Gurdwara Mata Gujari

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Fatehgarh Sahib (4).jpg

Gurdwara Mata Gujari also known as Gurdwara Burj Mata Gujri forms part of the main Gurdwara complex of the city called Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib. Three sacred shrines are, in fact, situated on the same mound of ruins of the old Fort of Sirhind. The Thanda Burj (the thick walled 'cold tower') used to be a high tower built at a bend of the rampart of the Fort. Owing to its exposure to wind currents from all directions and to a water current from below it was a pleasant resort for the faujdar to spend his hot summer afternoons. In winter, however, it was intolerably cold. When Mata Gujari and her grandsons were brought to Sirhind as captives in the cold season (8 December 1705), they were detained in this Tower.

When Banda Singh Bahadur sacked Sirhind in 1710, the Cold Tower escaped destruction. But in the turbulent times that followed, the water channel running below it was blocked and disappeared, and the topmost portion of the tower fell down. After the establishment of Sikh rule in 1764, it became a revered place of pilgrimage, but its renovation had to wait until the Improvement Committee for Gurdwaras Fatehgarh Sahib and Joti Sarup was constituted in 1944.

Thanda Burj History

Actual work on the implementation of plans prepared by the Committee, however, commenced only in 1955-56. Since then except for a portion of the original Fort wall, the place has been changed into an entirely new building, modest but elegant in design, a noble memorial to the illustrious Mata, Mother.

The Guru Granth Sahib is seated in the room on the ground floor. A narrow winding staircase leads up to the first floor, a bare room with a low platform in the centre and a lotus dome above. There was a tradition, now discredited, that Mata Gujari, on hearing of the execution of her grandchildren, jumped down from the tower over the Fort wall. There is a small room near the foot of the stairs which was believed to be the exact spot where she fell to her death. The Guru Granth Sahib is installed in this room as well. This shrine was further renovated in recent decades. The top room has been converted into a domed pavilion and the dome is covered with gilded copper plates.

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