Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib, the main attraction from Anandpur Sahib
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Anandpur Sahib is a city in Rupnagar district (Ropar) in the state of Punjab, India. Known as "the holy City of Bliss," it is a holy city of the Sikhs and is one of their most important sacred places, closely linked with their religious traditions and history. It is located on the lower spurs of the Himalayas surrounded by picturesque natural scenery, with the river Sutlej forming a shimmering and shiny blue border on the south west barely four miles away.
Anandpur Sahib was founded in 1665 by the ninth Sikh Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur when he bought a tract of land. Here on the mound of Makhowal, Guru Tegh Bahadur raised a new habitation. The ground was broken on 19 June 1665, by Baba Gurditta. The new village was named Chakk Nanaki after the Guru's mother, Nanaki. The place later came to be known as Anandpur Sahib.
As of 2001[update] India census, Anandpur Sahib had a population of 13,886. Males constitute 53% of the population and females 47%. Anandpur Sahib has an average literacy rate of 73%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; with 77% of the males and 64% of females literate. 13% of the population is under 6 years of age.
Festivals and fairs
Anandpur Sahib comes to life every year on the occasion of Hola Mohalla. This tradition dates back to the times of the 10th Guru, Guru Gobind Singh. The guru decreed that the occasion of the festival of Holi be the occasion for the display of the martial spirit of his people. He gave this festival of Holi the Sikh name of 'Hola Mohalla'. Each year Hola Mohalla marks the congregation of up to 100,000 devotees from all over the country for a festival of colour and gaiety.
The fair lasts for three days. The Gurudwaras are specially decorated for the occasion. During Hola Mohalla, Anandpur Sahib wears a festive appearance and hums with activities in March. Community conferences and religious functions are also organized. On this occasion, Nihangs from all over the country gather for the celebrations. The highlight is a huge procession by the Nihangs, clad in their traditional dress and weapons, on the last day of the fair. The procession starts from the headquarters of the Nihangs, opposite Gurudwara Anandgarh Sahib, and passes through the bazaar, goes to village Agampur and reaches the fort of Holgarh, the place where Guru Gobind Singh used to celebrate this fair. Thereafter, the procession heads toward the sandy bed of Charan Ganga, where demonstration of martial games including riding, tent pegging, sword-wielding, etc. are witnessed by a large number of people.
Baisakhi in 1999, at Anandpur Sahib marked the completion of 300 years of the birth of the Khalsa. It was on Baisakhi day in 1699 that Guru Gobind Singh baptised the Panj Pyaras at the place where Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib stands.
- Gurudwara Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib: Thakat Shri Kesh Garh Sahib is the central place of Anandpur Sahib. This revered place is birthplace of Khalsa: Revelation of Khalsa took place here. The sactum centorium is one of the Five Temporal Authorities (Five Takhats) of Sikhism.
- After the establishment of Anandpur Sahib, Guru Gobind Singh used to hold congregations on this hill. At that time, this hill was 3.0 – 4.50 meters higher than it is now. By the side of this hill there stood another one known as “Tambu Wali Phari” because a special tent was set up on the day of “Revelation of Khalsa”. This hill does not exist anymore.
- On the day of “Revelation of Khalsa” a special congregations was held here. Thousands of Sikhs attended it; one can presume how much was the space around Thakat Shri Kesh Garh Sahib from the fact that all the Sikhs must have seated themselves here at the time of congregations on this hill.
- Gurudwara Sisganj Sahib: Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib embraced martyrdom in Delhi on November 11, 1675. Guru Sahib’s Head was brought here from Gurudwara Bibangarh, Kiratpur Sahib by Bhai Jaita (Bhai Jeewan Singh) and his associates. This is the place where the “Head of Guru Teg Bahadur” was cremated.
- When Guru Gobind Singh left Anandpur Sahib, on the night of December 5~6 1705, he visited this place and appointed Bhai Gurbax Das Udasi as a caretaker of this shrine and began his final journey.
- It is believed that central pedestal of the shrine is the oldest structure of Chak Nanki, Anandpur Sahib.
- Gurdwara Guru Ka Mahal: It was the first building of Chak Nanaki, Anandpur Sahib. The foundation stone was laid here. Guru Gobind Singh, Mata Gujri, Mata Jit Kaur, Mata Sundar Kaur, Mata Sahib Kaur and four Sahibzadas of Guru Sahibs had been living here. Sahibzada Jujhar Singh, Sahibzada Zorawar Singh and Sahibzada Fateh Singh were born here. Gurdwara Bhora Sahib, Gurdwara Manji Sahib and Gurdwara Damdama Sahib are part of Gurdwara Guru Ka Mahal Complex.
- Gurudwara Bhora Sahib: This Gurdwara was the residence of Guru Teg Bahadur. There is an underground room cut off from the din of life where the 9th Guru used to meditate and compose hymns.
- Gurudwara Thara Sahib: This was a part of Gur ka Mahal Complex. It was “Diwan-E-Aam”. Here Guru Teg Bahadur used to hold congregations and address the Sikhs. It was here Bhai Kripa Ram Dutt along with other 16 Kashmiri Pandits (on May 25, 1675) came to seek protection from Aurangzeb and requested Guru Teg Bahadur to save them from forcible conversions to Islam
- Gurudwara Akal Bunga Sahib: This Gurdwara is exactly opposite to Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib. Here Guru Gobind Singh after the cremation of “Head of Guru Teg Bahadur” had rested with his relations and followers followed by a prayer to the Almighty, addressed the Sikhs to bow before the “Will of Almighty”. He told the Sikhs to be prepared for struggle for freedom of faith & war against the tyranny and injustice.
- Gurudwara Damdama Sahib: This is part of Gurdwara Gur Ka Mahal Complex. It is also known as Gurdwara Takhat Sahib, Guru Teg Bahadur used to perform the functions of Akal Takhat Sahib from this place. It was “Diwan-E-Khas”. It was court of Guru Teg Bahadur and lately Guru Gobind Singh. It was here Guru used to greet representatives of different states as well as other important guests. Guru Gobind Singh was designated as tenth guru at this place.
- When Guru Gobind Singh called all the “masands” at Anandpur Sahib, they were tried here. By the side of this building, is an old well, from the time of Guru Gobind singh, still exists. The “masands” who had been found guilty were punished here.
- Gurudwara Manji Sahib / Gurudwara Dumalgarh Sahib: This Gurdwara is on the northern side of Takhat Shri Kesh Garh Sahib. Here, Guru Gobind Singh used to train his sons. This place was used as playground; wrestling and other competitions were held here.
- On November 2, 1703 when Ajmer Chand, the ruler of Bilaspur attached Anandpur Sahib, Guru Gobind Singh was sitting here under the banyan tree. In the battlefield, the Sikhs under the command of Bhai Maan Singh Nishanchi gave a befitting fight to the hill army. During the battle Bhai Maan Singh was wounded and Khalsa flag was broken. A Sikh soldier reported this to Guru Gobind singh.
- At this Guru tore a dumla (farra) (a piece of cloth) from his keski (under turban) and set it in his turban as a hanging flag. Guru declared that in future Khalsa flag shall never fall or get lowered. It will be a part of the turban of every Sikh. Then after this place is reverend as Dumalgarh Sahib.
- Gurdwara Shaeedhi Bagh: This Gurdwara is located on the road between Takhat Shri Kesh Garh Sahib & Kila Anand Garh Sahib. In early days of eighteenth century this place was a big garden during skirmishes between Sikh Army and Bilaspur Army, many Sikh soldiers laid their lives here in this garden, hence this place is termed as Gurdwara Shaeedhi Bagh.
- Gurdwara Mata Jit Kaur: Mata Jit Kaur, wife of Guru Gobind Singh had a vision “Divya-drishti” of the atrocities and cruelties on Sikhs and young Sahibzadas. She asked for salvation from Guru and left for heavenly abode on December 5, 1700.
- She was cremated near Quilla Holgarh Sahib. This place is now termed Gurdwara Mata Jit Kaur.
- Gurudwara Sri Hargobindsar Sahib: One of the most scenic and beautiful Gurudwaras in Town is Sri Hargobindsar Sahib. It is at the historical village Dadhi hardly a kilometre from Kiratpur Sahib.
Five forts of Guru Gobind Singh
10th Sikh Guru Guru Gobind Singh made five forts on the border of the city to protect it from the external invasions. The fort is called Qila (Punjabi: ਕ਼ਿਲਾ, Hindi: क़िला) in the Punjabi and Hindi languages.
- Qila Anandgarh Sahib: This was the main fort, after which the city was also named Anandpur Sahib. The Army once resided here.
- Qila Holgarh Sahib
- Qila Lohgarh Sahib: Here the weapons for the Army were made.
- Qila Fatehgarh Sahib
- Qila Taragarh Sahib
Sacred sites near Anandpur Sahib
- Guru-Ka-Lahore: It is situated about 11 km on Sri Anandpur Sahib-Ganguwal route leading to the state of Himachal Pradesh, India. On 25 January 1686, the 10th Guru's wedding to Mata was celebrated here. Two trickling springs, claimed to be dug out from the stony mountain-side by the 10th Guru, still exist today.
- Bhai Ghanaiya : Bhai Ghanaiya offered first aid to friendly and enemy forces alike across the area spanning the now-almost dried up rivulet Charan Ganga and below the Taragarh hill. His unbiased service has been compared to the functions of the Red Cross.
- Gurudwara Bhai Jaita
- Gurudwara Bhai Khaniya
- Gurudwara Mata Jito Ji
- Gurudwara Qila Holgarh Sahib
- Gurudwara Qila Lohgarh Sahib
- Gurudwara Qila Taragarh Sahib
- Gurudwara Shri Bhavikhatsar Sahib
- Gurudwara Shri Jindwari Sahib
- Gurudwaras Of Market Road – Anandpur Sahib
- Gurudwara Shri Keshgarh Sahib
- Gurudwara Shri Manji Sahib Dumalgarh
- Gurudwara Shri Qila Anandgarh Sahib
- Gurudwara Shri Qila Fatehgarh Sahib
- Gurudwara Shri Shahidi Bagh Sahib
- Gurudwara Shri Suhela Ghora Sahib
- Gurudwaras In And Around Shri Guru Ke Mahal Sahib
- "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- Festivals/Melas - Rupnagar
Dilgeer, Dr Harjinder Singh (1998), Anandpur Sahib (Punjabi and Hindi), S.G.P.C.
Dilgeer, Dr Harjinder Singh (2003), Anandpur Sahib (English and Punjabi), Sikh University Press.
Dilgeer, Dr Harjinder Singh (2008), SIKH TWAREEKH (5 volumes), Sikh University Press.
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