MATHURĀ (27º-28'N, 77º-40'E), an ancient city on the right bank of the River Yamunā, 150 km south-southeast of Delhi, possesses three Sikh shrines commemorating the visits of Gurū Nānak and Gurū Tegh Bahādur.
GURDWĀRĀ GAŪ GHĀṬ is a small shrine on the river-bank controlled by the Udāsīs. The Gurū Granth Sāhib is seated in a small room. It is believed that at the time of their visits Gurū Nānak and Gurū Tegh Bahādur, while here, used this spot for their daily ablutions.
GURDWĀRĀ GURŪ NĀNAK BAGĪCHĪ, dedicated to Gurū Nānak, is situated on the right bank of the Yamunā, outside the old town. It is said that when Gurū Nānak visited the spot, he was told that the place was unsuitable for a halt, for the river water at that time of year was muddy and the well water in the area brackish. But, as water was drawn from the nearest well it was found to be sweet. Gurū Nānak established a piāū (drinking water stand) there and himself served fresh water to the pilgrims to the town. He is believed to have stayed here for three months. A childless couple, Mohan and his wife Sītā Bāī, served him, and were blessed with a son. There is a belief still prevalent in the locality that if a person observed a chālīsā here, i.e. prayed at the shrine regularly for forty days, his heart's desire would be fulfilled.
The shrine was established and preserved by Udāsī sādhūs but in the 1950's, the managing committee of Gurdwārā Gurū Tegh Bahādur took charge of it. In 1975, it was handed over for further development to Sant Sādhū Siṅgh Maunī of Gurū kā Tāl, Sikandrā (Āgrā).
GURDWĀRĀ GURŪ TEGH BAHĀDUR SRĪ GURŪ SIṄGH SABHĀ is the main gurdwārā of Mathurā. The site is referred to in older accounts as Kaṅs Ṭillā, i.e., Mound of Kāṅs. Gurū Tegh Bahādur, on his way from Delhi to the eastern provinces in 1665, stayed here for three days. A small platform in a modest but existed here as a memorial to the Gurū's visit. It was maintained by Udāsī sādhūs until the early nineteen forties when Sikh residents in Mathurā acquired the site. A new double-storeyed building was constructed, with the Sikh troops of Mathurā garrison contributing liberally in money and labour. More buildings have been added since, and at present the Gurdwārā is a compact block of numerous double-storeyed rooms around a paved courtyard. The rectangular dīvān hall, with verandahs in front and rear, is on the first floor approached by a wide staircase covered with white marble slabs. Gurū Tegh Bahādur Ādarsh Vidyālaya, with classes from Montessori to the eighth standard is also housed on the premises. A museum containing pictures depicting scenes from Sikh history was set up in one of the rooms during August 1977: The Gurdwārā, registered as Srī Gurū Siṅgh Sabhā, is managed by a local committee.
Major Gurmukh Siṅgh (Retd.)