Guru Arjan dev's Gurdwaras

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Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji got Sri Harimandir Sahib built in the midst of the sarovar (tank) at the lowest level. Unlike other temples where the devotees have to climb up to offer their obeisance, here the devotees have to step down to offer their homage. This unique temple of God has been built at the lowest level because it represents the humility of Guru Nanak. Humility Incarnate Guru Arjan selected the lowest level because this was to be the eternal seat of the Prophet of Humility, Sri Guru Nanak Sahib (manifest Sri Guru Granth Sahib).

The Sikhs were anxious to raise the plinth of Sri Harimandir Sahib higher than all the surrounding buildings and had strongly pleaded with the Guru for doing so but wonderful were divine outpourings of the Humility Personified Guru Arjan. Some extracts:

Garibi Gada Hamari, Khana Sagal Rein Chhari 
Is Aage Ko Na Tikai Vekari 	 
Sri Guru Granth Sahib (628)	 
“Humility is my mace; becoming the dust of everybody’s feet is my sword. 
No evil doer can dare withstand these weapons”. 	 

For a Sikh, the Guru is the soul of his own soul.

Dasan Das Rein Dasan Ki, Jan Ki Tehal Kamawon,
Sarab Sookh Badyai Nanak Jiwon Mukhon Blawo	 
Sri Guru Granth Sahib (529)	 
“I have become dust of the feet of the slaves of His slaves and 
I serve His servants. Thus, I have achieved true joy and honour, 
I live by uttering His Holy Name” 	 

In this Great Temple, the four doors in all the four directions were thrown open to all the religions, to rich and poor, to high and low, and to the out-castes. All were welcome in this House of God. The poor, the low, the meek, the oppressed and the humble felt the presence of God face to face.

All religions have produced true lovers of God. A muslim mystic, a true lover of God, Hazrat Mian Mir, who had become a legend in his very life-time, was invited to lay the foundation stone of this Universal Temple of God, further signifying that this Temple of God belonged to all. On Dharma, religion, Sri Guru Arjan Sahib clarifies :

Sarb Dharam Mehn Sreisht Dharam
Har Ko Nam Jap Nirmal Karam 	 
Sri Guru Granth Sahib (266)	 
The best of all Religions is the yearning for the Divine and purity of deeds.


Gurudwara Ramsar stands on the bank of the Ramsar sarovar, near Chativind Gate, on the southeastern side of the walled city. After the completion of the Harimandar, Guru Arjan undertook the compilation of Adi Granth, the Holy Book, now revered as Guru Granth Sahib. For this task, he chose a se-cluded site. The spot selected was then a shady nook, one km away from the bustle of the town. To make the surroundings more agreeable, he had a tank dug which was named Ramsar after Guru Ram Das. Here, Guru Arjan composed his famous Sukhmani, the Psalm of Peace, and with Bhai Gurdas as his scribe compiled the Adi Granth during 1603-04. The present Gurdwara Ramsar, a small marble-lined hall topped by a gilded, fluted lotus dome built in 1855, marks the site of the Guru's labours.

Its said that he who will take bath in the Ramsar Sahib sarovar will attain ram (The lord), getting in contact with Ram (God) and taking a dip here will MAKE the mind internally linked with the god.


SANTOKHSAR SAHIB: When (Guru) Ram Das, had not yet ascended to the gaddi, he came here to find out a place for excavation of the holy tank on instructions from Guru Amar Das. When (Guru) Ram Das was getting the place dug, he found a Yogi, meditating. After sometime the Yogi opened his eyes and told Guru Ram Das that he had been meditating here for a long time, waiting for a Guru to give him salvation. He disclosed his name as Santakha and then breathed his last. The tank was then named as Santokhsar. Guru Arjan completed the unfinished work of excavation of tanks - Santokhsar and Amritsar. Baba Buddha was appointed to supervise the work of construction. Santokhsar was completed in 1587-89.


Gurudwara Guru Ke Mahal was the home of Sri Guru Ram Das Ji and his family. Sri Guru Ram Das Ji founded the city of Ramdaspur (modern day Amritsar) and began the excavation of the 'pool of nectar' called Amritsar. Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji was married as well as appointed as a Guru here. Sri Guru Hargobind Singh Ji lived here for some time and was also married here. This is also the birthplace of Baba Atal Rai and Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji.


Gurdwara Chheharta Sahib is situated on the Amritsar - Gurusar Sultan Road, near village Guru ki Vadali, seven kms from Amritsar.

Guru ki Vadali is the birthplace of the Sixth Guru, Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib, the son of Guru Arjan Dev Ji. To celebrate the birth of his son, Guru Arjan Dev Ji constructed a big well at this place. This well had six Persian wheels to draw out the water and thus came to be known as Chheharta, the well with six wheels. This well helped in removing water scarcity in the region and enabled the greening of the fields.

Basant Panchami is celebrated with great enthusiasm at Gurudwara Chheharta Sahib on fifth day of the bright half of the month of Magh (end of January or beginning of February).


Around 1590 Guru Arjan Dev set out on a tour of the country between the rivers Ravi and Beas. Here Guru Arjan Dev bought some land and laid the foundation of a Gurdwara in honor of Guru Ram Das and started the excavation of a tank even larger than Amritsar. The Gurdwara has one of the largest tanks and resembles the Golden Temple, except that it is built on the side of the tank and has a marble exterior. Guru Arjan Dev also established the first home for lepers in India at Tarn Taran.

Gurudwara Tarn Taran Sahib, is situated at a distance of 22 km south-east of Amritsar city. It was built by Guru Arjan Dev, in the Mughal style, in memory of Guru Ram Das. Its dome is covered with copper gilt. It is located on the edge of a big tank whose water is believed to cure leprosy. So, affected persons have been visiting this holy shrine for the last four centuries to seek cure of their lacerated wounds caused by leprosy. A big fair is held here every month, an amavas day.


The famous historical town of Doaba (Bilga) is well-known for the fifth Sikh Guru - Guru Arjan Dev Ji. It is famous as the holy clothes of Guru Arjan Dev ji are kept here in the memory of Guru Arjan Dev Ji.

Guru Ji reached the town in 1646A.D. He stayed for two days to take rest while going to village Mau Sahib for wedding ceremony. Acc. to Bhai Kahn Singh Nabha's dictionary , Guru ji's marriage was arranged with Mata Ganga Ji.

At that time Bilga was only in the shape of seven huts. The people of Bilga served Guru Ji heartly. Guru Ji was pleased and blessed them.

Guru Ji presented his holy blessings - Saili (cap), chola, pyjama, Batva, Dushala, Simrana Mala and Chandan ki chawanki after taking bath.

Every year on the occasion of marriage of Guru Arjan Dev Ji, a great fair on 2nd, 3rd and 4th July is celebrated. On the last day i.e. 4th July, the holy clothes of Guru Sahib are shown to general public before the closing ceremony of Diwan. SO all the people are requested to visit this holy place and get blessings of Guru ji.


When visiting the Jalandhar area Guru Arjan Dev purchased some land and founded the town of Kartarpur. A sandalwood post (Tham) stands in the Gurdwara, Guru Arjan Dev had stuck it into the ground exclaiming "This shall be the support of our faith."


The Gangsar is a well sunk by Guru Arjan Dev and much frequented by pilgrims as a substitute for the River Ganga. 200 meters east of the town is named after the well got sunk in 1599 by Guru Arjan who pronounced it to be as sacred as the River Ganga. The old Manji Sahib near the well was replaced by the present five storey building raised by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee in 1975. The sanctum is at one end of a square hall on the ground floor. The other four storey with the dome on lop rise above the sanctum. Within the hall to the right side as one faces the sanctum is a platform dedicated to Guru Hargobind who, according to local tradition, sat here sometimes to address visiting sangat.

The holy bath at Gangsar Tank provides a cure for problems for mentally retarded and other psychic problems too.


The ascetic son of Guru Nanak and the founder of the Udasi order Baba Sri Chand lived here deep in the forest for the last part of his life. Baba Sri Chand was visited here by Guru Arjan Dev who told Baba Sri Chand about the hostility of the Gurus elder brother. Baba Sri Chand replied: "This will be his undoing and ruin both in this world and the next". Guru Hargobind also visited Baba Sri Chand here and when Baba Sri Chand complimented the Guru on his chivalry and piety, Guru Hargobind replied with great humility, "It is all the result of your blessing". Guru Hargobind also gave his son Baba Gurditta to Baba Sri Chand as the next leader of the Udasi order. Baba Sri Chand died and was cremated here at Barth Sahib in 1612 at the ripe old age of 118.


Sri-Hargobindpur is situated about 45 Kilometers south of Gurdaspur city. This area was formerly known as "ROHILA". "GURU ARJAN DEV" the fifth Guru of Sikhs founded the town of Sri-Hargobindpur in 1595 AD in memory of his son Hargobind’s birth in that year, as the child was the only son born to the Guru Arjan Dev after many prayers.


Guru Arjan Dev was born here in 1563. This was the family home of Guru Amar Das who founded the town of Goindwal and settled down here upon becoming Guru on the advice of Guru Amar Das. In this same house Guru Ram Das was installed as Guru in 1574. Guru Amar Das left this world here in 1574 and Guru Ram Das left this world here in 1581


Gurdwara Dehra Sahib is situated opposite the Royal Mosque or Shahi Masjid. At the place, after torturing, the fifth Guru was drowned into the Ravi. At that time, the Ravi lowed along the wall of the fort. The Guru after enduring the most unheard and unseen tortures, without repining, merged into the eternal light on 30th May, 1606. In A.D. 1619, when the sixth Guru Hargobind visited this historical place, he got a memorial rostrum built here to commemorate the martyrdom of his Guru-father. Maharaja Ranjit Singh got built a small but beautiful Gurdwara. As there was no congregational hall attached to this place, the present hall was founded in A.D. 1909 and daily congregations were regularly held. A sarai was got built for the convenience of the pilgrims. The marble gate was erected. The Flag post was fixed nearby. The Gurdwara has a square passage-way inside. In 1925 A.D. a local committee was formed during the Gurdwara Reform Movement that render a good service to this shrine. In A.D. 1927, the S.G.P.C. took over the management and started rebuilding a Gurdwara on 21stApril, 1930. That was completed on 9th September, 1934 wherein on both sides of the Gurdwara was clay area which was paved. Domes were gold plated. The number of devotees in daily congregations increased. Another scheme to extend the hall was chalked out but due to the partition of the country, that could not be accomplished. On 9th September 1947, the Sikhs had to leave this Gurdwara too. The recitation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib at this Gurdwara continues to date. Two Singh render daily service to this shrine. Every year at the occasion of the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev Ji (On Shahidi Jor Mela) Sikh devotees visit the shrine to pay homage to the great Guru.


Gurudwara Baoli Sahib is situated in the famous busy market of Dabbi Bazaar in the centre of Lahore city. One side of this Gurudwara adjoins Dabbi Bazaar, the second is adjacent to Laha Bazaar, the third opens on Kesera Bazaar and the fourth borders to stay there. The Guru got a baoli built there. In A.D. 1599, when Guru Arjan Dev, the redeemer of the mankind came to Lahore, Bhai Chhajju Bhagat came along with a pathan to pay his respect to the Guru and put a bag full of 282 mohars at the feet of the Guru, requesting him to utilize the same for religious works. The Guru asked as to where this money had come from. On this, the Bhagat narrated the story thus: "My pathan friend gave me this bag to keep in safe custody but my accountant (munim) forgot to register this money in his ledger (Vahi-Khata) and by the passage of time, I too, forgot all about it. When the pathan came asking for his money, I refused to pay as my records mentioned nothing of the sort. The case was taken to the official (Hakam) where the pathan lost his case. But while cleaning the shop before Diwali, I found the bag. I put extra Rs.100 therein and try to return the same to my friend with apologies. But the pathan refused to take it as he had lost the case. Neither he considered that money his nor could take it as mine. That is why we have brought this amount to the Guru Darbar". The Guru appreciated their truthfulness and started to build a baoli with that money at this place. At the instigation of Diwan Jaspat Rai, this holy shrine was demolished by Yahaya Khan, the Nawab of Lahore and was turned into the residential quarter. Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1834 A.D. rendered service to this place and got a new building erected and a sarovar dug. Shops were built on all sides as to bring revenue for the management of this shrine. He got a darwaza built near the baoli as a memorial. Bhai Nihal Singh was made responsibe for the Sewa of this place. In 1903 A.D. Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Lahore started weekly congregations here. When Sant Attar Singh Visited this shrine in 1911 A.D., he started the daily recitation of Asa di var. In 1927 A.D., The Gurdwara came under S.G.P.C management, but the congregations at the time of Gurpurbs were held by Singh Sabha, Lahore. At time of partition, Bhai Dalip Singh was martyred on 11th August, 1947.


Gurdwara Lal Khooh is situated behind the water tank or Pani Wala Talab near Muhalla Barudkhana in the centre of Lahore City. Chandu's haveli was situated there. In A.D. 1606, after the arrest of Guru Arjan, Chandu kept the Guru in one of the dingy cells here. There was a well in this building from where the Guru used to bathe daily. The Guru was tortured by Chandu at this very place. He was boiled alive in a big bowl; made to sit on a red hot iron plate and the scorched sand was poured on his head. But the Guru did not express even a single sigh of sorrow or grief. He considered it a Sweet will of his Master. When in A.D. 1619, the sixth Guru Hargobind visited Lahore, the Sikh Sangat dragged Chandu through nose in the bazaars. When he was brought in that state near that well, the grain roaster, who was ordered to pour hot sand on Guru Arjan's body, shot him with the very ladles and he died in an ignominious manner. A Gurdwara was built there. At the beginning, Gurdwara Lal Khooh was very small but later, the Sangat purchased the adjoining houses and built a befitting building. This shrine was under Local Committee Management but in 1927, S.G.P.C. took its charge according to the Gurdwara Act.