KHEM KARAN (31º-8'N, 74º-3'E), a small border town in Amritsar district of the Punjab, has two historical shrines dedicated one each to Gurū Amar Dās and Gurū Tegh Bahādur.

        GURDWĀRĀ THAMM SĀHIB, near the Kasūr Gate, marks the site of a mañjī or preaching centre established by Gurū Amar Dās (1479-1574) through Bhāī Kheḍā, a Brāhmaṇ worshipper of goddess Durgā converted to Sikhism. The Gurū had given to Bhāī Kheḍā a log pillar (thamm in Punjabi) which, preserved as a sacred relic, gave the shrine its name. The old shrine and the holy thamm were destroyed during the Indo-Pakistan war in 1965. The present building, a small flat-roofed hall, including the sanctum, was raised by the local saṅgat in 1966. A new log brought from Goindvāl, once the seat of Gurū Amar Dās, has replaced the old relic. An old well on the premises is believed to date from Bhāī Kheḍā's days. The Gurdwārā is maintained by the local saṅgat. The death anniversary of Gurū Amar Dās falling in August-September is marked by special dīvāns.

        GURDWĀRĀ GURŪSAR SĀHIB marks the spot, 400 metres south of Khem Karan town, where Gurū Tegh Bahādur (1621-75) once stayed during his visit to the town. The old shrine was reconstructed in 1903 by Lālā Kāṅshī Rām, a rich philanthropist of Fīrozpur. This building was destroyed during the 1965 war with Pakistan. The present structure raised during 1966-67 comprises a small hall, adjoining a domed sanctum. The Gurdwārā is maintained by the local saṅgat. Special gatherings take place on every full-moon day and on all major anniversaries on the Sikh calendar.


    Faujā Siṅgh, Gurū Tegh Bahādur, Yātrā Asthān, Pramprāvāṅ te Yād Chinn. Patiala, 1976

Gurnek Siṅgh