ĀHRAURĀ, a small town in Mirzāpur district of Uttar Pradesh, 40 km south of Vārāṇasī (25º-20'N, 82º-58'E), has a Sikh shrine called Gurdwārā Bāgh Shrī Gurū Tegh Bahādur Jī Kā. Gurū Tegh Bahādur visited Āhraurā in 1666 in the course of his journey in the eastern parts. It is said that he told a devotee, Bhāī Sādhojī, to plant a tree. This was the beginning of a garden which still exists. From this garden (bāgh), the Gurdwārā derives its name. A closet called Nivās Sthān marks the room in which Gurū Tegh Bahādur is said to have stayed. The shrine is registered as Shrī Gurū Siṅgh Sabhā and is managed by a local committee. There is a handwritten copy of the Gurū Granth Sāhib, transcribed in 1799 Bk/AD 1742, kept in the private house of the granthī. A small slip, supposed to contain Gurū Tegh Bahādur's autograph, is pasted on it. Another handwritten pothī with a similar autograph, is in the possession of another individual, Hīrā Siṅgh. He has even built a gurdwārā named Gurdwārā Gurū Gobind Siṅgh Jī Daskhatī Sāhib in honour of the pothī, but keeps the volume in his house and displays it in the Gurdwārā only on special occasions.
Major Gurmukh Siṅgh (Retd.)