NIHĀL SIṄGH DAMDAMĪĀṄ,19th-century Nirmalā saint, a native of Mīmsā village of the former princely state of Paṭiālā, received initiation and religious education at the hands of Mahant Dunnā Siṅgh, of Uchchā Buṅgā, a Nirmalā sanctuary at Damdamā Sāhib, Talvaṇḍī Sābo, in present-day Baṭhiṇḍā district, and became head of the Buṅgā after the latter's death. He was respected for his humility and unassuming nature and for the zeal with which he served in the Gurū kā Laṅgar and the loving care with which he looked after the cattle in the shed. In 1860, he with a band of youthful devotees, went to ḍerā Bābā Rām Rāi in Dehrā Dūn and, felling one of the tallest trees in the pine forest of its extensive estate, brought it to Talvaṇḍī Sābo carrying it on their heads all the way to Paṭiālā and thence on bullock carts arranged by Mahārājā Narinder Siṅgh of Paṭiālā to Damdamā Sāhib where it was put up as the religious flagmast. Reaching Damdamā Sāhib, Nihāl Siṅgh humbly stood at the entrance where the saṅgat had deposited their shoes and would not enter the Takht Sāhib until he had obtained pardon by paying penalty for having violated the Sikh code of conduct forbidding any dealings with the followers of Bābā Rām Rāi. This enhanced his reputation, and when Dharam Dhujā Akhāṛā, the famous Nirmalā seat, was established at Paṭiālā in 1862, Nihāl Siṅgh was one of the four mahants appointed to assist the head of the institution in its administration. Mahant Nihāl Siṅgh had established Buṅgā Damdamīāṅ at Muktsar which became a centre for several ḍerās or seminaries which also he helped to set up in the region for imparting religious education. The exact date of his death is not known, but an old deed in the possession of Giānī Gurcharan Siṅgh of Muktsar shows that he appointed his successors to the Buṅgās at Talvaṇḍī Sābo and Muktsar in 1928 Bk/AD 1871.


    Mahant, Diāl Siṅgh, Nirmal Panth Darshan. Delhi, 1965

Gurcharan Siṅgh Giānī