WALĪ QANDHĀRĪ (lit. Saint of Qandahār) was, according to a tradition popularized by Bhāī Bālā Janam Sākhī and Bhāī Santokh Siṅgh, Srī Gur Nānak Prakāsh, a Muslim recluse putting up on top of a hill near Hasan Abdāl, now in Campbellpore (Attock) district of Pakistan Punjab. Accompanied by Bhāī Mardānā, Gurū Nānak came to Hasan Abdāl on his way back from Mecca and Baghdād and halted at the foot of the hill. Feeling fatigued and thirsty, but seeing no water in the vicinity, Mardānā went up hill to Walī Qandhārī. The latter desired to know who he was and how he happened to wander in that direction. When he heard Mardānā tell him that he was in the company of no ordinary being, he refused to give him water and said that if his master was so accomplished he should not let his follower go thirsty. Mardānā walked back and told the Gurū what the Walī had said. Gurū Nānak asked Mardānā to go once again and supplicate the Walī with humility. Mardānā obeyed, but returned only to report the failure of his mission. The Gurū thereupon touched the hillside with the stick he was holding. As he did this, water spouted forth. Mardānā drank his fill, but simultaneously Walī Qandhārī's reservoir on the hilltop began to ebb and soon dried up. Blinded with rage, the Walī rolled a big boulder downhill towards the travellers. The Gurū calmly raised his arm and the rocky mass, as says the story, stopped against his open palm (pañjā, in Punjabi) which made an impress upon it. The boulder with the palm-mark, i.e. pañjā, recessed into it, with the water rolling around it, still attracts visitors and pilgrims to the site. The Gurdwārā built in the midst of a small pool in front of the stone, reverently called Pañjā Sāhib (Holy Palm), is one of Sikhs' most magnificent and venerated shrines. Walī Qandhārī's grave on top of the adjacent oblong hill is also preserved.


  1. Santokh Siṅgh, Bhāī, Srī Gur Pratāp Sūraj Granth. Amritsar, 1927- 35
  2. Giān Siṅgh, Giānī, Twārīkh Gurū Khālsā [Reprint]. Patiala, 1970
  3. KirpaI Siṅgh, ed., Janam Sākhī Srī Gurū Nānak Dev Jī. Amritsar, 1962
  4. Macauliffe, Max Arthur, The Sikh Religion : Its Gurus, Sacred Writings and Authors. Oxford, 1909

Gurnek Siṅgh