JAUNPUR (25º-47'N, 82º-40'E), a district town in Uttar Pradesh, situated on the bank of the River Gomatī, claims a historical gurdwārā known as Gurdwārā Tap Asthān Srī Gurū Tegh Bahādur Jī (Baṛī Saṅgat) or simply Gurdwārā Baṛī Saṅgat. A Sikh saṅgat was in existence in Jaunpur when Gurū Tegh Bahādur passed by travelling from the Punjab to the eastern parts in 1665. Bhāī Gurbakhsh, a melodious singer of the divine hymns, called on the Gurū, along with the Jaunpur saṅgat, at Vārāṇasī. In appreciation of his enchanting kīrtan, the Gurū bestowed on him the gift of a mridaṅg (a double-sided Indian drum) . From that day the saṅgat at Jaunpur came to be called Mridaṅgvālī Saṅgat. While returning from Paṭnā to the Punjab, Gurū Tegh Bahādur stayed for a while with Bhāī Gurbakhsh at Jaunpur. A platform was raised commemorating the Gurū's visit. A gurdwārā was constructed over it later. The Gurū Granth Sāhib is seated in a commodious rectangular hall. A platform built inside a separate small room represents the Tap Asthān, the spot where Gurū Tegh Bahādur sat in meditation. Many persons, especially ladies, observe chālīsā here to have their wishes fulfilled. On top of a sandy mound on the river bank not far from the Gurdwārā, there is a ruined hut by the side of a narrow well. This hut and about two acres of land around it in the revenue village of Chāchakpur are still shown in the name of Gurdwārā Baṛī Saṅgat. According to local tradition, this was the spot where the Gurū during his brief stay at Jaunpur used to bathe in the river early in the morning and then sit in meditation.
There used to be another shrine in Jaunpur known as Chhoṭī Saṅgat. It was located in a private house in Rāo Maṇḍal Mohallā. Till the death of the last Sikh occupant of this house, Sardār Jawāhar Siṅgh in the mid-1960's, it was functioning as a saṅgat with the Gurū Granth Sāhib installed in it. There used to be in this saṅgat an old hand-written copy of Gurū Granth Sāhib as well as a steel arrow handed down from Gurū Tegh Bahādur. Both these are now kept in Gurdwārā Baṛī Saṅgat. There are, in fact, two hand-written bīṛs, holy volumes, in that Gurdwārā -- one of them transcribed in 1742 Bk/AD 1685 and the other in 1801 Bk/AD) 1744.
Major Gurmukh Siṅgh (Retd.)