Gurdwara Gau Ghat (Patna)
Gurdwara Gau Ghat or Gurdwara Pahila Bara is a historical Sikh shrine situated at Alamganj mohalla in Patna. This was Bhagat Jaitamal's house. It was sanctified first by Guru Nanak in 1509 A.D. and later by Guru Tegh Bahadur along with his family in 1666 AD. It is about 4 kilometers from Harimandir Sahib, on the Ashok Raj Path, Alamganj amidst the Patna Railway Junction and Takhat Sri Patna Sahib Gurudwara Gau Ghat Sahib is the oldest Gurudwara than Takhat Shri Hari Mandir Sahib Ji Patna Saheb.
According to Local Legend, Bhagat Jaitamal, a devotee of Guru Nanak was fortunate to get the blessings of Guru Tegh Bahadur. Guru Tegh Bahadur stayed for about four months here and made this place very popular among the followers of Guru Nanak's faith.
On the banks of the River Ganga, once the house of Bhai Jaitamal, the First Master, Guru Nanak Dev in 1509 A.D, sanctified Gurudwara Gai Ghat.
Bhai Jaitamal, a man of great piety was 350 years old when he requested the Guru to secure his soul. Guru Nanak counselled patience and advised him to wait till the ninth Master blessed him. Jaitamal was much old for bathing in the River Ganga, but with the blessings of Guru Nanak he could.
"Bhai Jaitamal prayed to the Guru to give him strength to bathe in the river ganga. Guruji told Jaitamal that he need not go to the river; the river would come to him. Guru Nanak converted the river Ganga to a cow. The spot is still there where Bhai Jaitamal used to bathe," Avtar Singh, the priest of Gurudwara Gai Ghat.
In 1666, the ninth Master, Guru Tegh Bahadur blessed Bhai Jaitamal. The guru, along with his family stayed in Patna for four months and made the place popular among the followers of Guru Nanak.
The gurudwara preserves many sacred relics such as the bed, a grindstone of Mata Gujri, the musical instrument, Rebeck of Bhai Mardana, the window of the house of Bhai Jaitamal and Thara Sahib where Guru Tegh Bahadur sat.
Devotees offer chola or clothes at Tham Sahib, the wooden pillars. It is believed that an unequal pair of wood was brought for the construction, which was later corrected by the Guru Tegh Bahudar. Since then, devotees pay obeisance to the pillars.
"If someone finds it difficult to marry or secure a job, his wishes are fulfilled. An offering of Chola (a piece of cloth) is made to the Tham Sahib. Hindus, Muslims and people of all religions come here and each has his wish fulfilled," said a devotee.
Ghanshyam, the great grand son of Adhrakha, the fourth successor of Salis Rai Johri's Sangat (now the birth place of Guru Gobind Singh ji) was also fortunate to get blessings from the ninth successor of Guru Nanak, as it was assured by Guru Nanak during his visit to this place.
Mahatma Bhagat Jaitamal was living there. Once Guru Nanak Dev Ji visited this place, Bhagat Jaitamal Ji was 350 years old. Bhagat Jaitamal Ji requested Guru Ji to get freedom(mukti) from this world. Guru Nanak said "Bhagat Ji, you have to live and enjoy the world for more time. Again I would come in the appearance (form) of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji and would make you free from the world. Till then you just worship and I would request Ganga Ji to give you bath at your place daily. Bhagat Ji said if Ganga Ji would come at my place to give me bath daily then the villagers would fall in trouble, why should villagers suffer because of me. Moreover when you would come in the appearance (form) of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji then how would I know that it is you?" Also Guru Nanak asked him to make a Kund (pond) there to take the bath and said Ganga Ji would give you bath there in the appearance (form) of Gau (Cow). This way villagers would not be facing any difficulty. Ganga ji kept on giving bath to Bhagat Ji in the appearance (form) of Cow.
Then he continued worshiping and kept on waiting for his freedom. Giving commandments to Bhagat Ji, Guru Nanak Dev Ji left for the Patna Saheb. In Patna Guru Nanak Dev Ji met Salas Rai Johri, then Salas Rai Johri also became his follower and converted his house to a Dharamshala where Guru Gobind Singh was born.
Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji with his family and some selected followers started journey towards east. Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji with his family and sangat reached Bhagat Jaitatmal Ji’s village Bishambarpur and called him & knocked his door. But all the doors of his house were closed because neighboring children and young were making a noise at his home which placed hindrance in his worship. One window of that house was open from where sangat called Bhagat Ji Maharaj, Guru Ji has arrived, please open the door. Bhagat Ji replied if Guru Ji has arrived then he can come in without opening the door. Hearing that Guru Ji with his family and sangat ride on the horse and went inside through the open window in incredible way. He tied his horse with the rope and seated on the Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s place. Bhagat Jaitamal Ji saw Guru Nanak Dev Ji in the form of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji. Seeing him Bhagat Jaitamal Ji got freedom from mortal world according to the spiritual words of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.
Tham Sahib are the historical pillars in Gurudwara Gau Ghat, After last ritual of Bhagat Jaitamal Ji, Shri Guru Tegh Bahadur ji started to rebuild that old house. When house was being constructed. King Aurangzeb ordered King Bishan Singh to leave for the Assam. King Bishan Singh sought Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji’s help. King Bishan Singh requested Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji to go to Assam with him. King Bishan Sigh said I need your help. You are the possessor of Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s throne. Guru Ji accepted his request and said after completion of this house I would accompany you. Guru Ji asked labors to construct the house as early as possible. Guru Ji said I have to go Assam with King Bishan Singh. He needs my help. Labors replied Guru ji the tham (pillar) you had brought to fix below the roof are short, arrange us another long thumbs so that we could complete the construction in time.
Next day Guru Ji said to the labors that tham are not short. When labors tried to fix the tham then thumbs turned long and when put again on the earth tham (pillar) became short. Labors were amazed to see that. Guru Ji asked the labors to leave that construction incomplete and said that a time would come when Sikh sangat would itself complete this construction. Now these thumbs would be known as Tham Sahib. If a person with complete faith embrace these thumbs then his wish will be fulfilled. Incurable people will be cured and the mothers who don’t have child, their desire will be fulfilled. Saying that Guru ji left for the Assam with King Bishan Singh.
The following things are preserved here:
- Rabeck of Mardana
- Grind stone (Chakki) of Mata Gujri
- Tree, where Guru Tegh Bahadur tied his horse.
- Thara Saheb, a place where Guru Tegh Bahadur used to sit.
- Old Thams
- Taaki Sahib
This place was first known as Sangat and later popularized as Badi Sangat Gau Ghat.. Located at the confluence of the Ganga, the Sone, the Punpun and the Gandak - Patna is the largest riverine city in the world. Sprawled on the southern banks of the River Ganges, Patna offers visitors a fascinating tale of history.