MĀCHHĪVĀṚĀ (30º-55'N, 76º-12'E), now a small town in Ludhiāṇā district, figures prominently in the last phase of Gurū Gobind Siṅgh's life. As the Gurū arrived here after leaving Chamkaur on the night of 7 December 1705, he stopped first in a garden outside the village. Here Bhāī Mān Siṅgh, Bhāī Dayā Siṅgh and Bhāī Dharam Siṅgh, who had been separated from him when he was leaving Chamkaur, re-joined him. He later moved to the house of Gulābā, the masand , inside the village. From here the brothers Ghanī Khān and Nabī Khān, two Ruhīlā Pāṭhāns, who as horse dealers had previously visited Gurū Gobind Siṅgh at Anandpur, assisted him to travel further west disguised as Muslim divines. There are three gurdwārās to commemorate these events.

        GURDWĀRĀ CHARAN KAVAL SĀHIB marks the site of the garden where Gurū Gobind Siṅgh stopped first and where Bhāī Mān Siṅgh, Bhāī Dayā Siṅgh and Bhāī Dharam Siṅgh found him asleep after an arduous journey through the thorny forest. The central building of this shrine has a square hall on the ground floor with a square sanctum in the centre where Gurū Granth Sāhib is seated. The domed pavilion over the sanctum on the second floor contains a large portrait of Gurū Gobind Siṅgh in a sleeping posture. There are also decorative domed pavilions on this floor, square at the corners and rectangular at mid-points of the walls. A rectangular sarovar, west of the Gurdwārā, was constructed during the 1970's. It receives its water supply from an old well believed to be the same as watered the garden at the beginning of the eighteenth century. The Gurdwārā is controlled by the Shiromaṇī Gurdwārā Parbandhak Committee through a local committee which also manages Gurdwārā Chubārā Sāhib inside the town. A big fair is held in the third week of December every year to commemorate Gurū Gobind Siṅgh's stay in Māchhīvāṛā.

        GURDWĀRĀ CHUBĀRĀ SĀHIB is inside the town on the site where the house of Gulābā Masand once stood. Chubārā means a room on the first floor. It was in a first-floor room in Gulābā's house that Gurū Gobind Siṅgh had put up. The present building comprises a square hall with the sanctum in the centre. The hall is in a square walled compound. For administration, the shrine is affiliated to Gurdwārā Charan Kaval.

        GURDWĀRĀ UCHCH DĀ PĪR. Gurū Gobind Siṅgh had left Māchhīvāṛā disguised as a Muslim divine, carried in a palanquin and declared by Ghanī Khān and Nabī Khān to be the Pīr of Uchch, an old seat of Muslim saints in southwest Punjab.Gurdwārā Uchch da Pīr was established after 1947 in the private house formerly belonging to the descendants of Ghanī Khān and Nabī Khān. The Gurū Granth Sāhib is seated in a small rectangular room. A double-storeyed cell in this house is also being maintained in memory of Gurū Gobind Siṅgh. It is believed that he stayed here for a short while after shifting from Gulābā's house.


  1. Giān Siṅgh, Giānī, Twārīkh Gurduāriāṅ. Amritsar, n.d.
  2. Narotam, Tārā Siṅgh, Srī Guru Tīrath Saṅgrahi, Kankhal, 1975.

Major Gurmukh Siṅgh (Retd.)