Baba Langar Singh

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Baba Langar Singh, an eighteenth century Nirmala saint, was the son of Bhai Parshada Sihgh and Mai Valtohl, a devout Sikh couple contemporary with Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708) and living at Kot Kapura (30"35'N. 74°49'E) now in Faridkot district of the Punjab. The names Parshada (lit. bread or meal), Valtohl (lit. kettle) and Langar (lit. food, meal, kitchen), it is said, were given to them by the people for their warm hospitality.

Langar Singh, after his education at Anandpur under Bhai Kesar Singh a former student of Bhai Karam Singh, one of the five Sikhs sent by Guru Gobind Singh to Varanasi to study Sanskrit, settled down at Harike Kalari, a village 18 km cast of Muktsar, where he established a dera or seminary to teach Sikhi texts and tenets. His disciple, Mahant Nikka Singh, founded five other deras, one each at Barnala, Patiala, Malerkotia, Raikot and Jagraori. According to Giani Gian Singh, Twdrikh Guru Khdisd, it was Baba Langar Singh who identified the various sites, in order to raise commemorative shrines, connected with the battle of Khidrana (Muktsar).

The famous Maghi fair of Muktsar also owes its origin to his initiative. Baba Langar Singh died after a brief illness at Amritsar where he had gone on pilgrimage. His samadh (memorial shrine) is at Harike Kalan where his place of residence still houses a Nirmala school.