CHAPTER XIX

PLACES OF INTEREST

 

The district of Bathinda has hardly any place of tourist attraction, through there are a few places of historical and religious importance. The places having some historical, religious and local importance in the district are described below :

 

1.      Bathinda

 

            Bathinda, the principal town and headquarters of the district/ sub division/ tehsil of the same name, is a big railway junction of Northern Railway on the Firozpur- Bathinda- New Delhi, Bathinda-Dhuri-Ambala Cantt, Bathinda- Hindumal Kot-Sri Ganganagar, Bathinda –Suratgarh, Fazilka- Bathinda Rewari lines. It is also well connected by road with Chandigarh (210Km), Ludhiana (136 Km), Faridkot (63 Km) and Firozpur (101 Km). Its population as per 1981 Census was 1,24,453 persons, as against 65,318 in 1971.

 

            Different versions are narrated on the rounding of the town of Bathinda. According to Khalif Muhammad Hasan’s History of Patiala , its ancient name was Bikramgarh. Bathinda is said in the Hindu annals to have been Jai Pal’s capital of the Hindiushahi dynasty. According to another version, it is named after the Rajput ruler Binani Pal and his Wazir (minister) Thanda Ram i.e. from Binani’s B+Thanda = Bathanda or Bathinda. It is also called Gobindgarh, because Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, is said to have stayed in the Fort of Bathinda. A gurudwara in the memory of the Guru was also constructed here by Maharaja Narinder Singh of Patiala State.

 

            The town was conquered by Maharaja Ala Singh with the aid of Sikh confederacy around 1754 and since then it has followed the history of erstwhile princely State of Patiala. With the formation of PEPSU in 1948, Faridkot was first made the headquarters of Bathinda  District, which were later shifted to Bathinda in 1953.

 

            The old Fort with the gurdwara of Guru Gobind Singh inside it is the principal place of historical interest in the town. It stands as a gigantic sentinel in the heart of town. The Fort is associated with Razia Sultan (1236-40), the Empress of India, as she is said have been imprisoned there by Altunia, the rebel Governor of Bathinda. However, later on Altunia released Razia from the presion and subsequently married her.

 

            The Rose Garden is today one of the attractive spots in the town. It has been developed into a beautiful picnic spot and is visited by a large number of people.

 

            There is also a traffic park for children situated in the heart of the city. Inaugurated on 26 January 1986, it is the fourth of its kind in Northern India and second in Punjab after Ludhiana. The administration has made arrangements to impart regular traffic training to children in this park.

 

            At a distane of 6 Km from Bathinda, there is a zoological parkcalled Bir Talab Forest and Tourist Complex. It has a children parkand sprawling lawns where the residents go for picnic on weekends and holidays. The zoo has a number of birds and animals, suchas chakor, parrots, turkey ducks, rabbits, langur, saras, cranes, black buck, deer, monkeys etc. for the recreation ofchildren. The Bir Talab Forest has also trees like bamboo, amltas, khair, teak holak and shisham. The tourist complex is being jointly managed and looked afterby the departments of Wild Life and Forests.

 

            The Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant at Bathinda is another important landmark. Its foundation stone was laid on 19 November 1969, the auspicious 500th bith anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev. This historic town was selected for this prestigious thermal power project of the Punjab State for its good railway connections, facility for transportation of coal, availability of canal water and the proximity to load center. The total installed units of 110 MW each. Amongst the other big industries in the town are the unit of National Fertilizers Limited and a Milk Plant in the co-operative sector.

            There is a historic gurudwara known as Gurudwara Haji Rattan named after Haji Rattan, a sadhu who used tomeditate here. It is also associated with the visits of Guru Nanak  Dev, Guru Hargobind and Guru Gobind Singh. It is said when Guru Nanak Dev during his first journey (Udasi) visited this place, Haji Rattan hurled a big stone at the Guru to frighten him away. But Guru Nanak Dev picked the same up and hurled it back to Haji Rattan who became unconscious. The Guru brought Guru’s pardon and requested him to get him rid of the drudgery of life. Guru Nanak Dev is said to have uttered, “I will see you twice more”, and the Guru’s words came true when Guru Hargobind and Guru Gobind Singhagain visited this place. Guru Gobind Singh after his fiercestbattles with the Mughals came to Bathindaand camped near Haji Rattan. At that time, the area surronding Haji Rattan was a dense forest. The residents of Bathinda werefed up with a ghost who used to demolish their houses whenever they constructed them. So they requested Guru Gobind Singh to do something for them and the Guru freedthe villagers from the ghost. The building of Gurudwara Haji Rattan was constructed during the time of Maharaja Karam Singh of Patiala Statewhen he conquered Bathinda.

 

            There are 3 colleges in the town, viz. Government Rajindra College, Shri Sanatan Dharam Girls College, DAV (Mata Gunwati) College. Besides, there are 4 higher secondary schools, 6 highschools, 13 middle schools,23 primary schools, 3 hospitals, 1 TB Clinic, 10 dispensaries and 2 public libararies.

 

2.      Bareta Mandi

 

           

            Situated at a distance of 51Km from Mansa, its tehsil/ subdivision headquarters, Bareta Mandi is a railway station on the new Delhi-Bathinda-Firozpur railway line. It is well connected by roadwithBathinda (106 Km), Chandigarh (169 Km) and Patiala (104 Km). Its population , as per 1981 Census was 9,494 persons as against 8,313 in 1971.

 

            On theoutskirts of the town, there is a small place on the bank of a pond where a fair is held every year on the first Sunday of bright-half of Bhadhon (August –September) in the memory of two Muslim sisters whoare said to have died in the prime of their youth. It is believed that their prophesies proved true.The fair known as mela Bebrian is mostly attended by women who scoop earth out of the pond with the hope that their wishes will be fulfilled. Offering of only wheat is made before the deities.

 

            The town has a hospital,viz  Guru Nanak Civil Hospital and an Ayuvedic dispensary, two highschools (one for boys and another for girls) and two middle schools. A class III Municipality has been functioning in the town since 1956. Besides, there is a splendid temple, named as Krishnamandirwhichwas built around 1936. Bareta Mandi is known for its desi juties, made by the artisans.

 

            The town is predominantly inhabited by Chauhanswho tracetheir origin from Gugga, lord of snakes. It is said that no body has ever died here on account of snake bite because of the blessings of Gugga, the God of Snakes.

 

3.      Bhopal

 

            Bhopal falls in the Mansa Tehsil and lies at a distance of 11 Km from Mansa on  an approach road. Its population, as per 1981 Census was 2,675 persons as against 2,247 in1971.

 

            The village is known for fair of Jogi Pir who is said to be the guru (preceptor) of chahal jats. It is said that during the times of Muslim rule, Jogi Pir fought with the forces of muslim rulers. During the battle, his head was chopped off, but his headless body kept on fighting until it fell down dead in this village. The people were deeply touched by the sacrific of  Jogi Pir and got a smadh constructed here and a fair began toheheld. Another story also says that once a few persons weregoing to some place for business purpose, andnight befell them. They stayed under a grove of trees in the premises of the smadh. They felt pangs of thirst at night, but there was no source of water where from they could quench their  thirst . A heavenly voice which was belived to be that of Jogi Pir was heard: “ why do you die of thirst? Pick out abrick from the pond and take water”. They did likewise, found water from underneath the brick they picked up and thus they quenched their thirst.

 

            A fair is held here twice annually for three days on Bhadon  28 (August-September)and Chet 16 (march- April) at the smadhof Jogi Pir. It is attended by both Hindusand Sikhs, Chahal Jats in particular in large number. The people pay their obeisance at the smadh, especially after the birth of a son or the solemnization of marriage. Earth is also scooped one of the tank by the people for involking the blessings of Jogi Pir.

 

            The village has a primary school and a post office.

 

Bhudlada

 

            Situated as a distance of 16 Km by rail from Mansa its Tehsil headquarters, Budhlada lies on the New Delhi- Bathinda-Firozour railway line. It is 69 Km by rail from Bathinda, the district headquarters. It isalsoconnected by raodwithBathinda (88 Km),Mansa (33 Km),Chandigarh (174 Km) and Patiala (109 Km). It has a Class II Municipal Committee functioning since 1956. It s population as per 1981 Census was 15,968 persons, as against 10,548 in 1971.

 

            Budhlada was earlier a British terriotary and formed  part of the Hisar District now in Haryana. The town has a college, viz. Guru Nanak College, 2 Higher Secondary/ highschools, 1 primary school, a public library,a hospital, a family welfare center and a primary healthcentre. The town is known for the manufacture of agriculturalimplements, shoes and wahing soap.

 

                                  

Daliawali

 

            Situated at a  distance of about 16 Km from Mansa the tehsil headquarters, Daliawali is connected by an approach road. The nearest town is Maur which is 11 Km from here. Its population, a per 1981 Census 1,331 persons, as against 1,034 in 1971.

 

            There is a Gurudwara build in the memory of Guru Gobind Singh, who is said to have visited this place. A fair known as Mela Mithan Sar is held here on the Amawas day every month.

 

            The story goes that GuruGobind Singh, whilegoing fromTalwandi Sabo toKot Dharmu, stayed in Daliawali village at the place where now the gurudwara stands . The devotees who accompanied the Guru told him that they were very hungry. Nothing was available near about except twotrees- one of beri and the otherof Kikkar . The Guru replied that they should shake thetrees. The devoteesdid likewiseand were surprised to find sweetmeatsfalling from the trees. The devotees relished the sweetmeats with added devotiontotheir Guru. Hence the nameMithan Sar (tank of sweetmeats) has been given to the fair.

 

Goniana Mandi

 

            It is situated at a distance of 12 Km from Bathinda its tahsil and district headquarters on the Bathinda-Faridkot road. it falls on the Bathinda- Firozpur railwayline and is well connected by road with Bathinda, Jaitu, Nathana, etc. It has a class III Municipal Committee. Its population as per 1981 Census was 8,596 persons, as against 6,408 in 1971.

 

            Goniana mandi is well known for Tikama Bhai Jagta Ji, the dera (Seat) of the Seva Panthi Addan Shahai Sect. An annual Yag samagam is held here for three days in January-Febraury in the memory of Bhai jagta Ji. The Seva Panthi Sectowes its existence to the benignityof GuruTegBahadur and its ideal speciman of the beneficence of  Guru Gobind Singh. It is said that this sect pioneered by Bhai Ghanania is anold andsupreme institutionsimilary to the International Red Cross Society. Bhai Ghanaia presented an ideal of selfless and unique service of offering drinking water to the friends and foes alike in the battle field . Guru Gobind Singh was much impressed by his service and blessed that his mission would be run after him.

 

            On the annual yag samagam, devotees from every nook and corner of India visit the Tikana in thousands to pay their obeisance and listen to the religious preachings of the learned scholars and preachers. Free kitchen (Guru-Ka-Langar) is served round the clock here. There is also arrangement for the stay of the pilgrims. The Tikana runsa Bhai Jagta Ji Midle School and Bhai Sohan Ram Gaini College. It also runs Ghanaia Chariatable Hospital, which provides free medicines to the needy and in general and the poor in particular. It also arranges free eye camp every year with the co-operation of Christian Medical College and Brown Memorial Hospital, Ludhiana. It has about 40 acres farm offertile land, which is its major source of income.

 

            The town has a market committee, two high schools (One each for boys and girls), a primary health center and a police station.

 

Har Raipura (Bhokhri)

 

            Har Raipur or Bhokhri lies west of Bathinda on the Bathinda- Nathana road. It falls in the Bathinda tahsil and is about 19Km from the tahsil headquarters ans about 5 Km from Goniana Mandi. Its population as per 1981census was 2,705 persons, as against 2, 384 in 1971.

 

            Gurdwara Jand Sahib has beenbuilt here in the memory of Guru Har Rai’s visit to this place. It is said the Guru who was at that time staying at Kiratpur Sahib (district Rupnagar) had an intution that the inhabitants of the village Bhokhri remembered him. He went there and stayed for a few days under a jand tree. The tree still stands in the premises of the gurudwara. The issueless women of the area come to this place and tie a thread around the tree with the hope that their desire will be fulfilled.

 

            This place is also said to have been visited by Guru Gobind Singh. A tank has been constructed here. A fair known as Mela Jand Sahib is held in the month of Phagan (February- March) for three days, which is attended bya large number of people.

 

            The village has a middle school, a primary school and a post office.

 

Jassi Bagwali

 

            Jassi Bagwali falls in Bathinda Tahsil and lies about 26 km south of Bathinda on the Bathinda Dabwali road. Thenearest town is Sangat, which is 11 km from the village. Its population as per 1981 census was 2,405 persons, as against 2,060 in 1971.

 

            Gurdawara Bagsar hasben built here in the memory of GuruGobind Singh, who is said tohave visited this place while on his way to Talwandi Sabo. It is said that Guru Gobind Singh stayed here for ten days under a tree. It is also said that a small pond existed at this place. When Guru Gobind  Singh riding on his horse crossed through this pond, the horse and the dark brown dress of Guru Gobind Singh, became shite. When asked by his followers, the Guru told that it was a sacred tirath  and had been visited by Lord Rama while fighting with Lav and Kush. The Guru further added that whosever would take bath in this tank, all his sins would be washed. Another story connected with this place is that one Rama Nand, disciple of Narad also meditated at this place anda smadh has been constructed in his memory. The issueless women who wish to be blessed with a male child visit this place with the beleifthat their desire will befulfilled.

 

            A fair is held on the first Maqh (January-February) known as Maghi Fair. It lasts for threedays. Besides, a fair is held on every Amavas. People in large numbers visit the place on these occasions and takebath in the sacred tank.

 

            As per 1981 Census, the village had a primaryschool, a middle school and a post office.

 

 

Joga

 

            Situated at a distance of about 19 km from Mansa, the tahsil headquarters, Joga lies on Mansa-Barnala road. Its population as per 1981 Census, was 7,029 persons, as against 5,661 in 1971.

 

            A fairknown as Palara Fair is held here on Chet Sudi  14 (March-April), which lasts for three days. It is associated with the Pandavas, who are said to have stayed here. According to another legend, Lord Rama played in a swing (Ping Palongra) here in whose memory a temple had been constructed. A large number of persons, both Hindus and Sikhs, attend the fair and take bath in theholy tank.

 

            The village has 2 high schools, 2 middle schools, 2 primary  schools, a primary health center, a dispensary and a post office.

 

Khiala Kalan

 

            Situated at a distance of about 5 km from Mansa, the tahsil headquarters, Khiala Kalan falls on Mansa-Bhikhi-Sunam road. Its population, as per 1981 Census was 4,506, as against 4,217 in 1971.

 

            There is an old Gurudwara build in the memory of GuruTeg Bahadur who is said to have visited this place. nearby, there is an old beri tree with which GuruTeg Bahadur is said to have tied this horse. A gurudwara has also been raised on this spot. Besides, there is a temple of goddess (devi) built by Brahmins of the village. GuruTeg Bahadur is said to have offered milk in a chhanna (a big pot made of bronze) by a Brahmin family. This chhanna is still kept by Pandit hari Ram Rikhi, descendant of the family.

 

            The village has a high school, a hospital, a dispensary, a primary health center and a post office.

 

Maisar Khana

 

            This village falls in tahsil Talwandi Sabo on the NewDlhi- Bathinda_Firozpur railway line and is about 30 km from bathinda, the district headquarter. It is connected with Maur Mandi, another town of the district and is about 10 km from this place Its population as per 1981 census, was 3,043 persons, as against 2,358 in 1971.

 

            About 500 years ago, a Sadhu whowas Brahmin by caste used to live in village Maisar Khan. He was a staunch follower of Lattan Wali, goddess ofKangra. Once he asked people of the village to accompany himto pay homage to the place and were so much impressed at the sight of the flames erupting in the temple that they prayed to the goddessforthe appearance of similar flames in their own village. Nextyear, similar flames appeared at the spot in the village., where a temple was constructed by the villagers.

 

            A fair is held here in September-October for one day in the memory of the Sadhu. On this day, offerings of halwa  and cash are made tothedeity. Religious preachers gives sermons to the people on the occasion. Ceremony of digging ofearth and throwing it on a 35 feet high mound is performed. Some people also perform the mundan (first hair cutting) ceremony of their children here. The fair is attended by a large number of people from far and near. The temple is under the management of Sanatan Dharam Mahabir Dal, Bathinda.

 

            The village has a higher secondary school, a middle school, a primary school, a dispensary, a primary health center and a post office. Besides, Malwa Prantiya Sanskrit Mahavidyala is being run by Malwa Prantiya Brahmin Sabha, Maisar Khana, in which Pragya,Vishard and Shastari classes are held.

 

Mansa

 

            Mansa is a tahsil and sub division of the same name. It is situated on theBathinda Delhi railway line. It is connected by road  with Patiala (110 km), Bathinda, the district headquarters (55 km) and Chandigarh the State headquarter (175 km).

 

            The town is said to have been founded by Bhai Gurdas, who hailed from village Dhingar in Bathinda District. He is said to have been married at this place among the Dhaliwal Jats. Once he came to his in laws to take his wife along with him, but they refused to send her. At this, Bhai Gurdassat in meditation before the house of his in laws. After some time, the parents of the girl agreed to sendtheir daughterwith Bhai Gurdas. But he refused to take her along with him, stating that he had now renounced the wordly way of life . In his memory, a smadh was constructed where a fair is held every year in March-April. People in large number attend the fair and offer ladoos and gur at the smadh.

 

            The town has 2 colleges,viz. Nehru Memorial Post Graduate College and S.D. Kanya Mahavidyala, 2 hospitals, 2 dispensaries (One Ayurvedic and one Homoeopathic), 5 higher secondary / high schools, 5 middle schools, 10 primary schools and one Municipal library.

 

            A class II municipality has been functioning in the town since 1952. The population of the town, as per 1981Census, was 43,289 persons, as against 31,351 in 1971.

 

Maur Mandi

 

            Situated  on Bathinda Mansa road at a distance of 42 km from Bathinda, the district headquarters, Maur Mandi is a railway station on the Firozpur Bathinda New Delhi railway line. It falls in tahsil Talwandi Sabo,k whose headquartersare 18 km from here. It is well connected by road with the State headquarters, Chandigarh (187 km), Patiala (122km), Talwandi Sabo (18 km) and Bathinda (42 km). It has a class II Municipal committee. Its population as per 1981 Census was 18,853 persons, as against 13, 407 in 1971.

 

            The town is said tohave been founded by one Maur, a Jat of  Mann sub caste.There exists a gurudwara whichis associated with the visit of Guru Teg Bahadur, the ninth Guru of the Sikhs. It is said that the guru stayed here for a few days and got rid the villagers of a ghost. A fair is held here one very Amavas.

 

            The town has a hospital, a dispensary, a family planning center, 3 higher secondary/ high schools, 4 middle schools, 6 primary schools and a public library. The town is known for the manafacture of agricultural implements and shoes.

 

Mehma Sarjas

 

            This village falls in Bathinda tahsil and lies west of Bathinda. The neareast town is Goniana Mandi which is 6 km from this place. Its population as per 1981 Census was 5,108 persons, as against 4,233 in 1971.

 

            The historic Gurudwara Lakhi Jangal was built in this village in the memory of Guru Nanak Dev, who is said to have recited Jap Ji Sahib one lakh times at this place. It is also said that Guru Hargobind, Guru Har Rai and Guru Gobind Singh, the 6th, 7th and 10th Gurus, respectively, also visited this place.

 

            A big fair is held here on Baisakhi day. Besides, fairs are held on the occasion of Maghi and every Puranmashi. People in large number visit the place during these fairs and take a dip in the holy tank.

 

            The village had, as per 1981Census, one high school, one middle school, two primary schools, one veterinary hospital, one dispensary and a post office.

 

Patti Karam Chand (Mehraj)

 

            It falls in Rampura Phul Tahsil and is 5 km from Rampura Phul, the tahsil headquarters. Its population as per 1981 Census was 4,353 persons, as against 3,610in 1971.

 

            A gurudwara called Gurudwara Gurusar stands here. It is associated with Guru Hargobind, the 6th Guru of the Sikhs,and hisfight with theMuslim Commander, Lalla Beg. A fair is held here on 1 Mag (January- February) for oenday, which is attended by a large number of people. People take bath in the holy tank on this day.

 

            The village has a primary, a middle and a higher secondary school, a hospital,and a post office.

 

Phaphare Bhaike

 

            Situated at a distance of 10km from Mansa, Phaphare Bhaike falls in Mansa Tahsil. Its population, as per 1981Census,was 3,339 persons, as against 2,687 in 1971.

 

            PhaphareBhaike isknown for Bhai Behlo, who hailed from this village. Bhai Behlo Spent his life in the services of Guru Arjan Dev, the 5th Guru, at Amritsar. The Guru was so much pleased with his devotion and service that he blessed him by saying Bhai Behlo Sab Ton Pehlon(Bhai Behlo, you are the firstof all). Bhai Behlo also accompanied the marriage party of the Guru. There is a smadh of Bhai Behlo in the village. Nearby, there is also a big sarover (tank). A splendid gurdwara has been constructed in the memory of Bhai Behlo. A big fair is held on Asuj 10 (Spetember-October) every year which lasts far and near attend the fair and pay their obeisance Religious diwans (congregations) are also held on the occasion.

 

            The village has a primary school, a middle school, a high school, a hospital, a dispensary and a post office.

 

Rampura Phul

 

            Headquarters of the tahsil and subdivision of the same name,Rajpura Phul is situated at a distance of 26 km from Bathinda, the district headquarters on the Bathinda-Patiala road. It is also a railway station on the Ambala-Bathinda railway line. It is a class II Municipal Committee. Its population as per 1981 census was 31,890 as against 23,406 in 1971.

 

            Formely, the town of Rampura Phul was in the Barnala District of PEPSU. But in 1954, it was transferred to the Bathinda District. These arethe twin towns Rampura and Phul, part of the town was founded by Phul, the ancester of the Phulkian family, in 1770 B.K.(A.D. 1827). Rampura founded by Rama, the son of Phul. These towns are now called Rampura Phul. Phul was earlier a part of the Nabha State. It was regularly built and divided into 8 agwars. Its wall is octagonal, studded with pakka gate ways. The fortatPhul was constructed byChaudhriPhul. Even in 1904, there existed a Vernacular Middle School at Phul. The town had, at that time, a garden too.

 

            The town has 2 arts and science colleges, 6highersecondary/ high schools, 7 primary schools, 2 hospitals, 2dispensaries, 1 family planning center, and 1 public library. The town is famous for the manafacture of ginning blades,cotton thread and soap. The important agricultural commoditiesarefoodgrain, cotton and oilseeds.

 

Talwandi Sabo

 

            Headquarters of the tahsil/subdivision of the same name, Talwandi Sabo issituated at a distance of 28 km from Bathinda on the Bathinda- Sardulgarh road. Itspopulation as per1981census was 10, 454 persons as against 7,945 in 1971.

 

            Talwandi Sabo, also popularly known asDamdama Sahib, is named after one sahabo, a Gujar girl. It is said that in 1149, itwasinhabited by HinduGujars, who wer econverted into Muslims during the reign of Shamsh-ud-din Illutmish and give forthy-eight villages. Since the head of Gujars did not have any maleissue, his daughter Sahabo became the head of these villages and in this way the area came to be known as Talwandi Sahabo , which is now called Talwandi Sabo.During the Mughal period, Talwandi Sabo was ruled by the Brars.When Guru Gobind Singh came to this place, Rai Dalla was Chaudhary of these villages. It is also said that during the ancient period, the river Sarswati was flowing here and some Rishis dwelt here. It is also said that Guru Nanak Dev, the first Guru of the Sikhs, came here during his second journey (Udasi). The Guru blessed the place that one day it will emerge as an important pilgrim center.

 

            The place is also said to have beenvisited byGuru Teg Bahadur, the ninth Guru of the Sikhs. He bowed before the raised mound and sat beneathit. When asked about it by his followers, he said that this place had been visited by the first Guru, and itwill be visited by the tenth Guru and that will develop as as great tirath (Pilgrim Centre).

 

            Talwandi Sabo is obe of the fivetakhats of the Sikhs. After his fierce battles with the Mughals at Anandpur, Chamkaur and Muktsar,Guru Gobind Singh retired to the jungles of Malwa.Talwandi Sabo where the Guru took rest (dam) came to be known as Damdama Sahib. The Guru stayed here for more than nine months. During this period, he redicated the Adi Granth, and made Damdama Sahib a center for spreading his mission. He called the place Khalse De Takhat (throne of the Khalsa). A stamp was preparedbearing the letters ‘Akal Sahai’ Guru Gobind Singh Ji KiJagha,Takhat Damdama Ji (God mayhelp the placeof GuruGobind Singh, the throne of Damdama). All important documents issued by the Guru from this place were embossed with this stamp. The stamp exists to this day.

 

            The original manuscript of Adi Granth complied by Guru Arjan Dev was in the possession of the Sodhis of Kartarpur. They refused to lend this copy to Guru Gobind Singh and remarked that if he was a real Guru, he should reproduce the scripture himself. On this, Guru Gobind Singh dictated a fresh text of Adi Granth to Bhai Mani Singh. The Guru founded a university for study in religion and named the village Guru Ki Kashi. Baba Deep Singh was appointed the first chancellor of this university.

 

            Damdama Sahib is the headquarters of the Nihangs, a warrior sect among the Sikhs, founded by Akali Phoola Singh. It is the venue of one of the most colourful and biggest Baisakhi fair. The fair dates back to about 250 years and is held every year for theree days from 30 Chet to 2 Baisakh in mid April. It is attended by a large number of people from far and near.

 

            At the Gurudwara Damdama Sahib, some sacred weapons of Guru Gobind Singh are preserved. These are: a rifle, a sword and the stamp. Besides, a sword of Banda Bahadur has also been preserved here. In addition to these weapons, a few artiles of the Guru are also lying with the descendants of Chaudhary Dalla. It includes Khanda, dastar (short turban), chola (a long wearing apparel) and a copy of Guru Granth Sahib of the matchbox size.

 

            Besides Gurudwara Damdama Sahib, there are the following gurudwaras in Talwandi Sabo:

 

1.                 Manji Sahib of the Ninth Guru:- The ninth Sikh Guru, Teg Bahadur, visited Talwandi Sabo while on his way to Delhi where he was beheaded. At the place, where he is stated to have stayed, exists a gurudwara, known as ‘Manji Sahib of the Ninth Guru’.

 

2.                 Manji Sahib of the Tenth Guru:- Guru Teg Bahadur had predicted that the tenth Guru would also visit the village. At the place where Guru Gobind Singh is said to have stayed, a gurudwara known as ‘Manji Sahib of the Tenth Guru’ has been constructed.

 

3.                 Takhat Shri Guru Kashi:- It is a tall gurudwara where Guru Gobind Singh set up his throne. This shrine is the main centre of attraction for the visitors.

 

4.                 Gurudwara Likhan Sar:- It is said that the pens used while writing the Adi Granth, were thrown in a tank by the tenth Guru. Gurudwara Likhan Sar was constructed here later. Scholars and writers pay obeisance to the shrine so that they may be blessed with superior writing power.

 

5.                 Gurudwara Jand Sar:- It is stated that the tenth Guru’s army of Brars demanded arrears of salary from the Guru; threatining to leave him otherwise. The story goes that the Guru asked them to dig a place near a jand tree. They did so and found a treasure-trove lying in the earth. This provided the means for the Guru to pay them their dues. At this place stands Gurudwara Jand Sar.

 

6.                 Gurudwara Mata Sahib Kau and Mata Sundri:- The two wives of Guru Gobind Singh, Mata Sahib Kaur and Mata Sundri were separated from him during the Mughal attack near the Sirsa stream. When the Guru settled at Damdama Sahib, he called them back. A gurudwara associated with their names now stands at Damdama Sahib.

 

7.                 Gurudwara Ber Sahib Chhaoni Nihangan:- This gurudwara is owned by Nihang Sikhs of the Buddha Dal. The tenth Guru is said to jhave planted a ber tree at this place.

 

8.                 Gurudwara Sant Attar Singh:- This gurudwara was got constructed by Sant Attar Singh of Mastuana (district Sangrur) and is named after him.

 

9.                 Gurudwara Teg Bahadur:- The 9th Guru initiated the digging of a tank at Damdama Sahib and he himself participated in this work. A gurudwara now stands at this spot, ans is named after him.

 

10.             Gurudwara Mahal Sar:- The Tenth Guru used to play Hola Mohalla after the diwans on various gurparbs and displayed feats of his martial skill. At this place, there is a gurudwara known as Mahal Sar. The Nihangs play Hola Mohalla there on the last day of the Baisakhi festival and display their skills of horse riding and martial art.

 

In addition to above gurudwaras, there is a tank known as Nanak Sar Sarovar. It is associated with Guru Nanak Dev, who is stated to have visited this place in 1510 during his Second Journey (Udasi).

 

The town has an arts college, known as Guru Kashi College, 3 high schools, 4 middle schools, 5 primary schools, a hospital, a family planning centre and a public library.

 

Contents