SARĀI NĀṄGĀ, village 16 km northeast of Muktsar (30º-29'N, 74º-31'E) in Farīdkoṭ district of the Punjab, enjoys sanctity as the birthplace of Gurū Aṅgad, Nānak II. Gurū Nānak himself is also believed to have visited it during his travels in these parts. Soon after Gurū Aṅgad's birth in 1504, the village, then known as Matte dī Sarāi, was plundered and destroyed at the time of one of Bābār's invasions, and his family had to leave it for good. A small shrine was later raised upon the ruins of the old Sarāi in honour of Gurū Aṅgad. It was probably looked after by nāṅgā sādhūs initially for which reason the habitation came to be known as Nāṅge dī Sarāi or, officially, Sarāi Nāṅgā. The village now claims two gurdwārās, both of historical importance.
GURDWĀRĀ JANAM ASTHĀN PĀTSHĀHĪ II on a high ground to the east of the village was reconstructed through kār-sevā or voluntary labour by followers of Sant Gurmukh Siṅgh during the 1950's. The sanctum, with the Gurū Granth Sāhib seated on a canopied seat of white marble, marking the old shrine, opens on a 14-metre square marble-floored hall. The terrace around the hall is also marbled, as is the exterior surface of the walls. Above the sanctum is a square pavilion with wide curved coping and topped by a pinnacled dome. The roof corners are decorated with marble kiosks. The hall corners facing the adjacent sarovar have large kiosks on top of semi-octagonal pilasters. The Gurdwārā is affiliated to the Shiromaṇī Gurdwārā Parbandhak Committee, but is still managed by kār-sevā sants who have now taken up reconstruction of the second historical shrine in the village.
GURDWĀRĀ PAHILĪ PĀTSHĀHĪ commemorating the visit of Gurū Nānak is in a high-walled compound with a domed tower at one corner on a mound within the village. The old shrine is only a small domed structure on a high plinth with an old vaṇ tree (Quercus incana) at its back. The Gurū Granth Sāhib is seated in a rectangular room at the entrance to the compound. The old sarovar is at a much lower level. The new building now planned will be a rectangular hall, 10 x14-metres, with the sanctum in the middle.
Major Gurmukh Siṅgh (Retd.)