ḌALLĀ, an old village, 6 km southeast of Sultānpur Lodhī (310 - 13'N, 750 - 12'E) in Kapūrthalā district of the Punjab, is one of the oldest centres of the Sikh faith. It had a flourishing saṅgat - a fact which has been noted by Bhāī Gurdās in one of his Vārāṅ. Prominent among the earliest devotees were Bhāī Pāro and Bhāī Lālū, contemporaries with Gurū Aṅgad and Gurū Amar Dās. According to Bhāī Manī Siṅgh, Sikhāṅ dī Bhagat Mālā, Gurū Amar Dās himself once visited Ḍallā. Gurū Arjan visited it in 1605 leading the marriage party of his son Hargobind, who was married to (Mātā) Damodarī, of the family of Bhāī Pāro. There are a number of Gurdwārās raised in memory of the Gurūs and their Sikhs.
GURDWĀRĀ PRAKĀSH ASTHĀN BHĀĪ LĀLŪJĪ, most prominent of the local shrines, has a rectangular dīvān hall, in front of the sanctum. A high, domed tower stands at one end of the front verandah. The Gurū Granth Sāhib is also seated in Bhāī Lālū's samādh, a small domed structure, to the north of the hall.
GURDWĀRĀ JAÑJGHAR, an octagonal domed building, on a brick paved platform in walled compound, marks the place where the marriage party accompanying (Gurū) Hargobind put up.
GURDWĀRĀ MĀTĀ DAMODARĪ JĪ, 100 metres to the west of the main building, marks the dwelling house of the bride's parents where the nuptials were held on 15 February 1605. It is a small single room shrine rectangular in shape, within a terraced compound. Opposite to the compound, across the village street, is an old Khūhī or a narrow well called khūhī Bhāī Pāro. A special congregation takes place in August every year.
GURDWĀRĀ BĀOLĪ SĀHIB, about 100 metres east of the village, is also a small rectangular room with a verandah in front. It stands next to the Bāolī, an open well with steps leading down to water level, which is said to have been constructed under the direction of Gurū Arjan.
All these shrines are managed by a village committee under the auspices of the Shiromaṇī Gurdwārā Parbandhak Committee. Thirty-two acres of land are assigned to them. A two-day religious fair is held in the month of Assū (September-October) at Gurdwārā Prakāsh Asthān Bhāī Lālū Jī. At Bāolī Sāhib is observed with special dīvāns the martyrdom day of Gurū Arjan (in May-June) and at Gurdwārā Mātā Damodarī Jī the anniversary of the marriage of Mātā Damodari Jī.
Major Gurmukh Siṅgh (Retd.)