RAJANĪ, BĪBĪ, was, according to a tradition recorded by Giānī Giān Siṅgh, Panth Prakāsh, the youngest of the five daughters of Dunī Chand, a 16th-century Kauṛā Khatrī and a rich landlord and revenue collector of Paṭṭī, an old town 44 km southwest of Amritsar. Once, during a conversation, while the four elder daughters expressed their indebtedness to their father alone for the comforts and luxury they enjoyed, Rajanī differed from them saying that, though their father was no doubt kind to them, the source of all bounty was God, the sustainer of entire existence. Dunī Chand, a vainglorious man, was annoyed at the views of the child whom he rebuked for what he considered her ungratefulness. In order to teach her a lesson, he married her to Vikram Datt, a poor leper of Paṭṭī itself. Rajanī, unshaken in her faith in God, served her husband with devotion. Carrying her helpless husband in a basket on her head, she lived on the proceeds of her own labour and alms given by compasssionate householders. One day she happened to visit the site where Gurū Rām Dās (1534-81) was in the process of founding a new habitation, Amritsar of modern day. Rajanī sat her invalid husband under a ber tree (Zizyphus mauritiana) on the bank of a pond and went to bring food from the laṅgar or free kitchen she knew the Gurū maintained. Vikram Datt, Rajanī's husband, while sitting alone under the tree had a vision. He saw, so goes the tradition, a crow having a dip in the pond and emerging from it with it colour turned pure white. Vikram Datt got an inspiration. He dragged himself to the water, bathed in it, and was instantly and completely cured of leprosy. Rajanī, on her return, could hardly believe her eyes. The couple then went and reported the miracle to Gurū' Rām Dās, who decided to develop the pond into a properly lined tank. He called the tank Amritsar, the Pool of Nectar, which name in due course passed on to the habitation as well. The ber tree near which Bībī Rajanī's husband had washed his affliction away came to be known as Dukhbhāñjanī(eradicator of woes) Berī. It can still be seen in the parikramā or circumambulatory terrace around the pool in the middle of which stands today the famed Golden Temple. A gurdwārā and a women's college at Paṭṭī are named after Bībī Rajanī.


  1. Santokh Siṅgh, Bhāī, Srī Gur Pratāp Sūraj Granth. Amritsar, 1927-35
  2. Giān Siṅgh, Giānī, Twārīkh Gurū Khālsā [Reprint] Patiala, 1970
  3. Amole, S.S., Amritsar. Patiala, 1975

Gurdīp Siṅgh Dīp