RĀṚĀ, village 16 km from Dorāhā (30º- 48'N, 76º -2'E) in Ludhiāṇā district, is sacred to Gurū Hargobind. According to local tradition, the Gurū, when out for the chase during his stay at Ghuṛānī in 1631, would sometimes halt for rest under a banyan tree here. The tree withered away in course of time, but the spot continued to be held in reverence. Mahārāṇī Jasvant Kaur, widow of Mahārājā Bhūpinder Siṅgh of Paṭiālā, got the present Gurdwārā Pātshāhī Chhevīṅ constructed in 1941. She also bought and donated two and a half acres of land for its maintenance. Karāh prasād is still offered on her behalf every morning. The building consists of a small cubicle, called Mañjī Sāhib, marking the exact spot where the Gurū would sit and relax, and a rectangular hall surrounded by a verandah. The Gurū Granth Sāhib is seated in the hall. Rooms for Gurū kā Laṅgar are on a flank across the brick paved compound. The Gurdwārā is managed by the village saṅgat, with occasional donations from the Mahārāṇī and the family of her brother, Sardār Giān Siṅgh Raṛewālā. Even the present granthī is an old servant of the family who still provide for his maintenance. Holā Mohallā is the major annual festival.
A famous saintly personality of modern day was Sant Īshar Siṅgh of Rāṛā. He made the village known far and wide by his association with it and by his prolonged kīrtan soirees. He had a strong, resounding voice and his kīrtan attracted vast audiences of devotees. Raṛa in his day was an active seat of Sikh religious preaching and awakening. It drew and continues to draw devotees from distant parts including U.K. where Sant Īshar Siṅgh ended his earthly journey in 1975.
Major Gurmukh Siṅgh (Retd.)