MANĪ MĀJRĀ is an old town, 2 km east of Chaṇḍīgaṛh (30º-44'N, 76º-47'E). After the death of Bābā Rām Rāi at Dehrā Dūn in 1687, one of his wives, Mātā Rāj Kaur, settled in Manī Mājrā. The following year, Gurū Gobind Siṅgh returning from Pāoṇṭā Sāhib to Anandpur Sāhib, came here on Maghar vadī 10, 1745 Bk/ November 1688, to call on her. What is now known as Gurdwārā Māñjī Sāhib was the residence of Mātā Rāj Kaur, expanded later by the members of the Rām Rāīā sect who were maintaining it until the Shiromaṇī Gurdwārā Parbandhak Committee took it over.

         Mātā Rāj Kaur was a pious lady credited with spiritual powers. It is said that, once during the rains, a rafter in the roof of her house gave way. She requested one Bhār Mall, a wealthy man of the village, to provide timber of suitable length, but he refused. Gharībū, a poor peasant, at once felled a tree and brought the log to support the roof. Mātā Rāj Kaur said that he would be a rājā. It so happened that whereas Bhār Mall's fortunes declined, Gharībū prospered. He lived to be an old man and, after the fall of Sirhind to the Sikhs in 1764, he became master of Manī Mājrā and 48 other villages. His son and successor, Gopāl Siṅgh, was given the title of Rājā by the British government.

         Gurdwārā Māñjī Sāhib is in the interior of the town, near the fort. The sanctum, where the Gurū Granth Sāhib is now seated has a lotus dome on top with a pavilion in front. A narrow lane leads to the samādh of Mātā Rāj Kaur near by.


    Giān Siṅgh, Giānī, Twārīkh Gurū Khālsā [Reprint]. Patiala, 1970

Major Gurmukh Siṅgh (Retd.)