Last Updated: February 25, 2020 Nidhi Singh
In the 15th century a religion emerged in India that spoke about equality, bravery and generosity. Sikhism, founded by the humble saint Guru Nanak, proved to be one of the most powerful religions in the history of India. This religion gave us a league of extraordinary men that fought for truth and became pillars of courage. Today, Sikhism is the fourth-largest religion in India with 2% of the country’s total population following it. Their places of worship called Gurudwara are the sacred shrines that not only render us spiritual comfort but also offer us an insight into how Sikhism has sustained. With thousands of Gurudwaras established across India, Sikhs have managed some of the cleanest and organized places of worship in India. That is why this time around we have prepared a list of some of the best Gurudwaras in India for you to go beyond the known. Check it out:
Gurudwara Hari Mandir Sahib, Punjab
Hari Mandir Sahib is the most famous Gurudwara in India. Located in Amritsar, this Gurudwar is popular by the name of Golden Temple. In 1588, Guru Arjan laid the foundation stone of this sacred shrine and it was in 1604 that he placed the Holy Scripture called Adi Granth here. In 19th century, in order to protect this shrine, Maharaja Ranjit Singh covered the upper floors with the sheets of Gold, which later gave the Gurudwara its modern name ‘Golden Temple’. There are four gates in Golden Temple that symbolizes that Sikhs accepts people from all walks of life. Harmandir Sahib is not only has important as a religious structure but it has historical significance as well. Inside the gurdwara are several memorial items that commemorate rich past of Sikh like events, saints, martyrs and includes commemorative inscriptions of all the Sikh soldiers who died in World War I and II.
Gurudwara Baba Atal Sahib, Punjab
Although Gurudwara Baba Atal Sahib in Amritsar is often over-shadowed due to the extreme popularity of Guru Harminder Sahib aka Golden Temple, yet this sacred shrine is one of the best Gurudwaras in India. Gurudwara Baba Atal Sahib was built to commemorate the early death of the son of Guru Hargobind Singh. Baba Atal died at the tender age of 9 years and the place where he renounced the world is the exact location of the Gurudwara. This nine-storied tower is one of its kinds as its architecture differs from the other Sikh worship places in India. It was built between 1778 and 1784 and since then has been frequented by devotees.
Takht Sri Damdama Sahib, Punjab
Damdama literally means a breathing place and it was in real a place for Guru Gobind Singh, who relaxed in Talwandi Sabo after fighting a battle. Talwandi Sabo is about 28kms from Bhatinda, Punjab. Damdama Sahib is also one of the Takhts of Sikhism and is a historically important place as well, as it is here where Guru Gobind Singh wrote Bir of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Also, it is the same place where Guru ji tested the faith of Singhs.
Takht Sri Patna Sahib, Bihar
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Situated in Patna, Takht Sri Patna Sahib is one of the most important Sikh religious places in India. Patna is the birthplace of Guru Gobind Singh and the place where he also spent many years of his life. The Gurudwara was built in the remembrance of Guru Gobind Singh by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1780. Besides being the birthplace of Guru ji, Takht Sri Patna Sahib holds importance for Sikh pilgrims as Guru Teg Bahadur also visited Patna and stayed at the same place.
Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, New Delhi
Located in the heart of Delhi, Gurudwara Bangla Sahib is one of the imminent landmarks of the capital city. Built between the 17th and the 18th century (In the 17th century it was a bungalow and in the 18th century new construction was done, this Gurudwara was built to commemorate the stay of eighth Sikh Guru Har Krishan here. As mentioned earlier, this sacred edifice was once a bungalow that was owned by Maharaja Jai Singh. Guru Har Krishan stayed here in 1664, when Delhi was under the influence of chicken pox and cholera epidemic. He helped the people by giving them clean water from the nearby well. Unfortunately, Guru Har Krishan contracted the illness and died here. In order to pay homage to Guru Har Krishan, Maharaja Jai Singh built a tank over the well, which is believed to have healing property. Today, Gurudwara Bangla Sahib is one of the most famous Gurudwaras in Delhi.
Gurudwara Majnu ka Tila, Delhi
This Gurudwara, situated in North Delhi near ISBT Kashmiri Gate, is reckoned to be the oldest Sikh shrine in Delhi. The shrine is named after a mound where Majnu (a boatman who used to ferry people across the Yamuna River for free) met Guru Nanak. In 1783, Sikh leader Baghel Singh built a Gurudwara commemorating the stay of Guru Nanak. Also, the sixth Sikh Guru, Guru Har Gobind Singh, stayed here for quite some time and this is also one of the reasons why this place holds so much importance amongst Sikh devotees.
Gurudwara Mattan Sahib, Jammu and Kashmir
A highly revered place in Srinagar, Gurudwara Mattan Sahib is situated on Anantnag-Pahalgam Road. Built by a Brahmin who converted to Sikhism after listening to the influential message of Guru Nanak Dev, Gurudwara Mattan Sahib is a symbol of eternal knowledge and faith in the supreme. The Gurudwara is built on the site of ruined temples and is today one of the most popular sacred places in Kashmir, where apart from Sikh devotees Brahmins also pay homage.
Gurudwara Chhevin Patshahi Thara Sahib, Jammu and Kashmir
Thara Sahib Gurudwara was built to commemorate the visit of the sixth Sikh guru, Guru Har Gobind Singh. This sacred place of worship is situated in Singhapura Village, which is close to Baramulla, Jammu and Kashmir. Initially the Gurudwara was a small mound but later in the 1930s Bhai Vir Singh constructed a square- and dome-shaped building here. It is amongst one of the highly revered places of worship of Sikh faith in Jammu and Kashmir.
Gurudwara Sehra Sahib, Punjab
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Gurudwara Sehra Sahib is situated in Sultanpur Lodhi City in Punjab. The Gurudwara is named after Har Gobind Singh’s Sehra (Floral headband) ceremony took place here. Guru Har Gobind Singh while heading to Dalla for his marriage, stopped by Sultanpur Lodhi for a night.
Takhat Sachkhand Shri Hazur Abchalnagar Sahib Gurudwara, Maharashtra
Reckoned to be one of the five takhts in Sikhism, Takhat Sachkhand Sri Hazur Abchalnagar Sahib Gurudwara is situated in Nanded. It is the same place where the 10th Sikh guru, Guru Gobind Singh, breathed his last. Maharaja Ranjit Singh constructed a Gurudwara at this place in 1832, which is highly revered in the Sikh community. The complex inside is called Sachkhand or the Realm of Truth and the room inside the Gurudwara where Guru Gobind Singh breathed his last breath, is called Angitha Sahib.
Gurudwara Nanak Jhira Sahib, Karnataka
It is one of the most important Gurudwaras in India and is situated in Bidar, Karnataka. The Gurudwara got its name after a miraculous event took place here. Guru Nanak was staying on the outskirts of Mardana, where there was shortage of water and despite the efforts of the village people, drinkable water was hard to find. Guru Nanak touched a part of the hillside with his toes and removed some debris after which a fountain of sweet water gushed out from there. Today, on the side of the fountain is where the Gurudwara Nanak Jhira Sahib stands. The Gurudwara is thronged by a large number of devotees thrice in a year i.e on Holi, Dusshera and Guru Nanak’s Birthday.
Gurudwara Sri Hemkunt Sahib, Uttarakhand
Hemkunt Sahib is situated in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand and is known for its architecture. Dedicated to the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Sahib, Gurudwara Sri Hemkunt Sahib is located at an altitude of more than 4000mts above sea level. It is a star-shaped Gurudwara that has been specially designed keeping in view the prevailing weather and altitude of the place. This particular Sikh worship place remains inaccessible from October to April, and it is only in the month of May that the Sikh pilgrims start coming here. Nestled amidst lofty snow-clad mountains, Sri Hemkund Sahib redefines spirituality.
Gurudwara Rewalsar, Himachal Pradesh
Built to honour Guru Gobind Sahib, Gurudwara Rewalsar is situated in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh. The Gurudwara was constructed in the same place where Guru Gobind Sahib met Raja Siddh Sen of Mandi. Situated on a hill, Gurudwara Rewalsar can be recognized from a great distance due to its massive dome. One has to climb 108 stairs to get to this sacred place of worship. At a short distance from here is a Buddhist monastery; thus people who visit the monastery like to pay homage to Rewalsar Gurudwara as well.
Gurudwara Dera Baba Bharbhag, Himachal Pradesh
Situated near Una Town in Himachal Pradesh, Dera Baba Bharbhag is dedicated to Gurbarbhag Singh. Locally, this sacred shrine is called Gurudwara Manji Sahib. It is situated atop a hill and is a popular religious site in the area. Each year a festival called Baba Bharbhag Singh Mela or the Hola Mohalla Fair is held here; the festival is reckoned to have some magical powers. Many people suffering from mental sickness and under the influence of evil spirit visit here in the hope of getting cured from their diseases.
Gurudwara Bhangani Sahib, Himachal Pradesh
Gurudwara Bhangani Sahib in Sirmour district of Himachal Pradesh is rich in history. Associated with the battle of Bhangani, the Gurudwara is seen as the symbol of victory in the war with Raja Bhim Chand. Bhangani is the place where the Guru Gobind Singh fought his first battle at the age of twenty. Guru ji defeated Raja Bhim Chand. This Gurudwara was built in the memory of the war and signifies victory and power of the unity of Sikhs. Gurudwara Bhangani Sahib is located amidst a paddy field and looks simply stunning with its white-marble work.
Gurudwara Naduan, Himachal Pradesh
Gurudwara Dasvin Patshahi is situated in Nadaun, which is a village in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. This holy place was built in the memory of the second battle fought by Guru Gobind Singh. He helped Raja Bhim Chand to defeat the Mughal Commander-in-chief Alif Khan. After emerging victorious in the battle, Guru ji stayed in Naduan for nine days (eventually, this is how the place got its name). The present structure of the Gurudwara Dasvin Patshahi was constructed in 1929 by Rai Bahadur Wasakha Singh.
Gurudwara Paur Sahib, Himachal Pradesh
Paur Sahib is situated at Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh, and like many other Gurudwaras in India, has history attached to it. As the story goes, Guru Har Gobind Singh was on a visit to Bilaspur and when he reached this place, his horse started stomping the ground due to which water gushed out of the ground. Today, there is a Gurudwara situated next to this fountain and it is called Gurudwara Paur Sahib.
Gurudwara Shergarh Sahib, Himachal Pradesh
This Gurudwara was built to commemorate the brave Guru Gobind Singh who decapitated a man-eating tiger. Gurudwara Shergarh Sahib is situated in Sirmour district, which is only about 12kms from Paonta Sahib. Guru Gobind Singh was in Sirmour to meet Raja Medini Parkash, the Raja of Nahan, Raja Fateh Shah and the Raja of Garhwal, when a villager requested the Guru to save their lives from the man-eater. Guru Gobind Singh cut the head off the tiger with a single strike and thus was greatly appreciated. The Gurudwara was then built to remember this brave act of Guru ji.
Gurudwara Shri Narayan Hari, Himachal Pradesh
Popular as Manikaran Sahib, Gurudwara Shri Narayan Hari is situated in Manikaran, which is about 45kms from Kullu. The Gurudwara is the result of 50 years of consistent labour put by Baba Narayan Hari. According to some accounts, Baba Narayan came to Manikaran and started building a Gurudwara, where he constructed a small wooden structure. Several time this Gurudwara had to face local people’s anger, who demolished it each time he started to rebuild it. However, Sant Narayan Hari didn’t lose hope and within 50 years constructed a bigger Gurudwara. Today, Manikaran Sahib is one of the most revered Sikh places of worship in India.
Gurudwara Mandi, Himachal Pradesh
Gurudwara Guru Gobind Singh Ji is situated in Mandi, Himachal Pradesh. This Gurudwara stands as a symbol of the assurance given by Guru ji to the Raja of Mandi. As per the story goes, Guru Gobind Singh was invited by Raja of Mandi and when the time for him to leave came, the King of Mandi humbly asked Guru ji who will protect Mandi from Aurangzeb; in response to this question, Guru ji aimed his gun at a pitcher floating in the river and fired, the pitcher instead of sinking kept floating. Seeing this, Guru Gobind assured the King of Mandi that like the pitcher floated even after being shot at, so will Mandi remain safe from any attack. A Gurudwara was later constructed here, where this incident took place and one can see some of the belongings of Guru ji here even today.
Gurudwara Tirgarh Sahib, Himachal Pradesh
Gurudwara Tirgarh Sahib is situated at a distance of about 22kms from the famed Paonta Sahib Gurudwara in Himachal Pradesh. This Gurudwara is famed as a spot from where Guru Gobind Singh shot arrows at his enemies while he was fighting in a battle. This Gurudwara is the symbol of courage and is frequented by many devotees who come to pay homage at Paonta Sahib.
Gurudwara Sri Paonta Sahib, Himachal Pradesh
This Gurudwara is amongst the most famed Gurudwaras in India. It is situated in Sirmour district of Himachal Pradesh and has its popularity attributed to being a place where Guru Gobind Singh wrote the pious Dasam Granth. An important Sikh pilgrimage site, Paonta Sahib got its name from either the fact that Guru Gobind Singh set his foot here or because he lost an ornament here that he used to wear on his foot. Shri Talab Asthan and Dastar Asthan are the vital places inside the Gurudwara; at Shri Talab Asthan, salaries are disbursed and at Shri Dastan Asthan turban-tying competition are held. Also, next to the Gurudwara is an ancient temple that is dedicated to the Yamuna River.
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Published: 20 Dec, 2014
From the Lake District, Nainital, Nidhi Singh is a travel writer whose love for mountains can be seen in her write ups. Talk about solo travelling, indulging in adventure activities, binging on good food, planning budget trips or the Aurora Borealis and you will get all her attention. It is the wanderlust that keeps her going and if at all she could get one wish granted she would love to live a life less ordinary. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram.