GAṄGĀ RĀM, an affluent Brāhmaṇ merchant of Baṭhiṇḍā (30º-14'N, 74º-59'E) now a district town in Mālvā region of the Punjab, accepted Sikh faith at the hands of Gurū Arjan. He, according to Bhāī Santokh Siṅgh, Srī Gur Pratāp Sūraj Granth, once crossed the Sutlej with a large stock of bājarā, a variety of millets. Learning that a vast body of men was at work digging a large tank at Gurū Chakk (present-day Amritsar), he proceeded in that direction hoping to sell his merchandise profitably. At Amritsar, he saw large number of Sikhs engaged in voluntary sevā, digging and shovelling and carrying basketfuls of earth on their heads, and, although they had had little to eat owing to Gurū kā Laṅgar or community kitchen having run short of rations, their pace had not slackened. Gaṅgā Rām was deeply affected by the Sikhs' zeal and devotion. He turned over his entire stock of grain to the laṅgar, and himself joined the devotees in the holy sevā. He declined to accept money for the grain he had brought and, instead, humbly supplicated the Gurū to be admitted as a disciple. He stayed on in Amritsar and returned to his village Baṭhiṇḍā only after the completion of the sacred pool. He devoted his remaining years to meditation and to preaching message of Gurū Nānak. His descendant, Bhāī Mūl Chand, became famous for his piety and spiritual powers. Mūl Chand's shrine at Sunām (30º-7'N, 75º-48'E), in Saṅgrūr district of the Punjab, is still visited by devotees of diverse faiths. Gaṅgā Rām's direct descendants officiate as priests there.


  1. Santokh Siṅgh, Bhāī, Srī Gur Pratāp Sūraj Granth. Amritsar, 1927-33
  2. Satibīr Siṅgh, Paratakhu Hari. Jalandhar, 1982

Tāran Siṅgh