BELĀ, pronounced bellā, means, in Punjabi usage, a jungle of tall grasses, reeds and assorted shrubbery along the banks of rivers and streams. The word also received a different connotation when an Udāsī saint and preacher, Banakhaṇḍī, established in AD 1818 a preaching centre on an Island in the River Indus near Sakkhar in Sindh (now art Pakistan) and named it Shrī Sādhubelā Tīrath. This created a new vogue and several other Udāsī centres adopted the name Sādhū Belā although they were nowhere near a river. Similarly, a Sikh ḍerā (habitation with a gurdwārā) established by a group of Sikh revolutionaries during 1927-33 was christened Siṅgh Belā. It was located about 12 km north of Bābā Bakālā along the Beās-Baṭālā road in Amritsar district. An innocent-looking place of worship, Siṅgh Belā functioned as the secret headquarters of the revolutionary group who planned and executed (on 8 December 1933) the retaliatory murder of a traitor, Belā Siṅgh, who had earlier shot dead, at the instance of a Canadian Immigration Officer, Bhāī Bhāg Siṅgh Granthī and another Sikh, Bhāī Batan Siṅgh, during a funeral service in a gurdwārā in Canada in 1914.


  1. Amar Siṅgh Tegh, Ghaddār dā Katal, Rajpura, 1966
  2. Jagjīt Siṅgh, Ghadar Pārṭī Lahir. Delhi, 1979
  3. Sainsarā, Gurcharan Siṅgh, Ghadar Pāṛtī dā Itihās, Jalandhar, 1969

Major Gurmukh Siṅgh (Retd.)