Gurdwara Katalgarh Sahib

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Gurdwara Katalgarh Sahib, Chamkaur Sahib, Punjab, India*pNoramio photo link showing location

Gurdwara Qatalgarh or Katalgarh Sahib lies west of Gurdwara Garhi Sahib and is the main shrine at Chamkaur Sahib. This Gurdwara marks the site where the thickest hand to hand fighting took place on 7 December 1704 between the Mughal army and the Sikhs, including the Sahibzadas and three of the original five Panj Piare (the Five Beloved).

History

During the battle of Chamkaur in 1704 in which the Guru and 40 Sikhs fought against overwhelming odds, both of Guru Gobind Singh's sons Ajit Singh and Jujhar Singh died in battle at this spot. When the Sikhs in the fort at Chamkaur were being martyred one by one, the Sikhs did not want the Guru's two sons to go into battle. Guru Gobind Singh declared that all the Sikhs in the fort were his beloved sons.

During the battle 18 year old Baba Ajit Singh asked his father's permission to go out of the fort and fight the enemy. He said, "Dear father, my name is Ajit (Unconquerable). I will not be conquered. And if conquered, I will not flee or come back alive. Permit me to go, dear father." Guru Gobind Singh hugged and kissed his beloved son before sending him into battle where he fought heroically until his last breath.

Painting inside Gurdwara Katalgarh Sahib showing Sahibzada Jujhar Singh in battle. "Purja purja cut maarhu, kaboo na chhodu khaat".

Baba Jujhar Singh, four years younger than Ajit Singh, having watched his brother's martyrdom, asked Guru Gobind Singh, "Permit me, dear father to go where my brother has gone. Don't say that I am too young. I am your son, I am a Singh (Lion) of yours. I shall prove worthy of you. I shall die fighting, with my face towards the enemy, with God and the Guru on my lips and in my heart." Guru Gobind Singh embraced him and said, "Go my son and wed life-giving Death. We have been here for a while. Now we shall return to our real home. Go and wait for me there. Your grandfather and elder brother are already waiting for you." Thus the Guru watched his two sons achieve eternal peace through martyrdom. Guru Gobind Singh then prepared to follow his sons and attack the Muslims but his Sikhs passed a Gurmatta (resolution) that the Guru and the two remaining panj piares should escape under cover of darkness while the remaining Sikhs, facing certain death, would hold the fort and delay the Muslim attackers. Having divested himself of authority the Guru had to yield to the will of his Sikhs.

The original Gurdwara constructed here, by Sardar Hardial Singh of Bela in 1831, was replaced during the 1960's by a new complex raised under the supervision of Sant Piara Singh of Jhar Sahib and later of Sant Bishan Singh of Amritsar. The main building called Mariji Sahib is an elegant three storeyed domed structure standing upon a high base. The large divan hall contains an eight metre square sanctum. Another vast hall close by is called Akal Buriga. It was used for the daily congregations before Mariji Sahib was constructed. To the west of Akal Buriga is an old Baoli Sahib still in use. The Guru ka Langar, community kitchen, is further north from Baoli Sahib and Akal Buriga. The Gurdwara also houses the offices of the local managing committee which administers all historical shrines at Chamkaur under the overall control of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee. In addition to the daily services, largely attended assemblies take place on the first of each Bikrami month and on important anniversaries on Sikh calendar. A three day fair called Shahidi Jor Mela is held on 6,7 and 8 Poh, usually corresponding with 20, 21 and 22 December, commemorating the martyrs of Chamkaur.

Gurdwara Katalgarh Sahib, Chamkaur Sahib, Punjab, India

See Also