Hasan Abdal

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Hasan Abdal is 40km northwest of Rawalpindi

Hasan Abdal (33.8209298°N 72.6898491°E) is a historical town in Northern Punjab, Pakistan. It is centred on the confluence of GT Road and Karakoram Highway near the NWFP province, adjacent and to the northwest of Wah. It is about 2km south-east of the Burham interchange on M-1 motorway.

It is 40 km northwest of the centre of Rawalpindi just off the Rawalpindi-Peshwar road. Its population is about 40,000. It is famous for Gurdwara Sri Panja Sahib, one of the most sacred places of Sikhism. Thousands of Sikhs and Hindus visit the Gurdwara on the eve of Baisakhi every year.

Background

On the nearby hill, at an altitude of 714 meters, there is a meditation chamber related to a 15th century Muslim Saint, Baba Wali Qandhari, popularly known as Baba Hasan Abdal. The saint stayed in Hasan Abdal from 1406-1516AD [citation needed] but died and is buried in village Baba Wali near Qandhar also spelt as Kandahar (Afghanistan). The city is named after this saint. The devotees and visitors climb over the steps leading to the hill, for offerings and to have a panoramic view of Hasan Abdal.

The other historical place is a tomb erroneously called Lala Rukh Tomb. There is a grave inside a square walled Garden and a fresh water fish pond near the tomb.There is a military style boys residential school called Cadet College Hasan Abdal administered by a board of directors and is associated to the provincial Government of Punjab.

The city has been an idyllic place till a couple of decades ago. It was hardly imaginable that its fresh water springs with crystal clear water and loquat orchards could turn to ruins so soon. In 1980 it had a population of about ten thousands and everything seemed to be in control. Now, the population of the city has more than quadrupled in a matter of two decades without any plan. One can see houses and commercial buildings built at every imaginable place. The fresh air of the 1970s and early 1980s has become a nostalgic memory.

Gurdwara Panja Sahib

Gurudwara Panja Sahib
Main article: Gurdwara Panja Sahib

Gurdwara Panja Sahib is situated at Hasan Abdal, 48 km from Rawalpindi in Pakistan. This is one of the most holy places of Sikhism because it marks the spot where the founder of the faith, Guru Nanak Dev visited and instilled an important lesson for his followers. Still visible is the sacred rock with the hand print of Guru Nanak. Many thousands of faithful Sikhs from all over the Globe visit this shrine. However, twice a year, during special celebrations, an enormous number of Sikh pilgrims attend this Gurdwara from every corner of the world. Special visas are allocated by the Pakistan government to cater for the increased demand.

Guru Nanak along with Bhai Mardana reached Hasan Abdal in Baisakh Samwat 1578 B.K. corresponding to 1521 A.D. in the summer season. Under a shady cool tree, Guru Nanak and Bhai Mardana started reciting Kirtan and their devotees gathered around. This annoyed Wali Qandhari but he was helpless.

According to legend, Bhai Mardana was sent three times to Wali Qandhari so that he would provide him with some water to quench his thirst. Wali Qandhari refused his request and was even rude to him. .....More

Guru Nanak and Wali Qandhari

Wali throws a rock at the Guru
Main article: Guru Nanak and Wali Qandhari

After travelling through Arabia and many other countries, in 1521 A.D during the summer season, Guru Nanak reached a place called Hasan Abdal. This place is about fifty kilometres from Rawalpindi in Pakistan to the west side of the mountains. This is hilly area and some places here have natural fountains which flow from the ground.

Guru ji with Bhai Mardana and a small party halted at this place at the foot of a hill. Under a shady cool tree, Guru Nanak and Bhai Mardana started reciting Kirtan as was their normal practise. Slowly, the local devotees began to gather around the Guru. Soon, a large crowd of people began regularly to gather around the Guru. He talked to them about God and the true path of the holy. He told them the greatness of God and His creations. More and more people began to gather around him every day.

On the top of the nearby hill, there lived a Muslim priest. His name was Bawa Wali Qandhari. Wali Qandhari had established a celebrated dera (holy place) at this hill at Hasan Abdal, near a natural fountain. His house was very near this fresh water spring from where the water flowed down to the town where it was used by the people for all their needs. There was no other source of fresh water nearby. He used this dera to assist people who followed his faith and to punish the "non-believers". .....More

Aerial View

This is an aerial view showing the position of Wali Qandhari's shrine at the top of the hill and Gurdwara Panja Sahib at a distance of almost 2 kilometres at the bottom of the hill. From Wali Qandhari's shrine, the topology shows that the terrain is downhill all the way to the Panja sahib Gurdwara. Image thanks to www.wikimapia.org. Click here for the interactive screen of this aerial view


Gurdwara Panja sahib aerial view-m.jpg

Terrain Map

This is a terrain map showing the position of Wali Qandhari's shrine at the top of the hill and Gurdwara Panja Sahib at a distance at the bottom of the hill. The contour show how Wali's shrine is located at a altitude of above 600 metres while the Gurdwara is at about 440 metres. The climb from the Gurdwara to Wali Qandhari's shrine is about 160 metres higher and at a distance of about 2 kilometres.

Image thanks to www.wikimapia.org


Gurdwara Panja sahib terrain map-m.jpg

Gallery

A view of Gurdwara Panja sahib in the foreground with the hill and Wali Qandhari's shrine in the background. Photo courtesy of flickr lovu_lovi

Panja sahib-5m.jpg


See also

External link

References