan. Meanwhile, Guru Gobind Singh was feeling ill at ease at Chakk Nanaki because the local ruler, Raja Bhim Chand of Kahlur, had treacherously tried to grab an elephant presented to the Guru by a devotee and was chagrined by the Guru’s refusal to part with the animal. The Guru therefore accepted Medni Prakash’s invitation, and arrived at Nahan in April 1685. Guru stayed at Nahan for some time. Later, the Raja offered him some territory along the river Yamuna, the eastern boundary of the State. Guru Gobind Singh moved there and founded the present township of Paonta Sahib.
Gurdwara Guru Gobind Singh Sahib Patshahi 10. The place, where Guru Ji lived during his stay in Nahan city is not far from fort of Nahan, the residence of King Medini Prakash. The ladies of Guru Ji’s family stayed inside fortress of King Medini Prakash. A Gurdwara Sahib, Gurdwara Sri Dashmesh Asthan Patshahi 10, has been built at that place.
Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is installed exactly at the place, where King of Kings, Sri Guru Gobind Rai Sahib used to sit on his throne. Close to the high archway called the Lytton Memorial is the new building of the Gurdwara. It is small but impressive. It was completed in 1954. Its high-ceilinged domed congregation hall has marble door-frames and a marbled canopied high seat for Guru Granth Sahib. Accommodation for pilgrims is not available in the Gurdwara but can hired elsewhere in the town. Sikh population in the city is very small, but they regularly visit Gurdwara Sahib and do every kind of ‘Seva’ (service) at the Gurdwara Sahib. A few small and local Sikh organizations exist in Nahan. All major Gurpurbs are celebrated at Gurdwara Sri Dashmesh Asthan Patshahi 10, Nahan with love and devotion.
Paonta Sahib. Paonta Sahib is a historical city of Himachal Pradesh famous for the Sikhs and Hindu pilgrims. Situated amidst lush green forests of Sal trees, the city of Paonta Sahib gives panoramic view of the region. A large number of devotees travel to Paonta Sahib to visit the Gurdwaras of Guru Gobind Singh. Paonta or Panvta on the right bank of Yamuna River, is connected with road with Yamuna Nagar (65 kilimetres) and Nahan (42 kilometers), and can also be reached from Dehradun (50 kilometers) by crossing the river at Paonta.
Gurdwara Shri Paonta Sahib. It was founded in 1685 by Guru Gobind Singh, who stayed here up to 1688. During this period he engaged himself not only in hunting and training his warrior Sikhs in the martial arts, but also in literary activities composing many works of religious as well as heroic poetry and patronizing several talented poets and writers whom he employed mostly for translating ancient classics into contemporary Braj or Punjabi.
Towards the end of his stay, he also fought and won the first battle of his life against a combination of hill chiefs hostile to him, in his words, ‘for no cause’. Before he left for Anandpur Sahib. He appointed Bhai Bishan Singh to look after the fortress-like complex and the Gurdwara within it. The building was reconstructed in 1823 by Baba Kapur Singh with funds provided by Sardar Sahib Singh Sandhanwalia. The shrine and about 120 acres of land attached to it continued to be controlled by hereditary mahants until Nihangs occupied it forcibly in 1964. This was followed by a raid by Himachal Pradesh policed in which 11 Nihangs were killed. After lengthy enquiries and court proceedings, the management was entrusted to an eleven-member committee with the president of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee as its ex-officio chairman. Meanwhile, the Himachal Pradesh government had permanently allotted most of the land of Gurdwara Sri Paonta Sahib to former tenants under Big Landed Estates Abolition Act passed by it.
The Gurdwara complex spreading over three acres includes, besides the main sanctum Darbar Sahib, several smaller shrines connected with the Guru’s activities here. They are Talab Asthan, where pay was disbursed; Kavi Darbar Asthan, where literary works were recited and discussed; Dastar Astha, where robes of honour were given to warriors for their performance during the battle of Bhangani; a memorial to Rishi Kalpi, whom the Guru had brought from his hermitage to stay here; and the Gobind Ghat leading down to the river waters; and of course, the inevitable Guru Ka Langar. All thee places have been reconstructed or renovated during the 1980s.
Gurdwara Kavi Darbar Sahib. Kavi Darbar is the name given to an event or gathering where poets (“Kavi”) assemble to engage in recitation of their poetry.
Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Gutu is famous for his love of poetry. Every month on a full moon night, he used to arrange such a “gathering of poets” near the Gurdwara Paonta Sahib. The place where he arranged these gathering is also called “Kavi Darbar”. It is an open air location adjacent of the River Yamuna. At this spot, the Yamuna was very noisy due to which, the poets used to get disturbed. They complained the same to Guruji. Thereafter, with blessing of Guruji, the yamuna started flowing silently at that place.
Gurdwara Dastar Asthan. To the left of Kavi Darbar is the Dastar Asthan. It is located in front of Harimandir Sahib. It is also located near the stairs on the bank of river Yamuna. This place was used to hold turban tying competition. Guru Gobind Singh Ji also used to award the person who tied the best turban. This Dastar Asthan was also the place where Guru Gobind Singh Ji recited Sodar Sahib. Guruji distributed salaries to his warriors at this very place. When Guru Gobind Singh Ji became victorious at the Battle of Bhangani Sahib, he sat at this place and acknowledged the valour and sacrifices done by his warriors. He also awarded them with shields full of gold coins for their great work. At this place Guru Gobind Singh Ji awarded Pir Budhu Shah for his sacrifices towards the cause of Sikhism. He was given Siropa and 65000 gold coins as a token of appreciation. Guruji also offered the sacred hair along with Kanga (a comb) & a robe of honor to Peer Buddu Shah.
Gurudwara Shergaah Sahib. It is situated near Gurudwara Paonta Sahib. It is situated North of Gurdwara Paonta Sahib at a distance of of about four kilometers. One Day Guru Sahib had a meeting with Raja Medini Parkash, the Raja of Nahan, and Raja Fateh Shah, the Raja of Garhwal. A villager from the nearby village approached them and made a humble request to save the lives of the villagers from a man eater lion, which had killed many villagers. No one had dared to face and kill the lion till that time. On the request of this villager, the Garib Niwaj Sri Guru Gobind Rai (Dasham Pitah) undertook a combing operation along with both Rajas and their soldiers.
The Guru reached under the tree of Beheda (inside the campus of Gurudwara Shergah Sahib in the present day) where the lion was present in his habitat (present Bhora Sahib). It was very old and dangerous Lion. It saw the Guru and bowed its head and moved his tail like inside like a dog. Guru Ji challenged the lion as stated:-
”Being a lion, you are behaving like a jackal, why are you disgracing the pride of lions? Be a lion.”
“Oh Gidi Siyar, Sher ho ke Gidran wali chal phadi hoi hei, Kion shera di vans nu laj la rihan hei. Uth sher ban.”
On hearing these words of Guru Ji, the lion stood up and roared dangerously. The birds on the trees flew away. The wild animals ran away, the soldiers and both the Rajas were frightened. In the flash of a second, the lion pounced and made a deadly attack on Guru Ji.
Guru ji halted him with a shield on his left arm. He plunged his sword into the stomach of the lion and moved it in such a way that the lion was cut into two pieces. King Medini Prakash was impressed with Guru Ji’s skill of hunting. He requested Guru Ji to give the sword used to kill lion to him as a memento. Guru Ji happily gave his sword to the King. This holy sword of Guru Gobind Rai Sahib Ji is now preserved at Jaipur (Rajasthan) by Ms Padmini, present scion of Sirmaur state.
Gurdwara Bhangani Sahib. Bhangani, a small village on the right bank of the River Yamuna in Paonta tahsil of Sirmaur district, is the place where Guru Gobind Singh fought his first battle against the hill chiefs in 1688. Although only 11 kilometres from Paonta Sahib as the crow flies, Bhangani is approached by a 22 kilometres, stretch of a winding, fair-weather though motorable road. The dispute with the hill chiefs arose when Raja Bhim Chand of Kahlur, annoyed with Guru Gobind Singh over the latter’s refusal to give him a trained elephant, went to Srinagar (Garhwal) to marry his son Ajmer Chand to the daughter or Raja Fateh Chand of Garhwal. As Fateh Chand was friendly with Guru Gobind Singh, then staying at Paonta Sahib, the Guru too sent a few Sikhs to Srinagar with tambol, the customary wedding present in cash. Bhim Chand forced Raja Fateh Chand to refuse the present from the one, who was his (Bhim Chand’s) enemy. Not contented, he also made Fateh Chand and other chiefs to agree to infest Paonta after the marriage. Guru Gobind Singh on his part came to know of their plan and made preparations for a showdown. He came forward to Bhangani to meet the invaders. The battle took place on 16th April 1688. It was finished on the same day with undisputed victory of the Guru. Gurdwara Bhangani Sahib has been renovated with marble floors constructed around it. Inside the Darbar Sahib is also covered in marble.
Surroundings of the Gurdwara are fields of lush green crops with a sense of peace and normality which belies the violent past, One looks around the tranquil setting are imagines Guru Gobind Singh seated on his stallion commanding his Sikhs to their first battle. What a glorious battle it was with Guru Ji and his Sikhs, although heavily outnumbered, came through victorious. A congregational fair is held at this place on 16th, 17th and 18th of Baisakh (end April) to commemorate the victorious battle of Bhangani.
Gurdwara Tir Garhi (Bhangani). It is situated near Bhangani village. Guru Gobind Singh fought and won the first battle of his life known as “Bhangani Da Yudh” against the hill chiefs. Battle was fought in the place where Gurdwara Bhangani Sahib is situated. Sitting at this place, Guru Sahib held the command of battle.
Gurdwara Toka Sahib. It is a wonderful Gurdwara established in honor of Guru Gobind Singh, who stayed here for a few days in 1685 and again in 1688. This Gurdwara is situated in the peaceful area of village Tota in Sirmaur district of Himachal Pradesh, at the border of Himachal Pradesh and Haryana. A road connects Toka Sahib with the city of Narayangarh (Haryana).
The natural surroundings of Gurdwara and the thin population of the area make this a very peaceful and tranquil place. The Guru Ka Langar (community kitchen) is available and the food is served at most times. Another smaller Gurdwara called “Tapp Asthaan” is also built nearby where the Guru used to meditate in a solitary and peaceful location near the main Gurdwara Sahib. This is situated on a peak of nearby small hill.
Two Sikh soldiers who were wounded in the battle of Bhangani, died near Gurdwara Toka Sahib. A small Gurdwara is built as memorial to these brave soldiers on the bank of a Sarovar (pool).
The majority of residents of village Toka were ‘Rangharhs’ (thieves). They got a chance to enter the camp of Guru Gobind Singh’s army managing to steal away with two camels. When the Sikh soldiers discovered that the camels were missing, they informed the Guru. The Guru asked the ‘Rangharhs’ of the village about the camels. The villagers said they did not take any camel. They said, “Other thieves must have stolen your camels. We have not seen your camels”. They then went back to their village. There was (and there still is) another village, named ‘Laaha’ at some distance from village Toka. Today, Laaha is situated on Narayangarh-Raipur Rani road. Majority of its residents were poor people. The Guru called them to his camp and asked them if they would go to the Rangharhs’ village disguised as beggars to check if the Guru’s camels were in the village. A poor resident of village ‘Laaha’ went to village ‘Toka’ posing as a beggar. He found both of camels of the Guru in the village. He came back to the Guru and informed him that both camels were tied in the village of ‘Toka’. Guru Ji called the ‘Rangharhs’ of village ‘Toka’ again. ‘Rangharhs’ were now frightened because their crime was highlighted and proved. They apologized to the Guru. The Guru said, “The residents of village ‘Laaha’ will always get ‘Laaha’ (profit) and residents of ‘Toka’ will face ‘Tota’ (loss)”.
Una. Una District is located in the south-west region of the state of Himachal Pradesh. One of the twelve districts of Himachal Pradesh, Una was carved out of Hoshiarpur District of Punjab in 1972. Situated at the base of the Shivalik ranges, Una District shares its boundary with Bilaspur, Hamirpur, Kangra and Hoshiarpur of Punjab. Gurdwaras located in the district are as under
Gurdwara Gurpalah Patshahi Dasvin (Bathu). Bathu village in Una district is 15 kilometers west of Nangal in Punjab along the Nangal-Garhshankar road.
This pious place was visited by Guru Gobind Singh. Guruji and the 9th Descendent of Guru Nanak Dev, Baba Kaladhari, had deep respect for each other, Due to which Guru Gobind Singh called Baba Kaladhari to Una Sahib from Dera Baba Nanak. They used to interact with each other and with passage of time they both got affectionately attached with each other. While Guru Gobind Singh was in Anandpur Sahib, Baba Kaladhari would start toward Anandpur sahib from Una to meet Guruji and Guruji also used to leave his place to meet Baba kaladhari at the same time. The Place, where they both used to meet is a sacred place called Gurplaha. The meeting used to take place under a Palahi tree on the bank of Suan River, one furlong east of the village. The commemorative shrine established at that place is called Gurdwara Gurpalah Patshai Dasvin. It is housed in a small domed room built during the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
Gurdwara Guru Gobind Singh Sahib Patshahi Dasvin (Saluri). Saluri village is 16 kilometers north of Una along the Una – Amb road. Guru Gobind Singh stayed here during his hunting excursion from Saluri to Nadaun in 1691. The commemorative shrine on top of a small hillock on the left bank of Suan River is a small domed room built in 1829 by mason Naudh Singh with funds provided by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. It is named Gurdwara Guru Gobind Singh Sahib Patshahi Dasvin. It is administered by the followers of Sant Seva Singh Anandgarhwale, who had renovated it.
Gurdwara Patshahi Dasvin Sangrauli. It is located in the Sangrauli Village in Una Distt. It is Situated on the Una Panjawar Road. Guru Gobind Singh came here while on his hunting excursion started from Saluri.
Gurdwara Dasvin Patshahi Nadaun, Kangra. Nadaun is a town along the Una-Amb-Kangra road, about 30 kilometers from Kangra and 70 kilometers from Una. It was the scene of a battle in which Guru Gobind Singh took part to assist Raja Bhim Chand of Kahlur and some other hill chiefs against the Mughal general Alif Khan. Guruji fought the second battle of his life at this place. The battle was fought on 20th March 1691. After winning the battle Guruji stayed here for nine days. Hence the name of city was named as Nadaun. The memorial shrine west of the town on the bank of Beas River is called Gurdwara Dasvin Patshahi. Its present building, a square domed room, was constructed by Rai Bahadur Wasakha Singh in 1929..
Mandi. Mandi is bounded by Kangra on the North-West, Hamirpur and Bilaspur in the West, Arki tehsil of Solan district on the South-West and Kullu district in the East. Mandi is situated on the banks of the river Beas. It has a rich culture and history represented by its temples which are a major tourist’s draw. Mandi is an important trading centre situated on the Pathankot-Kullu road. The town is also the gateway to Himachal’s most famous valleys – Kullu, Manali, Lahaul and Spiti. Mandi is also on the Kullu-Shimla road via Bilaspur. The entire town has a huge sprinkling of temples. Following Gurdwaras are located in the District:-
Gurdwara Damdama Sahib (Rawalsar). Rawalsar is a natural lake with floating islands, about 15 kilometers west of mandi town. The habitation that has grown around it is also named Rawalsar.
Guru Gobind Singh visited it once on the occasion of Baisakhi festival. He had a meeting with Bai Dhar Rajas (22 Hill Rulers) to decide a plan for saving the Hindus and Hindu Religion from the cruelty of Muslim Emperor Aurangzeb. Guruji stayed here for period of 1 Month. It was here that Raja Siddh Sen of Mandi met the Guru and took him to Mandi with him. A Gurdwara was constructed here by devotees of the Guru to perpetuate his memory.
Adjoining the Gurdwara is a big tank, whose water has medicinal value. A dip in this tank is considered auspicious.The Gurdwara is built of stone and one can reach it by climbing 108 stairs. People visit this shrine with great devotion.
It is a sacred place for Buddhists too. Many people from Tibet come here on pilgrimage, to pay homage to Buddhist shrine situated at this place. Rawalsar is particularly sacred to Namdhari Sikhs. Because of some allusion to it in Sau Sakhi as a sanctuary, many Namdharis went to settle there during early 1940s, but as this small hilly place could hardly absorb them, most of them came back; yet many settled at the nearby Mandi town from where they keep visiting the lake and the Gurdwara frequently.
Gurdwara Guru Gobind Singh. It is situated in the Mandi Town. It is located on the National Highway no 21 on Mandi-Kullu. Guruji came to this place on invitation from Mandi ruler Raja Sidh Sen. GURU SAHIB stayed pitched his tent here and Mata ji’s were accommodated in the Rulers Palace. The Inner place is maintained by the Rulers family. Guruji stayed here for 6 Months 19 days. When Guruji was about to leave Mandi, Raja Sidh Sen asked Guruji that since he was leaving Mandi, who would save them from Aurangzeb’s Cruelty. At that moment, Guruji was aiming on a clay Pitcher in the River Beas. Guruji fired at the pitcher. It got a hole and was still floating in River. The Guru used the still floating pitcher as a metaphor to enforce his answer. Turning to the Raja, Guru ji remarked:-
“Jaise Bachi yeh Handi, Waise Bachegi teri Mandi
Jo mandi ko lutengae, aasmani goley chooteygein.”
“As this pitcher was saved, so shall Mandi be saved
If anyone tries to loot it, musket balls will rain from the sky
The following belongings of Guruji are still preserved at this Gurdwara:-
Holy Mattress and Kuppy.
Guru Gobind Singh’s Signature
There is also a rock in River Beas on which Guruji used to meditate daily during his stay at Mandi.
Gurdwara Damdama Sahib. It is situated in the Mandi Town in Himachal pardesh. Gurdwara Sahib is located on the Tarnaa Road of the Town. Guru Gobind Singh along with Mata Ji’s came to Mandi Town on invitation of Raja Sidh Sen. Guru Sahib pitched his tent on River Beas Bank and Mata Ji’s were Accommodated in the Rulers Palace. Guru Sahib also stayed at this place for some time.
Gurdwara Gurukotha. It is situated in Village Gurukotha in Mandi Distt. It can be reached on Road from SunderNagar to Rawalsar Sahib. It is hardly 15 Km Sunder Nagar. Guruji came to this place and stayed here for few days. Guruji also played the foundation stone of a fort on the hill top. But the fort is almost ruined now.
The Nishan Sahib of the Gurdwara Sahib on the Hill Top can be seen from a distance.
There are more historical Gurdwaras in Himachal Pradesh , the description of the same has not been included to maintain the interest of the readers . Inquisitive readers are requested to find it from other sources.