PANDHER, village 25 km south of Barnālā (30º-22'N, 75º-32'E) in Saṅgrūr district of the Punjab, has a historical shrine commemorating the visit of Gurū Tegh Bahādur. It is said that as Gurū Tegh Bahādur arrived here late in the afternoon and asked for a site for his camp, one of the villagers pointed in jest to the potter's house saying, "That is the place where travellers stay.” The Gurū's followers remarked, "These are thick-headed people." The Gurū immediately turned his horse and proceeded towards 'Alī Sher village. Khumārī, the headman of Pandher, said, "This is a very proud man." Later, when they learnt who he was, they repented their impudence. The village elders followed the Gurū to 'Alī Sher to ask for forgiveness. They collected a few lumps of guṛ, or jaggery, and some money which they carried as an offering. On the way they met a person who was returning after a visit to the Gurū. They asked him what offering would the Gurū expect to grant them a reprieve for their misdemeanour. "None, " replied the stranger. "The Gurū is compassionate and overlooks the faults of others." The elders of Pandher thereupon distributed the offering among themselves and went to the Gurū empty-handed. The Gurū received them unmindful of their past conduct and instructed them in the path of virtuous living.

         The remorseful residents of Pandher constructed a memorial on the spot where the Gurū had briefly halted. It was developed into a gurdwārā, called Gurdwārā Srī Gurū Tegh Bahādur Sāhib during the Sikh rule when Pandher became a part of Nābhā state. The rulers of Nābhā made an endowment in land for its maintenance. A line of mahants served it until after 1956 when it was taken over by the Shiromaṇī Gurdwārā Parbandhak Committee. The Gurdwārā comprises a rectangular hall, with the Gurū Granth Sāhib seated on a canopied platform at one end of it. Besides daily worship, special dīvāns take place on full-moon days and on major religious anniversaries on the Sikh calendar. The Gurdwārā owns 50 acres of land.


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

Major Gurmukh Siṅgh (Retd.)