DHAMTĀN, a large village in Jīnd district of Haryāṇā, is sacred to Gurū Tegh Bahādur. He visited it first in 1665 in the course of his travels through Mālvā and Bāṅgar territories. Chaudharī Daggo, who was a cattle lifter and lived on plunder, came with pitchers full of milk, but the Gurū declined the offering saying that he would not take what was not honestly earned. Daggo asked forgiveness for his past misdeeds and promised to abide by the Gurū's teaching. Gurū Tegh Bahādur gave him funds to construct a well and a dharamsālā for the travellers. While at Dhamtān, Gurū Tegh Bahādur was pleased with the devoted service of his loyal Sikh, Bhāī Mīhāṅ. He bestowed on him a kettle, a drum and a flag, and appointed him to look after the saṅgat or community in that area. According to some chroniclers, Gurū Tegh Bahādur was first arrested near Dhamtān in 1665 and taken to Delhi where, however, he was released at the intervention of Kaṅvar Rām Siṅgh, son of Mirzā Rājā Jai Siṅgh, of Āmber (Jaipur), and allowed to continue his journey towards the east.
Dhamtān became the most important centre of Sikh faith in the Bāṅgar region. Later, when this area became part of Paṭiālā state, a large endowment was made for the shrine commemorating the visits of Gurū Tegh Bahādur. The present complex was constructed by Mahārājā Karam Siṅgh of Paṭiālā (1798-1845). The building is in the form of a large havelī. A high arched gateway with massive wooden doors leads to the outer compound from which another heavy gate opens into an inner courtyard. The sanctum representing the actual spot where Gurū Tegh Bahādur had put up is on the left. Constructed in the inner courtyard in the traditional style, the Mañjī Sāhib is a domed square room on a high plinth, the interior walls being decorated with floral designs in colour. The Gurū Granth Sāhib is seated on a high platform in the centre. The havelī is flanked by the village pond a part of which has been enclosed and converted into a bathing tank. The shrine is managed by the Shiromaṇī Gurdwārā Parbandhak Committee. Two important festivals celebrated are Holā and Dussehrā which are attended by a large number of devotees from the neighbouring villages and towns. Dhamtān itself has very few Sikh families.
Major Gurmukh Siṅgh (Retd.)