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RAIKOT (300 N, 75°37'E), a municipal town in Ludhiana district, is sacred to Guru Gobind Singh. He came here on the invitation of Rai Kalha, the local Muslim chief, and encamped under a shisham or tahli tree at the site of Gurdwara Tahliana Sahib, 1.5 km to the west of the town. According to local tradition, it was here that Guru Gobind Singh heard the news of the martyrdom at Sirhind of his two younger sons brought by Rai Kalha's messenger. As per oft-quoted folklore, Dashmesh Patshah asked the Sikhs here to milk virgin calf-bufffaloes to the utter surprise of onlookers. This was necessitated due to a tauntful joke made by some mashkharey persons (idle gossippers) who had less belief on Guru's spiritual powers. On arrival at Raikot, Guru ji had asked these people gathered around to bring some milk. Jeeringly they said, "Yes, why not. Take as much milk as you want from those buffaloes", pointing their hands actually towards the yet virgin young calf-buffaloes grazing nearby. The Sikhs attending on Guru were bewildered at this attitude of a few locals. Maintaining His calm, Guru ji asked them firmly, "Go bhai, what are you waiting for. Go, take the buckets, milk those buffaloes and fetch it." The Sikhs immediately went. And lo and behold, the very same, young virgin, yet to be initiated into parenting cycle, calf-buffaloes had udders full of gushing milk. Sikhs now milked them, and brought the buckets full with milk to the Guru, much to the shock and surprise of these idle-gossippers. Thus Raikot is associated with the above miracle shown by the great Guru. The older building of the Gurdwara, a square domed room with a vcrandah around it constructed in the 1920's, is still used as the prakdsh asthdn. Its floor is paved with glazed tiles and the lotus dome above it is topped with an ornamental golden pinnacle and an umbrellalike finial. To this, a rectangular divan hall and a vcrandah on three sides were added later. A small rectangular sarovar is next to the divan hall on the right as one enters. The Gurdwara is managed by the Shiromam Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee through a local committee. The most important annual event is a threeday fair held on 19, 20 and 21 Poh (first week of January) to commemorate Guru Gobind Singh's visit.

References 1. Kuir Singh, Gurbilas Patshahl 10, ed. Shamsher Singh Ashok. Patiala, 1968 2. Narotam, Tara Singh, Sri Guru Tirath Sangrahi. Kankhal, 1975 3. Gian Singh, Giani, Twarikh Gurduarian. Amritsar, n.d. 4. Santokh Singh, Bhai, Sri Gur Pratap Suraj Granth. Amritsar, 1927-35