SAMĀO, also pronounced Samhāo, a village 2 km north of Bhīkhī (30º-3'N, 75º-33'E) in Baṭhiṇḍā district of the Punjab, has a historical shrine called Gurdwārā Pātshāhī Nauvīṅ. It is said that, as Gurū Tegh Bahādur was once travelling from Khīvā towards Samāo and Bhīkhī, he was informed that a saṅgat from Peshāwar and Kābul was coming to see him. The Gurū halted where he was and sat under a vaṇ tree to wait for his Sikhs. Mats were spread out to receive the saṅgat. The Sikhs arrived singing holy hymns, bowed before the Gurū and received his blessing. A peasant ploughing his field near by, struck by the scene of pious devotion, went to the Gurū and placed before him his humble fare of bread and buttermilk. The Gurū partook of the food and so did all the Sikhs. The Gurū blessed the peasant with the words : "Milk shall always abound in thy house."
A memorial shrine was established under the vaṇ tree where the Gurū had sat. The present building, in a 50-metre square low-walled compound, comprises a domed sanctum with a rectangular hall in front. The front of the sanctum is decorated with cylindrical pillars and a floral frieze in stucco. A gallery covers three sides of the hall while on the fourth, behind the sanctum, still stands the old vaṇ tree sanctified by Gurū Tegh Bahādur's visit. The Gurdwārā owns 30-acres of land and is managed by the Shiromaṇī Gurdwārā Parbandhak Committee through the local committee of Khīvā Kalāṅ.
Major Gurmukh Siṅgh (Retd.)