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The city of spiritual Bliss:

The zone which is now as Anandpur Sahib, includes Chakk Nanakim, Anandpur Sahib and some adjacent villages.
It is generally belived that Anandpur town was founded by Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib on June 19, 1665. In fact it was Chakk Nanaki which had been founded in 1665. The foundation stone of Anandpur Sahib was laidon March 30, 1689. The area of Chakk Nanaki (in 1665) extended between the village of Agamgarh and the square between Kesgarh Sahib and the town's bus stand.
Usually, new towns are founded, established and developed by monarchs. It is unique phenomenon in the history of the Sikh religion that it's prohets founded a number ot towns and turned several villages into major towns. Hence social, political, economic and spritual role became one in the Guru Sahib.
The first town associated with the Sikh history is Nankana Sahib, the birth place of Guru Nanak. Bu, the first town founded by Guru Nanak was Kartarpur (Pakistan). Even Sultanpur Lodhi had the privilege of having felt the touch of the feet of Guru Nanak. Guru Angad turned the small village of Khadur into Khadur Sahib. Guru Amar Das founded the town Goindwal. He also asked Guru Ram Das to establish a new Sikh state in the middle of Majha zone. Guru Ram Das laid the foundation of Guru Da Chakk which later, came to be known as Ram Das Pur and now it is famous as Amritsar. Guru Arjan developed Guru Da Chakk into a major city and also founded the towns of Tarn Taran, Chheharta, Hargobindpur and Kartarpur (Jalandhar). Guru Hargobind revealed Akal Takht Sahib. He purchased the territory of the present town of Keeratpur Sahib (Keeratpur Sahib was founded and established by Baba Grditta, a son of Guru Hargobind). Guru Har Ral Sahib played major role in the development of Keeratpur Sahib and turned it into another major center of the Sikhs. By the time of Guru Harkrishan Sahib, Keeratpur Sahib had became a rull-fledged town. His visit to a small village Panjokhara (Haryana) put the village on the world map and his visit to Raja Jal Sinh's residence turned It into "Bangla Sahib".
Chakk Nanaki had been founded by Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib. Earlier he used to live at Bakala and had spent more than seven years (1656-64) in Assam, Bengal and Bihar. He had spent some time at Thiwandi Sabo and Dhamtan too. In the middle of April 1665, he made a visit to Keeratpur Sahib. When he was still at Keeratpur Sahib, on April 27,1665, Raja Deep Chand, the ruler of Bilaspur, died. The Bilaspur ruler was a very devoted Sikh. On May 10,1665, Guru Sanib went to Bilaspur to make last prayers for Raja Deep Chand. Guru Sanib stayed there till May 13. By this time Rani Champa had come to know that Guru Sahib had decided to move his headquarters to Dhamtan. This made Rani Champa despondent. She approached Mata Nanaki (Guru Sahib's mother) and begged her to ask Guru Sahib not to move far away from Bilaspur State. Mata Nanaki could not resist helping a sentimental Rani Champa. Mataji requested Guru Sahib to lulfil Rani's desire. When Guru Sahib agreed, Rani Champa offered to donate some land to Guru Sahib so that he might establish a new town. Guru Sahib decided to set up new town but rerused to accept a donation of the land. He selected a piece of land in between the villages of Lodipur, Mianpur and Sahota and paid regular price for the same. Rani Champa reluctantly accepted the price of the land but her joy new no bounds at the thought that Guruji had chosen to establish his headquarters near Bilaspur State.

The site chosen by Guru Sahib, around the ruins of the erstwhile village of Makhowal, was very remarkable from strategic point of view. It was surrounded by river Sutlej on one side as well as hills and forest on all the sides. This was a peacerul zone for meditation as well as for arts and intellectual activities. It was also safe from military interference and disturbances. The Sikhs had experienced Mughal invasion at Anrritsar and Kartarpur in 1634 and 1635. Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib too had participated in these battles. Though Keeratpur Sahib had remained safe trom the Mughal attacks, yet a possibility always existed because Aurangzeb was sitting on the Delhi throne and he was known for Ihis fanaticism.
Thus, the sight selected for new town had a special importance. In 1665, the river Sutlej used to flow through the present city of Anandpur Sahib (now it flows near Keeratpur Sahib). Keeratpur Sahib too was a strategic place. It was surrounded by Sutlej on one side, river Sarsa on the other side and a chain of hills on the third side. Simil*rly, the site of Chakk Nanald too was still better choice. It had ~ protection of Charn Ganga stream on two sides and flyer Sutlej on the third. Towards the hills-side there were thick bushes and trees. Long long ago, it was dense forest and herds of elephants and other animals used to inhabit these jungles. Then, this area was known as Hathaut (literally: abode of elephants).
The area or Chakk Nanaki was a peaceflil zone. Besides, it was a fertile land and could yield two crops annually. Hence, it was capable of being a self-sufficient City-State. Guru Sahib's selection of the land was highly appreciated by Rani Champa and the Sikhs. The Bilaspur elite was exceptionally happy because the presence of a Sikh City-State on the borders of Bilaspur State and the Mughal territory meant complete safety for Bilaspur and its associate States.
The foundation stone of the new town was laid down by Bhai Gurditta (great-grandson of Baba Buddha), on June 19,1665 at the present site of Guru De Mahal. The first prayers were made by Diwan Dargab Mall. Guru Sahib named the new town Chakk Nanaki after his mother Mata Nanaki. Guru Sahib spent the next three months at Chakk Nanaki. During this period a c~uple of house had been built for the visitors to the Sikh City.
Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib could not visit Chkkk Nanaki for the next six and a half years. He took a missionary journey of Assam, Bengal and Bihar from January 1666 to March 1670. After this, he spent about one and a half year at Bakala (now Baba Bakala). In March 1672 Guru Sahib and his family moved to Chakk Nanaki and finally established it as his headquarters. Guru Sahib embraced martyrdom on November 11,1675.
Guru Gobind Singli Sahib stayed here till March 1685. In April 1685 Guru Gobind Singh Sahib founded Paonta Sahib and stayed there till October 1688. He returned to Chakk Nanaki in Novemberl688. On March 30,1689 Guru Sahib laid the foundation of a new town and named it Aanandpur Sahib. Now Chakk Nanaki and Anandpur Sahib both as well as some adjoining villages (Sahota, Lodipur, Agampur, Mataur etc) form the present city of Anandpur Sahib.

Chakk Nanaki was founded by Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib and Anandpur Sahib was established by Guru Gobind Singh Sahib. The boundaries of Chakk Nanaki, Anandpur Sahtb, Sahota, Lodipur, Mataur, Agampur etc. are not known to a common man. Only revenue officers (Patwari and Lambaar) know about the actual boundary ames. In government papers Chakk Nanaki is known as "Chakk" only.
The square between the present bus stand and Gurdwara Kesgarh Sahib is the meeting point of Chakk Nanaki, Anandpur Sahib and Lodipur. Gurdwara Guru De Mahal (Bhora Sahib, Damdama, Takht Sahib and Manji Sahib) are in the territory of Chakk Nanaki. It was the residence of Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib and Guru Gobind Singh Sahib. Gurdwara Sis Ganj is on the border of Challk Nanaki and Anandpur Sahib. The Bus Stand, Hospital and the Girls School are in Chakk Nanaki. A part of the saw-mill near Gurdwara Holgarh Sahib is in the territory of Chakk Nanaki and its boundary wall is within the boundary of Sahota village. The Milk Bar (near the squares) and the Sarover (tank) are in Lodipur village. The gard~ adjacent to the police post Is a part of Chall:k Nanaki. Khalsa High School is in the territory of villages Sahota, Quilla Anandgarh Sahib Guniwara Shahidi Bagh (under the management of one group of Nihangs) are situated in the village of Lodipur. The area around ~sgarh Sahib is a part of Anandpur Sahib. Khalsa College has been built in the territory of village Mataur. The bridge over Charan Ganga is a part of Chakk Nanaki. Now all these areas form the present city of Anandpur Sahib.

The Anandpur zone has undergone several major changes in the past 334 years (1665 to 1999). The river Sutlej, which used to flow near Anandgarh fort, has changed its course and now it flows about seven km away (near Keeratpur Sahib). "Himaiti" stream, which used to protect Anandpur Sahib from Mughal invasions, has disappeared. severai otherrainy streams too have disappeared. A bridge has been built on Charan Ganga rivulet. The hill on which a tent was put up (Tambu Wali Pahart) on the day of revelation of Khalsa does not exist any more. Even the hill on which Kesgarh Sahib shrine has been built is, now, at least ten feet (more than three meters) lesser In height than it was in 1698. A road has been built to link Kesgarh Sahib and Anand~arh Sahib. A very large number of new buildings too have been constructed in and aroundAnandpur Sahib. Today's Anandpur is alot different from Anandpur Sahib of the eighteenth century. However, almost all the shrines of the zone have been built at actual sites. Today, Anandpur Sahib is a tehsil. Its 240 villages include Chakk Nanaki, Agampur, Sahota, Lodipur, Mianpur, Mataur (Anandpur Sahib zone), Keeratpur Sahib, Jauwal, Kalyanpur Bhaguwal (Keeratpur zone), Jindbari, Khera, Kalmot, Nangal (Nangal zone), Kahanpur Khuhi, Nurpur Bedi (Nurpur Bedi zone) Bajrur, Basali, Chanauli Cflikhtgarh zone) etc. "Guru Ka Lahore" and Gurdwara Thragarh are a part of Bilaspur district (Himanchal Pradesh). Though most of the places associated with the history of Anandpur Sahib are in the territories, of Anandpur Sahib and Keeratpur Sahib zones but Kalmot, Basali, Bajrur, Bibhaur, Bassi Kalan, Bhattha Sahib, Chamkaur Sahib, Machhiwara (as well as Machhiwara to Talwandi Sabo) are situated in other zones. Similarly, Gurdwaras at Gurpalah, Bilaspur, Nahan, Paonta Sahib, Bhangani, Nadaun, Rivalsar etc are in Himanchal Pradesh. No Gurdwara has, so far, been built at Ajner, Malalq,ur and some other places associated with Guru Gobind Singh Sahib's stay at Anandpur Sahib and his journey from Machhiwara to Dama Kangar.
Anandpur Sahib had a population of a few hundreds at the time of Guru Gobind Singh Sahib but hundreds of Sikhs used to visit Anandpur Sahib to make obeisance to Guru Sahib. In the month of March more than twenty thousand Sikhs used to attend the annual Sikh gathering at Anandpur Sahib. On the night of December 5 and 6,1675 when Guru Gobind Singh Sahib finally left Anandpur Sahib, only one person, Bhai Gurbakhsh Das, was left in the town. After a few years the fatnllies of Gulab Singh and Sham Singh (great-grandsons of Guru Hargobind Sahib) moved to Anandpur and lived there.

With the passage of time Anandpur Sahib again became a prominent Sikh center. At the time of Akali Phula Singh, in the first decade of the nineteenth century, the family of Bhai Surjan Singh Sodhi (a descendant of Guru Hargobind Slngh) used to live there. At that time the population of Anandpur Sahib was less than three thousan~ In 1868, when the first regular census was held, the population of Anandpur Sahib was 6869. In the first half of the twentieth century its population remained less than seven thousands. During this period an epidemic spread through the town and the adjoining villages, resulting into exodus of most of the population. After 1947, a few Sikh families, which had been uprooted from the west Punjab (Pakistan), moved to Anandpur Sahib. After a couple of years the Bhakhra-Nangal-Ganguwal projects added population of several hundred persons to the town. Today, in 1999, the population of the municipal area of Anandpur Sahib is around 13000 and there is no possibility of any extra-ordinary increase in spite of launching of several new projects in connection with celebrations of the tercentenary of Khalsa.

The new projects launched atAnandpur Sahib in 1998-99 are likely to give a new look to the town, but, the city, which used to beAnandpur Sahib of the period of Guru Sahib may not remain the same.

Thousand years ago, the Anandpur zone, from Keeraipur Sahib to Nangal, which was known as "Hathaut" (literally: abode of elephants), was a dense forest with thick growth of trees and bushes. This jungle-valley was surrounded by several hill belts, river~Sutlej, Charan Ganga and other rivulets. It was a home for elephants, lions, bears, wolves and other beasts. This area, about 50 km in length and 10-12 km in width, did not have any human population. By fifteenth century most of the beasts had either been killed or had moved to the upper hills, but, still, people were afraid of visiting this area. It was only in June 1665 when Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib founded the town of Chakk Nanaki that people began visiting this area Guru Sahib turned this haunting forest into a fine place. The area where people did not dare to enter even during daytime became a great centre of spirltuaiism, learning and arts. Before 1665 the zone of Anandpur Sahib had no mention in history. Accofding to a local myth a giant named Makho used to live here. At that time this place was known as Makhowal. According to another tradition two brothers named Makho and Mato were the chiefs of this are~ They founded the villages of Makhowai and Mataur. Both were cruel chiefs. As a result, residents of these areas began moving to far-off places and finally both the village were deserted. But, there is no historical evidence to prove these 'stories'. In 1665, Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib laid the foundation of Chakk Nanaki at the top of the mound known as ruins of Makhowal.
Today, three villages of Haihaut i.e. Chakk Nanaki, Anandpur Sahib and Keeratpur Sahib, have special mention in the history of the world. It is because Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib and Guru Gobind Singh Sahib had stayed there. From Anandpur Sahib to Bhattha Sahib (near Ropar), the scene of furling Khalsa flags, throughout the zone, tells the story of the State of Guru Sahib. Several hundred Sikhs laid their lives in this area. The whole of the zone has been immortalized by Guru Sahib, their families and the Sikh martyrs. It is known as Guruji's Land. And, the Bilaspur State, which compelled Guru Sahib to abandon Anandpur Sahib, exists no more. Its capital Bilaspur, too, lies fifty feet (more than fifteen metres) deep under the waters of the lake named after Guru Gobind Singh Sahib. The family which wanted to expel the Sikhs from the zone does not exist any more. The family, the State, the capital have ceased to be even a political entity.

Gurdwaras of Anandpur Sahib:

Anandpur Sahib is a small town in Ropar district. It is 45 km from Ropar, 97 km from Chandigarh, 9 km from Keeratpur Sahib and 22 km from Nangal. It is situated on Anibala-Sirhind-Ropar Keeratpur-Nangal rail route.
Anandpur Sahib is a holy city. Two Guru Sahib and families of four Guru Sahib spent several years in this town. Hundreds of Sikhs embraced martyrdom in this town. Hence, the whole of town is a spiritual memorial of Guru Sahib and martyrs. A visitor to this town has a pious duty to observe special protocol while stepping on the land of martyrs and Masters

Gurdwara Guru De Mahal
It was the first building of Chakk Nanaki-Anandpur Sahib. The foundation stone of Chakk Nanaki was laid here. Guru Gobind Singh Sahib, Mata Nanaki, Mata Jit Kaur, Mata Sunder Kaur, Mata Sahib Kaur and Sahibzadas of Guru Sahib had been living here. Sahibzada Zujhar Singh, Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh were born here. Gurdwara Bhora Sahib, Manji Sahib and Damdama Sahib are a part of the Guru De Mahal complex.

Gurdwara Bhora Sahib
Here Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib used to sit for meditation and for composing hymns.

Gurdwara Manji Sahib
This was a part of Guru De Mahal complex. It was the Diwan-i-Aam. Here, Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib used to hold congregations and address the Sikhs. It was here that Bhal Kirpa Ram Dutt presented 16 Kashmiri Bratirnins (on May 25,1675) who requested Guru Sahib to save them from forcible conversion by the newly appointed governor of Kashmir.

Gurdwara Damdama Sahib
It is known as Gurdwara Thkht Sahib as well. Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib used to perform the flinctions of Akal Thkht Sahib from this place. It was Diwane-i-Khas. It was also the court of Guru Sahib. Here, Gun~ Sahib used to receive representatives of different States as well as important guests. Here, Guru Gobind Singh Sahib was installed as Tenth Nanak on July 8,1675. In March 1698, when Guru Sahib summoned all the Masand~ at Anandpur Sahib, they were tried here. This shrine is a part of the erstwhile Guru De Mahal complex. By the side of this building, an old well, from the time of Guru Sahib, still exists. The Masands who had been found guilty were punished here.

Gurdwara Sis Ganj
Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib embraced martyrdom in Delhi on November 11, 1675. His head was brought to Chakk Nanaki by Bhai Jaita and his associates. The cremation of the head of Guru Sahib was held here on November 17,1675. When Guru Gobind Singh Sahib left Anandpur Sahib, on the night of December 5 and 6,1705, he visited this place and appointed Bhai Gurbakhsh Das Udasi as caretaker of this shrine and began his final journey. It is believed that the central pedestal of the shrine is the oldest structure of Chakk Nanaki-Anandpur Sahib.

Gurdwara Akal Bunga
This Gurdwara is situated exactly opposite to Gurdwara Sis Ganj. Here, Guru Sahib addressed the Sikhs after the cremation of the head of Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib. Guru Sahib asked the Sikhs to bow before the Will of the Almighty. He told them to be prepared for struggle for freedom of faith and war against tyranny and injustice.

Gurdwara Manji Sahib/Dumalgark Sahib
This Gurdwara is on the northern side of Kesgarh Sahib. Here, Guru Sahib used to train his sons. This place was also used as a play ground. Wrestling and other competitions were also held here.
On November 2,1703 when Ajmer Chand, the ruler of Bilaspur attacked Anandpur Sahib, Guru Sahib was sitting here under a bunyan tree. In the battlefield, the Sikhs, under the command of Bhai Maan Singh Nishanchi (standard bearer), gave a befitting fight to the hill army. During the battle Bhai Maan Singh was wounded and the Khalsa flag was broken. A Sikh soldier reported the incident to Guru Sahib. At this Guru Sahib tore afarra (small piece of cloth) from his Keski (under-turban) and set it in his turban in the form of a hanging flag. Guru Sahib declared that in ~ture Khalsa flag shall never fall or get lowered. It will be a part of the turban of every Sikh leader. At that time some prominent Sikhs were sittjng near Guru Sahib. All of them tore farras from their under-turbans and decorated them in their turbans in the form of hanging flags. Sahibzada Fateh Singh, who was just five years old at that time, also hung afarra in his turban. Since this incident the tradition of farra became a part of the turban of every Sikh leaders. Now, this tradition is no more in practice except with the Nihangs who observe it with religious fervor. This Gurdwara is known as Dumalgarh also as it owes its name to Dumala (farra) incident of November 2,1703.

Gurdwara Shahidi Bagh
This Gurdwara is on the road between Kesgarh Sahib and Anandgarh Sahib, in the boundary of village Lodipur. In early days of eighteenth century there was a big garden here. In 1705, when Bilaspur army put siege to Anandpur Sahib, a few skirmishes took place here. Several Sikhs sacrificed their lives in this garden, hence the name Shaheedi Bagh. This shrine is not under the management of the S.G.P.C.

Gurdwara Mata Jit Kaur
Guru Gobind Singh Sahib's first wife Mata Jit Kaur died at Anandpur Sahib on leecember 5,1700. She was cremated in the outskirts of Chakk-Nanaki in the boundary of the village of Agamgarh. Some one constructed a platform at the site where she had been cremated. Later, a Gurdwara was built by the Sikhs.

The Forts of Anandpur Sahib

Kesgarh Sahib
Kesgarh Sahib is the central place of Anandpur Sahib. It is also known as Takht Kesgarh Sahib. After the establishment of Anandpur Sahib, Guru Sahib used to hold congregations on this hill. Revelation of Khalsa and first initiation (Khande Di Pahul) took place here. At that time the hill of Kesgarh Sahib was at least 10-15 feat higher than its present height. By the side of this hill there stood another hill. It was known as "Tambu (tent) Wali Pahari" because a special tent was set up here 6n the day of revelation of Khalsa This hill does not exist any more. Similarly, there was a long range of small hills extending from Kesgarh Sahib to Anandgarh fort. In 1973, a road was constructed to link Kesgarh Sahib and Anandgarh Sahib fort and the hill4ops had to be leveled.

On the day of revelation of Khalsa a special congregation was held here. Thousands of Sikhs attended it. One can presume how much was the space around Kesgarh Sahib from the fact that all the Sikhs must have seated themselves here at the time of the revelation ceremony.

Kesgarh Sahib fort was built in 1699. The hill armies attacked Anandpur Sahib several times between 1700 and 1705 but never could the invading armies reach Kesgarh Sahib because it was a very strong fort and before reaching the gates of this fort the armies had to capture the fort at Thragath, Agamgarh, Fatehgarh and Anandgarh. This could not happen even once in the history of Anandpur Sahib. It was only on December 6,1705, when Guru Sahib abandoned the town, the hill armies entered this fort and demolished it. The Sikhs could not enter Anandpur Sahib till Baba Banda Singh Bahadur subjugated the ruler of Bilaspur. The Sikhs had to face another wave of persecution after the fall of Baba Banda Singh. But, when the Misls became the defacto rulers of the Sikh homeland, the Sikhs began making frequent visits to Anandpur Sahib. Baba Baghel Singh of Karorasinghia~Misl, after constructing Sikh slirines at Delhi, visited Anandpur Sahib in seventeen-eighties and decided to construct, repalr and renovate
the shrines of this town. In 1812, Mahan Chand, the ruler of  Bilaspur, attacked Anandpur Sahib in order to occupy the city but suffered heavy losses. Within the next ten years most of the Sikh homeland was under the rule of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the Sikh Misis and the Patiala dynasty and this meant peace in the Punjab hence Anandpur Sahib was most safe place for the Sikhs.
After 1820 regular Granthis began serving at Kesgarh Sahib. Historical sources mention the names of Bhai Karam Singh, Bhai Kharak Singh, Bhal Budi~ Singh, Bhai Irrran Singh, Bhai Amar Singh etc as the Granthis of Kesgarh Sahib. For about a century (1820 to 1925) Kesgarh Sahib had only one Granthi, but after Gurdwarareform movement (1920-25) a"Jathedai" was appointed here too. This designation was given to Giani Resham Singh, Giani Partap Singh Mallewal, Jathedar Bir Singh, Master Ajit Singh Ambalvi, Giani Fauja Singh, Giani Bachitar Sirigh, Jathedar Gurdial Singh Ajnoha, Jathedar Harcharan Singh Mahalon, Bhai Shawinder Singh, Bhal Balbir Singh, Bahi Manjit Singh (Prof.) etc.

Historical Relics at Kesgarh Sahib

The central place of Gurdwara Kesgarh Sahib is the main hall where Guru Granth Sahib has been installed. In the middle of this hall, behind Guru Granth Sahib, a small room like rectangular structure has been built where 12 relics have been placed. These relics are associated with Guru Sahib and the Sikh maryrs. Among these 12 relics six had been brought by Bhal Gurbakhsh Singli (Ram Kanwar) from Nander (where Guru Gobind Singh Sahib breathed his last) and five had been brought from England in 1966.

1. KHANDA (double-edged sword) : It is believed to be the same Khanda with which Guru Gobind Singh Sahib prepared Amrit (Khande Di Pahul) on the day of revelation of Khalsa. In 1942, this Khanda was taken to Akal Takht Sahib to perform initiation ceremony; but, later, in consideration of Its historical value, it was decided that it should not be used again.

2. KATAAR (dagger): It was Guru Gobind Singh Sahib's dagger. He used to keep it always on his person. A kataar is very usetul in hand4o-hand fight. An attack of this dagger meant sure death.

3. SAIF (A kind of sword): It is a double-edged weapon. According to a source it had been presented to Guru Sahib by Bahadur Shah (the Mughal emperor). It is believed that this weapon belonged to the Islamic Khahfa All (the son-in-law of the Muslim prophet H~at Mohammed) and it had been used by All's sons, Hassan and Hussian. According to this tradltion this weapon remained with the successors of All who presented it to Aurangzeb in appreciation of his contribution to the spread and glory of Islam. After ascension of Bahadur Shah to the Mughal throne it went into his hands and he, as a token of thakks, presented it to Guru Gobind Singh Sahib.

4. GUN : This gun had been presented to Guru Gobind Singh Sahib by a Sildi from Lahore. Guru Sahib had issued a Hukamnama asking the Sikhs to bring liim gifts of line hoses, weapons and books. In reponse to this Hukamnama, the Sikhs used to present latest and finest weapons to Guru Sahib.

5. NAAGNI BARCHHA (serpent-shaped speer) : The blade of this spear is in the shape of the movement of a female-seepent, hence the name. Its attack was as severe as the venom of a snake and was likely to cause sure death. It was Guru Sahib's own spear. On September 1,1700 when Ajmer Chand's army planned to bring a drunk elephant in order to break open the main gate of Lohgarh fort, Guru Gobind Singh Sahib asked Bhai Bachitar Singh to turn the elephant back and gave him this spear. Bhai Bachitar Singh attacked the drunk elepbant with this spear. The elephant, severely wounded, ran back and killed and wounded several of the soldiers of Ajmer Chand's army.

6. KARPA BARCHHA (palm-shaped spear): It is known as Karpa Barchha because it has a hand-shaped blade. This too was Guru Sahib's own spear. It was used at least twice. In 1677, the marriage ceremony of Guru Gobind Singh Sahib was held at Guni-Ka-Lahore (a newly established vrnage, about 11 km from Anandpur Sahib). At that time there was an acute shortage of water at Guru-Ka-Lahore. According to a tradition Guru Sahib hit the earth with Karpa Barchha resulting into three small springs of water. (now a Sarovar has been built at the site of these springs). This spear is associated with another important incident. On September 1,1700 when hill armies attacked Lohgarti fort, Bhai Udey Singh dioped off the head of Raja leesari Chand (maternal uncle of Ajmer Chand) . He, then, carried off his head on this spear, to present it to G~mi Sahib. The hill soldiers shot several arrows to stop Bhai Udey Singh. Some arrows hit the spear. The marks of arrows on the spear are still visible.

7. A big spear.
8. A small spear.
9. A ShamshirA-Tegh (a sword)
10. A Dah-i-Ahni.
11. A Golden qiloit.
12 . A Shield made of skin of a rhinoceros.

The foundation stone of this fort was laid on March 31,1689. This was the first fort of Anandpur Sahib. This fort was almost demolished by the army of Ajmer Chand in December 1705. Several years later, the Sikhs built a Gurdwara at the site of Anandgarh fort. Later S. Jassa Singh Ahiuwalla built a Baoli (well with steps descending down to water level) here.
Anandgarh, like Lohgarti, was a very strong fort. This was sate from the attacks of the invading armies. Guru Gobind Singh Sahib spent ahout sixteen years in this fort. On I)ecember 5-6,1705, when Guru Sahib left Anandpur Sahib for ever, he began his journey from this fort. Anandgarh fort was the central place of Anandpur Sahib from military point of view. Arms and ammunitions of the Khalsa army were stored here.
Nowadays, a Gurdwara has been built at the site of the fort. A circular road has been built on three sides of this Gurdwara. Earlier, by 1985, one could observe a few signs of the fort of the eighteenth century. In 1985, a new building was raised on the northern side of the fort, thus totally eliminating all the signs of the old structure.

Lohgarh fort was the second strongest fort of the Sikhs. It was on the southern side of the stream. Here, Guru Sahib had set up a factory for manufacturing arms. The main gate of this fort was very strong. The hill armies attacked Anandpur Sahib several time but they hesitated from launching an attack on this fort as they knew that breaking its gate open was not possible for them. In the last days of August 1700, the army attacked Taragarh, Agamgarh and Fatehgarh forts on three consecutive days and suffered heavy losses. Finally, on the fourth day, on September 1,1700, the hill armies attacked this fort. To break open the gate they brought a drunk elephant. Bhai Bachitar Slngh attacked this elephant with Naagni spear. The wounded elephant retreated killing and wounding several soldiers of the hill army. It was here on the same day that Bhai Udey Singh chopped off the head of Raja Kesari Chand. The hill army occupied this fort after the exodus of the Sikhs (on the night of December 5 and 6,1705) and demolished it.

The third major fort built by Guru Gobind Singh was at Agamgarh village. According to one source there were two forts on the two sides of Charan Ganga stream. On the side of Chakk Nanaki it was Holgarh fort and on the side of the vrnage of Agamgarh it was Agamgarh fort. The other sources mention that there was only one fort named Holgarh fort, and, as it was in the village of Agamgarh, it was also known as Agamgarh fort.
Holgarh fort was famous for another reason. It was in front of the gate of this fort that Guru Sahib used to observe Hola Mahalla celebrations. On that day wrestling, sword-wielding, arrow-shooting, polo, Gatka (fencing) and some other martial games and sports competitions were held. Guru Sahib had begun observing these martial sports on Hola Mahalla in order to wean the Sikhs away from the silly activity of Holi (spoiling clothes by pouring liquid or dry colour on each other).

This fort had been built in the territory of village Sahota in order to defend the town of Chakk Nakaki. When this fort was being built, Sahibzada Fateh Singli was born; hence the name of the tbrt. On August 30, 1700, when Ajmer Chand's army attacked this fort, one gate of this fort was still incomplete. In spite of this, the Sikh soldiers fought bravely and defeated the hill army.

This fort was built in the village of Taragarh, about five km away from Anandpur Sahib. This fort had been built in order to stop the advances of the hill armies. This fort stood on the top of a hill from where one could watch the activities of the Kehlur fort. In the August of 1700, Ajmer Chand's army made its first attack on this fort. By 1985, there was no Gurdwara here. Now a line building stands at the site of the fort.

The village Guru Ka Lahore is at a distance of about 11 km from Anandpur Sahib and about 8 km from Ganguwal. This village had been set up by Guru Gobind Singh Sahib in 1677 to fulfil the desire of his father-in-law who had wishes that the marriage ceremony of his daughter should be performed at Lahore. The marriage of Guru Sahib and Mata Jit Kaur was held here on June 21,1677. There are four Gurdwaras associated with memory of Guru Sahib's marriage.

According to a tradition Guru Gobind Singh Sahib struck his Karpa spear here in the earth resulting into creation of three springs. Later, a Sarovar (tank) was built at the site. Now a fine Gurdwara has been built here. The name Tirbeni Sahib refers to three springs, like confluence of three rivers at Tirveni (Allahabad).

This Gurdwara has been built near a spring. According to a tradition this spring had been created by the stamping of the Paur (hoof) of the horse of Guru Sahib.

It has been built at the site where marriage ceremony of Guru Sahib was performed on June 21,1677. The present structure of the Gurdwara had been built in 1960s.

This Gurdwara has been built in village Bassi, about one km from Guru Ka Lahore. According to a tradition, here, Guru Sahib tied nuptial garland on his turban before the marriage party left for Guru Ka Lahore. Some scholars believe that Guru Sahib did not tie nuptial garland on his turban and it is the place where the marriage party rested for a while on their way to Guru-Ka-Lahore.


GURDWARA Keeratpur Sahib
Keeratpur Sahib is about nine km from Anandpur Sahib, on Anandpur-Ropar-Chandigarh route. The town was founded by Baba Gurditta (son of Guru Hargobind Sahib) on the tract of land purchased by Guru Sahib from Raja Kalyan Chand, the ruler of Bilaspur. This tract included portions of the land belonging to the villages of Jiowal, Kalyanpur, Bhatolian and Bhagguwal. The foundation stone of the new town was laid down by Baba Sri Chand on April 23,1624. Guru Hargobind Sahib established his headquarters here in May 1635. Guru Har Rai Sahib and Guru Harkrishan Sahib were born here. Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib and Guru Gobind Singh Sahib visited this town several tiines. Even Guru Nanak Sahib had visited this place more then a century before the establishment of this town. Several Gurdwaras have been built at Keeralpur Sahib in memory of Guru Nanak Sahib, Guru Hargobind Sahib, Guru Har Rai Sahib, Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib, Baba Gurditta (son of Guru Hargobind Sahib and father of Guru Har Ral Sahib) , Bibi Rup Kaur (daughter of Guru Har Ral Sahib) and Baba Sri Chand.

This Gurdwara has been built in memory of the visit of Guru Nanak Sahib. When Guru Nanak Sahib and Bhai Mardana visited this area, Keeratpur Sahib was not yet in existence and only a few people used to live in this area When Guru Nanak Sahib reached here Sain Buddhan Shah (who used to live on a nearby hili), approached Guru Sahib to have a dialogue with him. He oltered goat milk to Guru Sahib and Bhai Mardana. Tomb of Sain Buddhan Shah has been built on the hill where he used to live. The managers of this tomb have propagated that those Sikhs who visit Keerarpur Sahib have an obligation to visit the tomb of the Sain; otherwise their pilgrimage won't bear any fruit. This is false propaganda In fact, a Sikh must not bow before a grave, tomb, memorial or shrine or worship-places belonging to other religions.

After the laying of foundation stone of Keeratpur Sahib, the residence of Baba Gurditta was the first building to be erected. Gurdwara Shish Mahal has been built at the site of the residence of Baba Gurditt~ In May 1635 when Guru Hargobind Sahib moved to Keeratpur Sahib, he too began living here; hence this was the residence of Guru Sahib and their families between 1635 and 1663. Guru Har Ral Sahib and Guru Harkrishan Sahib were born here. Ram Ral and Bibi Rup Kaur (son and daughter of Guru Har Rai Sahib) were also born here.

After establishing his headquarters at Keeratpur Sahib, Guru Hargobind Sahib constructed a structure of throne, here, to perform the activities of Akal Takht Sahib from here. Later, a fort was built around the throne. Guru Sahib used to hold his court here. The installation ceremonies of Guru Har Rai Sahib and Guru Harkrishan Sahib were also held here.

Here Guru Sahib used to hold congregations. A langar (sacred kitchen) was also attached to it. It was also known as Diwan-J-Aam.

Here Guru Hargobind Sahib had set up a garden. There were several fountains on all the sides of the garden. Fruits and herbs of several types had been grown by Guru Sahib in this garden. According to a tradition, once when Dara Shikoh, the brother of Aurangzeb visited Guru Sahib, he rested in this garden. Guru Sahib gave him a herb which gave him relief from a chronic problem

This is a small building now. Here, Guru Har Rai Sahib had built a Chubachcha (reservoir) for horses. Guru Sahib had about 2200 horses, a couple of elephants and a large number of cows, goats and buffaloes, The fodder for these animals used to be stored here.

This was the residence of Bibi Rup Kaur (daughter of Guru Har Rai Sahib). She was married to Bhai Khem Karan of Pasrur (district Sialkot), on November 4,1662. She spent rest of her life at Kalyanpur (now a part of Keeratpur Sahib). In this Gurdwara some relics belonging to Bibi Rup Kaur have been preserved. These are: an embroidered handkerchief, a hand-fan, a volume of hymms and a Seli-topi (a sort of cap). The last one belonged to Baba Sri Chand who had gifted the same to Baba Gurditta (grandfather of Bibi Rup Kaur) and Bibi Rup Kaur had received it as a gift from her grandmother.

According to a tradition once Guru Hargobind Sahib shot an arrow from this site. The arrow fell near the present-day building of Gurdwara Patalpuri.

This shrine has been built on the bank of the river. Guru Hargobind Sahib and Guru Har Ral Sahib were cremated here. The ashes of Guru Harkrishan Sahib, who had breathed his last at Delhi on March 30,1644, had also been immersed here. This was in fact a cremation ground for all the residents of Keeratpur Sahib

Bhal Jaita, Bhai Ude and Blial Nanu Ram while carrying the head of Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib from Delhi, stopped here. From here to Chakk Nanaki in a procession. The next day, on November 17,1665 the head was cremated at Chakk Nanaki.

This Gurdwara has been built in memory of Baba Gurditta (son of Guru Hargobind Sahib) and Baba Sri Chand. It stands on the top of a hill, about one km from the town. Baba Gurditta breathed his last at this place.

This Guadwara has been built in memory of Baba Gurditta in a village named Jindbari (about 2 Km from village Dher, on Anandpur-Nmigal mad). A hagiographic story about Baba Gurditta giving life to a dead cow is associated with this village.
Some Gurdwaras in between Keeratpur Sahib and Anandpur Sahib

This Gurdwara has been built in memory of Guru Har Ral Sahib. According to a tradition Guru Sahib used to tie his elephant with a dry stem of a barota (bunyan tree), hence the name. According to a tradition Guru Gobind Singh Sahib also visited this village. Gurdwara Barota Sahib is in Bhakola village, about 2 km from Keeratpur Sahib.

This Gurdwara has been built in village Mitthasar (near village Kotla, at a distance of about 3 km from Keeratpur Sahib and about six km from Anandpur Sahib). According to a tradition Guru Hargobind Sahib used to visit this village. He had got built a well in this village. The water of this village was very sweet, hence the name of the Gurdwara.

Bhogpura village is at a distance of about 4 km from Anandpur Sahib. A Gurdwara has been built here in memory of the visit of Guru Gobind Singh Sahib.

Some Gurdwaras associated with Guru Sahib's stay at Anandpur Sahib

Village Nirmohgarh (also known as Hardo-Nirmoh) is at a distance of about 2 km from Keeratpur Sahib. Guru Gobind Singh Sahib stayed here for 11 days (October 4 to 14, 1700). On August 29,1700 Ajmer Chand, the ruler of Bilaspur, attacked Anandpur Sahib. The invasion continued for four days. Ajmer Chand's army suffered heavy losses. On September 1,1700, Raja Kesral Chand, maternal uncle of Ajmer Chand was also killed. When Ajmer Chand's army returned to Bilaspur, the people began chiding them. At this Parma Nand, the prime minister of Ajmer Chand, chalked out a plan. He made a statue of 'Cow' and placed it outside the gate of Anandgarh fort along with a letter praying Guru Sahib to abandon Anandpur Sahib for a couple of days so that they might boast of occupying Anandpur Sahib just to regain respect among the residents of Bilaspur. In the letter Ajmer Chand had sworn by cow (cow is sacred to Hindus) that he will never attack Anandpur Sahib again. Guru Sahib knew how ungrateflil Ajmer Chand was, still he took mercy on him and abandoned Anandpur Sahib. Guru Sahib set up tents on the top of a hill in the outskirts of the village of Nirmohgarh. When Ajmer Chand came to know that Guru Sahib had left Anaadpur Sahib and moved to Ninnohgarh, he planned an attack on Nirmohgarh also. On October 8,1700 he attacked Nirmohgarb but suffered heavy losses. Then he approached the governor of Sirhind. The governor of Sirhind sent a unit of army under the leadership of Rustn Khan and Nahar Khan. A fierce battle was fought here on October 13. In this battle both the Khans were killed. On October 14, Ajmer Chand launched another attack This also resulted into the defeat of Ajmer Chand's army. On October 15, Raja Salahi Chand, the ruler of Basali, approached Guru Sahib and escorted him to Basali (about 14 km from Keeratpur Sahib). By 1970 there was no Gurdwara at Nirmohgarh. Now, a Gurdwara is under construction.

Guru Gobind Singh Sahib spent fifteen days (October 15 to 29,1700) at Basali. A Gurdwara, in the bungalow of the chief of Basali, had been built to preserve memory of the visit of Guru Sahib. But, now, this Gurdwara does not exist any more. With an end to the direct line of Raja Salahi Chand (who had invited Guru Sahib to his State), the residence of the chief of Basali was occupied by some persons. At this tinie (in 1999) even the memorial of Raja Salahi Chand is in dilapidated conditions. Now, the Sikhs have built another Gurdwara in the outskirts of Basali. Effbrts are being made to recover the building of the old Gurdwara. Basali is about 14 km crow's-flight from Keeratpur Sahib. One can reach Basali via Nurpur Bedi (6 km) by road.

During his stay at Basali, on October 20,1700, Guru Sahib went out for hunting. During the chase, the Sikhs shot at and wounded a wolf. The Sikhs chased the wounded wolf through the hills. When they reached near the village of Kalmot a skirmish took place during which Bhai Jiwan Singh was killed. A Gurdwara had been built here to preserve memory of the visit of Guru Sahib. Later, a new building was erected in place of the eighteenth century memorial. The present building was built in 1960. Kalmot, also famous as Khera-Kalmot, is about 14 km crow's flight from Anandpur Sahib. It is about 25 km from Basali by road.

Bajrur finds mention in the Sikh history becaese, on March 14,1701, the residents of this village waylaid a group of Sikhs who were on their way to Anandpur Sahib. The next day Sahibzada Ajit Singh and Bhai Udey Singh led a group of 100 Sikhs to this village and punished the robbers. Chittu and Mittu, the leaders of the robbers, were killed in the operation. A Gurdwara has been built in memory of the event. Bajrur is about 9 km from Nurpur liedi and about seven km crow's ifight from Anandpur Sahib.

On March 6,1701 Dewki Das, a Bralunin, visited Anandpur Sahib and made a petition to Guru Sahib to help him restore his wife whom Jabar Jang Khan, the chief of Bassi Kalan, had forcibly taken away. The next day Sahibzada Ajit Singh and Bhai Udey Singh led a group of about one hundred Sikks to the village of Bassi Kalan, arrested Jabar Jang Ktian and restored the wife of the Brahmin. A Gurdwara has been built to preserve memory of the event. Bassi Kalan is about 12 km from Hoshiarpur

Some Gurdwaras which are far away from Anandpur Sahib

Besides the above mentioned towns and villages, Guru Sahib visited several other places also which are far away from Anandpur Sahib. These include Bilaspur, Rivalsar, Itrmandal, Jammu, Chakk Kanha, Ramgarh, Knirarhi, Samba, Pathankot, Hoshiarpur, Nahan, Paonta, Bhangani, Nadaun etc. The last two places are associated with battles. Gurdwaras have been built at Bilaspur, Rivalsar, Nahan, Paonta, Bhangani, Nadaun etc. But, so far, no shrine has been built at Purmandal, Jammu, Chakk Kanha, Ramgarh, Khirathhi, Samba, Pathankot and Hoshiarpur.

Bilaspur is about 60 km from Keeratpur Sahib. It was the capital of the erstwhile Bilaspur/Kehiur State. Bilaspur-Slidi relationship began in 1613 when Kalyan Chand, the ruler of Bilaspur and his son Thra Chand met Guru Har~obind Sahib in Gwalior Fort prison. Guru Sahib helped the release of Kalyan Chand, his son 'Thra Chand and several other rulers of the Indian States from Gwaiiorp(ison, on October26, 1619. In 1635, Guru Hargobind Sahib established his headquarters at leeeratpur Sahib (which had been founded in 1624 on the land purchased by Guru Sahib from Raja Kalyan Chand). Though there is no reference in any source, yet it seems that Guru Hargobind Sahib must have visited Bilaspur. Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib visited Bilaspur in 1665 and 1672. Guru Gobind Singh Sahib visited Bilaspur at least thrice.

A Gurdwara, to commemorate the visit of Guru Sahib had been built in the royal palace. The Sikhs had been visiting this shrine till I 850s. Later, the Bilaspur ruler stopped the Sikh from entering the shrine. In 1950s, Bilaspur city became a part of "Gobind Sagar Lake" and a new town was set up in the upper hills. The Sikhs too built a new shrine in the new Bilaspur.

Guru Gobind Singh Sahib visited Rivalsar on March 28,1692 to preside over a conference of the rulers of the hill States. In this conference Guru Sahib agreed to grant "pr6tectorate" to the hill rulers against the Mughal invasions. A Gurdwara has been built to preserve memory of the visit of Guru Sahib. The Hindu residents of this town are hostile to the Sikhs (and the other non-Hindus).

In March 1690 Guru Sahib led Sikh army to Nadaun to help Raja Bhim Chand of Bilaspur and other hill rulers against the Mugal attacIL The battle, fought on March 20,1690, was won by Guru Sahib and his allies. After the battle, Guru Sahib spent seven days in the palace of the chief of Nadaun. A Gurdwara has been built at Nadaun to preserve memory of the visit of Guru Sahib. Nadaun is about 32 km from Kangra and about 12 km from Jawalamukhi.

Guru Gobind Singh Sahib visited Nahan on AppI 14,1685. He founded the town of Paonta Sahib and stayed there.from April 29,1685 to October 27,1688. During this period he had to fight a battle against the invading army of Fateb Shah of Gartiwal, on September 18,1688, at Bhangani (about 11 km from Paonta). Gurdwaras to commemorate the association of Guru Sahib to these places have been built at Nahan (2 Gurdwaras), Bhangani (2 Gurdwaras) and Paonta Sahib (3 Gurdwaras).

Gurdwaras on the route of the last jouniey of Guru Gobind Singh Sahib.

Guru Gobind Singh Sahib left Anandpur Sahib for ever on the night of December 5 and 6 1705. He went through Keeratpur Sahib, Jhakhian village, Shahi Tibbi before he could cross rivulet Sarsa at Nangal Gujjran (now Nangal Sarsa). From here he went to Kotla Nihang, Chamkaur, Machhiwara and then to Talwandi Sabo via Ajner, Doraha, Dina-Kangar, Bhagta, Kotkapura, Dhilwan, Khidrane Di Dhab (Muktsar) etc. Gurdwaras have been built at most of these pJaces. Besides this route, Guniwaras have been built at Bibhaur (about one and half km from Nangal and 23 km from Anandpur Sahib), Baangarh (Nurpur Bedi,) Katta Sabur, Gwpalah etc. According to a source Guru Sahib had composed his famous hymn "Chaupai" at Bibhaur.
Thus, the whole of this area is a zone of the shrines associated with Guru Sahib.