A Brief History of Takht Sri Harmandir Sahib

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According to historians almost two thousand years after the Buddha, Guru Nanak visited Patliputra during his first journey to the East in the beginning of 16th century. There were 64 gates and 670 towers protected by moat and wooden walls. Guru Nanak entered Patna through the western gate and stayed at Bhagat Jaitamal’s House which is now Gurdwara Gai Ghat.

Patna city has the unique distinction of being honored by the holy presence of the Buddha, Guru Nanak and Guru Teg Bahadur, as well as being the birthplace of Sri Guru Gobind Singh.

Guru Gobind Singh was born in Patna on December 22, 1666 and spent his early childhood here until he went to the Punjab in 1670. At his birthplace today, there is a sacred place, a holy Shrine called Takht Sri Harmandir Sahib. It is situated in one of the old quarters of Patna city, once known as Kucha Farrukh Khan, now known as Harmandir Gali. This has now been deemed one of the holiest of five Takhts (seat of the Sikh authority).

The site where the present Harmandir stands was originally called the Haveli of Salis Rai John, who was a great devotee of Guru Nanak. He was so much influenced by the teachings of the Guru that he converted his palatial house into a dharamsala (religious sanctuary). When Guru Teg Bahadur visited Patna, he stayed there.

One author, who visited Patna at the close of 18th century, made this reference to Harmandir:  “Over the birthplace of Guru Gobind Singh, the Sikhs have raised a public edifice, made it a place of power and strength, and call it ‘Harmandir’. It is also called ‘Sangat’ and is held in great esteem and veneration. They have made it a place of pilgrimage.”

Maharaja Ranjit Singh started reconstructing the Harmandir in 1839 following its destruction by fire, but did not survive to see the new structure. Then, in 1934, when the entire state of Bihar was rocked by an earthquake, some portion of Harmandir fell down. Construction of the present building was started in 1954 and completed 3 years later

Some relics of the tenth Guru are kept in this Shrine. Among them are four iron arrows, several weapons, a pair of his sandals and a pangura (cradle) with four stands covered with Golden plates. During his childhood, GuruJi used to sleep in this cradle. Hukamnamas given by Guru Gobind Singh and Guru Teg Bahadur are contained in a book which is kept in this holy gurdwara.

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