NĀNAKIĀṆĀ SĀHIB, GURDWĀRĀ, near the village of Māṅgvāl, 4 km east of Saṅgrūr (30º -14'N, 75º -50'E) in the Punjab, is sacred to Gurū Nānak and Gurū Hargobind. When Gurū Nānak came here in the early sixteenth century, the village of Maṅgvāl was, according to local tradition, closer to the site of the present Gurdwārā which stands near a deep pond. It was on the bank of this pond that the Gurū had preached to the villagers. A century later, as Gurū Hargobind visited the village in 1616, he reminded the inhabitants to maintain the sanctity of the pool consecrated by Gurū Nānak and not to pollute its water with village waste. He also had a platform constructed in honour of Gurū Nānak. The villagers obeyed him and removed. to the present site from where they would come to make obeisance at Thaṛā Sāhib, or the sacred platform, and to have a dip in the holy pool.

         The present building, a fortress like havelī, was, according to a copper plate preserved in the Gurdwārā, constructed in 1886 by Rājā Raghbīr Siṅgh (1833-87) of Jīnd. Entered through a massive wooden gate, it consists of several courtyards. In the central courtyard is a marble-floored domed structure called Mañji Sāhib Pātshāhī Pahilī. It has a platform, reverently covered with a piece of cloth, representing the Thaṛā Sāhib established by Gurū Hargobind. Behind the Mañjī Sāhib, in a separate compound, is the assembly hall where the Gurū Granth Sāhib is seated in the middle. Preserved as a sacred relic, is a peculiar weapon here called gurz-i-tabar with 1724 inscribed on it in Persian numerals. It is a steel rod with a hilt like that of a sword but the point having five tongue-like blunt blades projecting sideways. A Persian couplet inscribed on it means: "Gurz -i-tabar in the hands of Gobind Siṅgh strikes the enemy's head." An' engraved figure shows Gurū Gobind Siṅgh on horseback.

         In another compound behind the dīvān hall, there is an old karīr tree which has grown through the roof of the building. It is believed that it dates back to the time of the Gurū. Yet another compound houses the Gurū kā Laṅgar. The old pond has been lined and converted into a sarovar. Though outside the Gurdwārā wall, access to it is from inside the premises through two separate doors for men and women.

         Gurdwārā Nānakīāṇa Sāhib owns 140 acres of land and is administered directly by the Shiromanī Gurdwārā Parbandhak Committee. Besides daily prayers and dīvāns, important days on the Sikh calendar are observed with special religious programmes, Baisākhī taking precedence among them.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

  1. Tār̄ā Siṅgh, Srī Gur Tīrath Saṅgrahi. Amritsar, n.d.
  2. Ṭhākar Siṅgh, Giani, Srī Gurdūāre Darshan, Amritsar, 1923
  3. Giān Siṅgh Giānī, Twārīkh Gurū Khālsā [Reprint] Patiala, 1970

Major Gurmukh Siṅgh (Retd.)