BHĪKHĪ, popularly pronounced Bhikhī (30º-3'N, 75º-33'E), an old town along the Sunām-Baṭhiṇḍā road in Baṭhiṇḍā district of the Punjab, is sacred to Gurū Tegh Bahādur, who halted here for several days during one of his travels through the Mālvā region. Desū, the local chief, who had been a follower of Sultān Sakhī Sarwar, became a Sikh and served the Gurū with devotion. Gurū Tegh Bahādur gave him five arrows to be kept as a momento. It is said that after the Gurū had left Bhīkhī, Desū's wife displeased at her husband's conversion, broke and burnt the arrows. According to local tradition, this brought a curse on Desū's house with the result that his son and grandson suffered assassination at the hands of his enemies and his direct line came to an end.
A memorial to Gurū Tegh Bahādur had been raised by his devotees at Bhīkhī. Mahārājā Karam Siṅgh (1798-1845) of Paṭiālā built a proper shrine and made land endowment for its maintenance. It is now designated Gurdwārā Sāhib Pātshāhī 9 and is located on the northern outskirts of the town near a pond. The present building, in a one-acre walled compound, consists of a square sanctum, under a four-cornered dome, and a rectangular hall, built on a high plinth.
The Gurdwārā owns 112 acres of land and is managed by the Shiromaṇī Gurdwārā Parbandhak Committee through a local committee. Besides the daily worship, special congregations occur on the first of each Bikramī month and on major anniversaries and festivals.
Major Gurmukh Siṅgh (Retd.)