NĀBHĀ (30º-22'N, 76º-9'E), a sub-divisional town of Paṭiālā district, was the capital of a princely state until it ceded to the Union of India and formed part of the Paṭiālā and East Punjab States Union in 1948. The town was founded by Rājā Hamīr Siṅgh (d. 1783) in 1755. Although his grandfather, Chaudharī Gurdit Siṅgh (d. 1754), the founder of the Nābhā House, had already shifted his headquarters here from his ancestral village, Baḍrukkhāṅ, the place was simply called "Chaudharī dā Ghar", lit. the chieftain's house. The town developed slowly along with the territorial fortunes of the state under its successive rulers, Rājā Jasvant Siṅgh (1775-1840), Rājā Devinder Siṅgh (1822-1865), Rājā Bharpūr Siṅgh (1840-1863), Rājā Bhagvān Siṅgh (1842-1871), Mahārājā Sir Hīrā Siṅgh (1843-1911), Mahārājā Ripudaman Siṅgh (b. 1883, deposed 1923) and Mahārājā Pratāp Siṅgh (1919-1995).

         There are two gurdwārās of historical importance in Nābhā.

        GURDWĀRĀ SIROPĀO SĀHIB is located in a tower in the western part of the Fort. It holds a number of relics coming down from the days of the Gurūs.

        1. Gurū Gobind Siṅgh's hukamnāmā issued in 1706 to the brothers, Tilok Siṅgh (ancestor of the rulers of Nābhā and Jīnd states) and Rām Siṅgh (ancestor of the Patiālā rulers).The original is preserved in Burj Bābā Ālā Siṅgh at Paṭiālā.

        2. A turban, a comb with some hair stuck in it, a kirpān 3.5-inch long, and a hukamnāmā.These articles were given by Gurū Gobind Siṅgh to Pīr Buddhū Shāh at Pāoṇṭā after the battle of Bhaṅgāṇī. Rājā Bharpūr Siṅgh of Nābhā acquired these from the Pīr's descendants.

        3. A whip and a sword believed to have once belonged to Gurū Hargobind.

        4. Three swords, a dagger, two studs of a shield, a tip of an arrow and a manuscript of 300 folios, all commemorating Gurū Gobind Siṅgh.

        GURDWĀRĀ BĀBĀ AJĀPĀL SIṄGH, popularly known as Ghoṛiāṅvālā Gurdwārā, is outside the Lahauri Gate. It commemorates a Sikh divine who is said to have settled here in a forest at the beginning of the eighteenth century. During his stay here he seems to have won repute for his sanctity. He trained many in the soldierly arts as well. A few articles are still preserved in the Gurdwārā as mementos of the holy saint.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

  1. Giān Siṅgh, Giānī, Twārīkh Gurū Khālsā [Reprint]. Patiala, 1970
  2. Kāhn Siṅgh, Gurushabad Ratnākar Mahān Kosh [Reprint]. Patiala, 1981
  3. Ganda Singh, The Patiala and East Panjab States Union : Historical Background. Patiala, 1951
  4. Gursharan Singh, History of Pepsu . Delhi, 1991

Major Gurmukh Siṅgh (Retd.)