BĀRAṬH, a village 8 km southwest of Pāthānkot (32º-15'N, 75º-32'E) in Gurdāspur district of the Punjab, has a historical shrine, Gurdwārā Tap Asthān Bābā Srī Chand Jī, popularly called Gurdwārā Bāraṭh Sāhib. Bābā Srī Chand, the elder son of Gurū Nānak, chose for himself the life of a recluse. After Gurū Nānak's passing away, he left Kartārpur and spending sometime at the village of Pakkhoke, established a hermitage at Bāraṭh which became the centre of the Udāsī sect he had founded. Gurūs held him in high esteem for his spiritual eminence. Gurū Arjan and, after him, Gurū Hargobind travelled to Bāraṭh especially to meet him. According to local tradition, Gurū Arjan sought Bābā Srī Chand's blessing for the completion of the tank at Tarn Tāran. During Gurū Hargobind's visit, Bābā Srī Chand nominated Bābā Gurdittā, the Gurū's eldest son, his successor as head of the Udāsī sect.
The shrine at Bāraṭh was maintained by Udasī priests until the Gurdwārā reform movement of 1920's when it passed into the control of the Shiromaṇī Gurdwārā Parbandhak Committee. Construction of the present complex commenced in 1968. It comprises the old domed room, with a tall brass pinnacle, on top of a mound, since renovated and extended by a circumambulatory verandah, a vast fenced compound on an elevated surface, and a row of rooms for pilgrims and the Gurū kā Laṅgar. An octagonal pillar of mosaic concrete, in front of a square flat roofed room, is dedicated to the Fifth Gurū. It is known as Thamm Sāhib Srī Gurū Arjan Dev Jī. The old Bāolī Sāhib, since converted into a small circular tank, is in a separate compound about 50 metres away from the main shrine. A small pond and a few trees, to the southeast of the Gurdwārā, represent the old garden where Gurū Hargobind is believed to have encamped at the time of his visit to Bāraṭh.
The Gurdwārā owns 60 acres of arable land and is administered by a manager appointed by the Shiromaṇī Gurdwārā Parbandhak Committee and assisted by a local committee. The Tap Asthān, where the Gurū Granth Sāhib is now seated, is visited by a large number of devotees, especially on amāvasyā, the last day of the dark half of the lunar month, when religious dīvāns and community meals take place. The most important function of the year is a two-day fair held in mid-April to celebrate Baisākhī.
Major Gurmukh Siṅgh (Retd.)