Jathedar of Akal Takht

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Jathedar of Akal Takht
ਜੱਥੇਦਾਰ ਅਕਾਲ ਤਖ਼ਤ
Nishan Sahib.svg
Dhian Singh Mand (Sarbat Khalsa)
since 10 November 2015
Harpreet Singh (SGPC)
since 22 October 2018
StyleBhai Sahib (informal)
Honorable Jathedar (formal)
Singh Sahib (formal)
StatusHead of Akal Takht
Representative of Sikhs
Member ofKhalsa
Reports toSikhs
SeatAkal Takht
NominatorSikh institutions
AppointerSarbat Khalsa
Term lengthIndefinitely
The holder is required to have the consensus of Sikh institutions.
(402 years ago)
First holderBhai Gurdas
as custodian of Akal Takht

The jathedar of Akal Takht (Punjabi: ਜੱਥੇਦਾਰ ਅਕਾਲ ਤਖ਼ਤ) is the head of Akal Takht, and the international representative of the Sikhs.

Originally known as Akal Bunga,[1] the building directly opposite Darbar Sahib was built by Guru Hargobind as a place of justice and consideration of temporal issues; the highest seat of earthly authority of the Khalsa and the podium of the jathedar of Akal Takht, the most senior spokesperson of the Sikhs.

In the absence of Jagtar Singh Hawara, Dhian Singh Mand and Harpreet Singh are the interim acting jathedars of Akal Takht.


In 1606, after the execution of Guru Arjan, Guru Hargobind, bearing the two swords of politics (miri) and spirituality (piri), declared himself sovereign, and defied the royal edict of the Mugal empire.[2] Recognising the necessity of coordinating efforts against the Mughal empire, the Guru simultaneously began the process of militarising the Sikhs. The first hukamnama issued from Akal Takht commanded the Sikhs to offer arms and horses.[3] Before leaving Amritsar for imprisonment, Guru Hargobind assigned the original scribe of Guru Granth Sahib, Bhai Gurdas as the custodian of Akal Takht, and instructed him to act jointly with Baba Buddha as the representative of the Sikhs.

Following the establishment of the Khalsa, which took effect on 13 April 1699, Guru Gobind Singh sent Mani Singh and five other Khalsas to Amritsar with instructions to take possession of the Darbar Sahib complex. The Khalsas assigned Mani Singh as the head granthi of Darbar Sahib and the jathedar of Akal Takht. After the passing of Guru Gobind Singh, the Sikh divisions accepted the common leadership and sovereignty of Akal Takht.[4]

Selection process[edit]

During the 18th and 19th centuries, jathedars of Akal Takht were appointed by the Sarbat Khalsa, a biannual deliberative assembly of the Sikhs held at Amritsar.[5] From 1921, jathedars have been appointed by Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), an elected body of the Sikhs.[6]

A Sarbat Khalsa convened by Sikh organisations in 2015 appointed Jagtar Singh Hawara as the jathedar of Akal Takht. At the time, former SGPC president, Avtar Singh Makkar, condemned the convening as against the principles of Sikhism and it's decisions null and void. He added that the removal of jathedars came under the Sikh Gurdwaras Act 1925 and no one could challenge the SGPC's authority.[7]


Colour key

  Sarbat Khalsa   SGPC

No. Name
Portrait Assigned by Term of office
Custodians of Akal Takht
1 Bhai Gurdas
Guru Hargobind 1618 1636
2 Mani Singh
Execution of Bhai Mani Singh.jpg Guru Gobind Singh 1721 24 June
Jathedars of Akal Takht
3 Darbara Singh
Darbara Singh.jpg Sarbat Khalsa 1722 1734
4 Kapur Singh Virk
Nawab Kapur Singh.png Sarbat Khalsa 1737 1753

5 Jassa Singh Ahluwalia
PicKingRaja.jpg Sarbat Khalsa 1753 1783

6 Phula Singh
Sardar Phula Singh.jpg Sarbat Khalsa 1800 1823
7 Hanuman Singh
Akali Hanuman Singh.jpg Sarbat Khalsa 1823 1846
8 Prahlad Singh
Prahlad Singh.jpg Sarbat Khalsa 1846 Unknown
Sarbrah of Akal Takht
9 Arur Singh Naushera
Arur Singh.jpg British East India Company 1907 August
Jathedars of Akal Takht
10 Teja Singh Bhuchar
Sarbat Khalsa 12 October
(11) Teja Singh Akarpuri
Jathedar Teja Singh Akarpuri.jpg SGPC 29 April
13 October
(12) Udham Singh Nagoke
Udham Singh Nagoke.jpg SGPC 1923 1924
(13) Acchar Singh
Jathedar Achhar Singh.jpg SGPC 09 February
10 January
(12) Udham Singh Nagoke
Udham Singh Nagoke.jpg SGPC 10 January
short period
(11) Teja Singh Akarpuri
Jathedar Teja Singh Akarpuri.jpg SGPC 27 November
21 January
14 Didar Singh
SGPC 1925 short period
15 Jawaher Singh Mattu Bhaike
SGPC 1926 short period
16 Gurmukh Singh Musafir
SGPC 1931 1934
17 Wasakha Singh Dadehar
Visakha Singh.jpg SGPC October
18 Mohan Singh Nagoke
SGPC 1935 1952
19 Partap Singh
Jathedar Partap Singh.jpg SGPC 1952 1954
(13) Acchar Singh
Jathedar Achhar Singh.jpg SGPC 23 May
08 November
20 Mohan Singh Tur
SGPC 1962 1964
21 Sadhu Singh Bhaura
SGPC 1964 1980
22 Gurdial Singh Ajnoha
SGPC 2 March
23 Kirpal Singh
SGPC 1983 26 July
24 Jasbir Singh Rode
Sarbat Khalsa[citation needed] 9 March
25 Darshan Singh
(born 1940)
SGPC 1989 1990
26 Manjit Singh
SGPC 1994 1997
27 Ranjit Singh
SGPC 1997 1999
28 Puran Singh
SGPC 1999 2000
29 Joginder Singh Vadanti
SGPC 2000 2008
30 Gurbachan Singh
(born 1948)
SGPC 06 August
18 October
31 Jagtar Singh Hawara
(born 1973)
Sarbat Khalsa 10 November
Acting Jathedars of Akal Takht
1 Partap Singh
Jathedar Partap Singh.jpg SGPC 1938 1948
2 Kirpal Singh
SGPC 1963 1965
3 Gurdev Singh Kaunke
Sarbat Khalsa 26 January
4 Gurbachan Singh Manochahal
Sarbat Khalsa 27 April
26 January
5 Darshan Singh
(born 1940)
SGPC 31 December
9 March
6 Dhian Singh Mand
Sarbat Khalsa 10 November
7 Harpreet Singh
SGPC 22 October


  1. ^ "Akal Bunga". The Sikh Encyclopedia. Gateway to Sikhism Foundation. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  2. ^ Dilgeer, Harjinder Singh (1980). The Akal Takht. Jalandhar: Sikh University Press.
  3. ^ Singh, Surinderpal. "Celebrating the foundation day of Akal Takht Sahib (Akal Bunga)". Sikhri. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  4. ^ Chauhan, G.S. (2005). The Gospel Of The Sikh Gurus. New Delhi: Hemkunt Publishers. p. xiv. ISBN 81-7010-353-3.
  5. ^ Singha, H.S. (2005). The Encyclopedia of Sikhism. New Delhi: Hemkunt Publishers. p. 14. ISBN 81-7010-301-0.
  6. ^ "About SGPC". Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  7. ^ At Sarbat Khalsa, hardliners appoint Hawara Akal Takht Jathedar