PAÑJOKHARĀ, a village about 10 km from Ambālā city (30º -23'N, 76º- 47'E), is sacred to Gurū Har Krishan. Gurdwārā Srī Gurū Har Krishan Sāhib Jī, about 150 metres east of the village and commonly called Gurdwārā Pañjokharā Sāhib, commemorates his stay here in early 1664. Summoned by Emperor Auraṅgzīb, the Gurū had left Kīratpur for Delhi on Basant Pañchamī (the fifth day of the light half of the lunar month of Māgh ) of Samvat 1720 Bikramī, corresponding to 22 January 1664. A large number of Sikhs accompanied the Gurū and many more joined them on the way. They all wished to travel with him to Delhi. As they reached Pañjokharā on the third day, Gurū Har Krishan raised with his own hands a small flag on a sandy mound and asked his Sikhs not to follow him beyond the line of the flag. The Sikhs obeyed and stayed back with a heavy heart.
A learned but self-conceited Brāhmaṇ of Paṅjokharā, Lāl Chand alias Lāljī Paṇḍit, came to see the Gurū and spoke with derision : "It is said that you sit on the gaddī of Gurū Nānak. But what do you know of the old religious books?" Chhajjū, the illiterate, dark skinned village water carrier, happened to pass by at that moment. Gurū Har Krishan had him called in. As Chhajjū came, the Gurū asked him to explain to the Paṇḍit the gist of the Bhagavad-gita. The illiterate villager astonished everyone by his cogent commentary on the sacred book. Lāljī was humbled and he fell at the Master's feet.
A small memorial was established to mark the site where the Gurū had stayed. It was later replaced by a gurdwārā. The present sanctum is a square double storeyed domed structure with circumambulation galleries at both floors. The sacred pool within an enclosure, is on the left of the main building, and the complex containing Gurū kā Laṅgar and rooms for pilgrims is on the right side of it. The large refectory adjoining the Laṅgar was added in 1977. The Gurdwārā is managed by the Shiromaṇī Gurdwārā Parbandhak Committee through a local committee. A large number of devotees from Ambālā and the neighbouring villages attend Sunday morning dīvāns and partake of the community meal. An annual fair is held on Māgh sudī 7, 8, and 9 (January-February) to mark the days on which Gurū Har Krishan was in Pañjokharā during his visit in 1664.
Major Gurmukh Siṅgh (Retd.)