BHAGTĀ or Bhagtā Bhāī Kā, village 20 km east to Jaito (30º-26'N, 74º-53'E) in Farīdkoṭ district of the Punjab, was founded during the latter half of the seventeenth century by Bhāī Bhagtā, grandson of Bhāī Bahilo (1553-1643) a leading Sikh of the time of Gurū Arjan. As Gurū Gobind Siṅgh visited the village in December 1705, the five sons of the founder-Gurdās, Tārā, Bhārā, Mohrā and Bhagtā-served him with devotion. Bhāī Santokh Siṅgh, Srī Gur Pratāp Sūraj Granth, records a popular legend according to which Bhāī Bhagtā had a well sunk with the help of spirits which were still held in captivity by his sons. Gurū Gobind Siṅgh, says Bhāī Santokh Siṅgh, instructed them not to meddle with the supernatural and to set the spirits free. An old well in a corner of the compound of the historical Gurdwārā Pātshāhī 10 at the northern end of the village is still known as Bhūtāṅvālā Khūh or the well of the spirits. The old shrine is a small domed room with a platform in the middle of it. The new Gurdwārā building on a high plinth is a 15-metre square hall with the sanctum at one end and a verandah on three sides. A suite of rooms for the granthī and four rooms in a row for pilgrims and travellers complete the complex which is entered through a high gateway. The Gurdwārā, endowed with agricultural lands, is managed by the Shiromaṇī Gurdwārā Parbandhak Committee through a local committee. Besides the daily services, special dīvāns take place on the first of every Bikrāmī month, and on all major Sikh anniversaries. The largest-attended is the annual celebration on the 1st of Māgh (mid-January).


    Santokh Siṅgh, Bhāī, Srī Gur Pratāp Sūraj Granth. Amritsar, 1926-37

Major Gurmukh Siṅgh (Retd.)