Paonta Sahib is a small town in the south of Sirmaur district in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It is an important religious spot for Sikhs and a bustling industrial town. It is a city sacred to the memory of Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru of the Sikhs who stayed here soon after his father Guru Tegh Bahadur's execution, when he became the Sikh Guru in 1675. This is place where most of Banis of Dasam Granth were written by Guru Gobind Singh.
It has a large Gurudwara on the banks of the river Yamuna, the river being the boundary between the states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. This Gurdwara has a very busy Langar that serves food free to some 2,000 to 5,000 visitors every day. Paonta Sahib retains tangibly memories of the martial Guru in the form of his weapons and a majestic Gurudwara and recalls his presence even in the name of the city which is derived from "paon" meaning "foot" either because he set foot in this place or according to an alternative story, because he lost an ornament which he wore on his foot called a "paonta" while bathing in the river Yamuna which flows here.
- See Gurudwara Paonta Sahib for more details.
Today the city and region are home to some major industries, such as: Cement Corporation of India, at Rajbhan; Ranbaxy Pvt ltd, pharmaceuticals; Malwa cotton and spinning mills of the Oswal group, textiles and chemicals.
Filmmaker Vivek Tewari is from this holy city.
The city's original name was Paontika. In Hindi Paon means foot and "tika" means mark or spot. Some stories say that Guru Gobind Singh's horse stopped at this place on its own and Guru ji decided to set up camp at the spot, while another story relates that this was the spot where the Raja and his party came to lead the Guru and his Sikhs along the difficult path to Nahan his kingdom's main city. Over the next four and a-half years Guru Gobibd Singh wrote many religious and poetic works here before he returned to Anandpur Sahib to establish the Khalsa Panth.
Today the Gurdwara houses a museum containing a lot of antiques and weapons used by Guru Gobind Singh during his stay.
It is located on the banks of the river Yamuna, which is the boundary between the states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. It is situated near the towns of Nahan in Himachal Pradesh, Yamunanagar in Haryana and Dehradun in Uttaranchal at the western end of the Doon valley about 55km from Dehradun.
Paonta Sahib has a sub-tropical continental monsoon climate characterized by a seasonal rhythm, hot summers, slightly cold winters, unreliable rainfall and great variation in temperature (0 °C to 40 °C). In winters, frost sometimes occurs during December and January. It also receives occasional winter rains from western disturbances.
- Summer: Temperature in summers may rise high to maximum of 40°C. Temperature generally remains
35°C to 40°C.
- Autumn: In Autumn, temperature may go to high to maximum 36°C. Temperature usually remains between 16° to 27° in autumn. Lowest temperature may go to 13°C.
- Winter: Winters are quite cool. However, it may sometimes gets chilly. Average temperature in winters (November to February) remains at (max) 7°C to 15 °C and (min) 0°C to 5°C.
- Spring: Climate remains quite pleasant in spring season. Temperature remains (max) 16°C to 25°C and (min) 9°C to 18°C.
As of 2001 India census Paonta Sahib had a population of 19,087. Males constitute 54% of the population and females 46%. Paonta Sahib has an average literacy rate of 76%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 79%, and female literacy is 72%. In Paonta Sahib, 13% of the population is under 6 years of age.
Schools and Colleges
Guru Nanak Mission Public School, DAV Public School, Bibi jeet kaur school, GOVT.SEN.SEC. SCHOOL for boys in Taruwala,GOVT.SEN. SEC.SCHOOL for girls in paonta sahib,Saraswati Vidyamandir, Doon Valley School, are the major schools.
SGGS Govt Degree college, BKD College(Degree and B.Ed) for women's and Dental College are the major colleges.
Paonta Sahib is on national highway 72 connecting Chandigarh and Dehradun. To Nahan 45 km., Shimla to Paonta Sahib 258 km., Chandigarh to Paonta Sahib 132 km. The nearest railway station is Yamunanagar 56 km away and the nearest airport is Jubbarhatti 145 km away. There are frequent bus services from nearby towns. Rickshaws are common for travelling short distances, used mostly by school-going children, housewives and the elderly. Auto rickshaws are limited, and most often ply to and from locations on the main roads.