NĀBHĀ, in Paṭiālā district, 15 km south of Chaṇḍīgaṛh (30º-44'N, 76º-46'E), has a historical gurdwārā dedicated to Gurū Tegh Bahādur and Gurū Gobind Siṅgh. The shrine, called Gurdwārā Śīs Asthān Pātshāhī IX ate Pūjā Asthān Pātshāhī X or simply, Gurdwārā Nābhā Sāhib, is situated 200 metres south of the habitation. During the seventeenth century Nābhā did not exist and the area was covered by a dense forest. In November 1675, Bhāī Jaitā, carrying the severed head of Gurū Tegh Bahādur from Delhi to Anandpur spent a night here in the solitary hut of an old Muslim recluse, Dargāhī Shāh, who on hearing an account of the tragic happenings from the former, kept watch over Bhāī Jaitā's sacred charge, enabling him to take a few hours' undisturbed sleep. As Bhāī Jaitā prepared to depart the next morning, Dargāhī Shāh asked him to convey to Gurū Gobind Siṅgh how anxious he was to see him and yet how disappointed he felt at his inability to travel to Anandpur owing to his old age. Thirteen years later, Gurū Gobind Siṅgh travelling back from Pāoṇṭā to Anandpur in November 1688 alighted at the faquir's hut one evening, thus granting him his heart's wish.

         A small mud platform marked this site until a gurdwārā was constructed and endowed by Mahārājā Karam Siṅgh (1798-1845) of Patiālā. The shrine, as built by the Mahārājā, was a square sanctum, with covered circumambulatory passage. An assembly hall and some ancillary buildings were added in 1956. The Gurdwārā is now managed by a local committee, under the auspices of the Shiromanī Gurdwārā Parbandhak Committee. Special dīvāns are held on the first of every Bikrāmī month. An annual festival takes place on 21-22 Assū, corresponding to 6-7 or 7-8 October, in the local belief that it was on one of these dates, and not in November, that Gurū Gobind Siṅgh visited the place in 1688.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

  1. Tārā Singh Srī Gur Tīrath Saṅgrahi . Amritsar, n.d.
  2. Giān Siṅgh, Giānī, Twārīkh Gurū Khālsā [Reprint]. Patiala, 1970

Major Gurmukh Siṅgh (Retd.)