Sunday, November 7, 1999
NADAUN is a small town in Himachal Pradesh, located on the foothills of the Shivalik range forming the western end of the district Hamirpur. It is 42 km east of Kangra and is situated on the banks of the Beas. The town has a small gurdwara overlooking the waters of the Beas. A visitor to the gurdwara is fascinated by the breathtaking beauty and serenity of the spot. It was in March 1691, that Guru Gobind Singh visited Nadaun.
During this period the Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb, had embarked on an expedition to conquer Bijapur and Golkunda in the South. The venture put considerable strain on the Mughal exchequer and Aurangzeb found it expedient to order the Governor of Punjab, Azim Khan, to effect recovery of annual tributes from the kings and chieftains of hill states who had been defaulting for three consecutive years. Azim Khan quickly sent Mian Khan and Alif Khan, both Mughal army officers, to carry out the royal farman (order). Alif Khan was given the responsibility of recovering dues from Kangra and adjoining principalities while Jammu was assigned to Mian Khan.
Bhim Chand Katoch, a weak ruler of Kangra, yielded to the threats of Alif Khan and agreed to pay the amount. However, the ruler, of Kahloor (Bilaspur), also named Bhim Chand, alongwith several other Rajput rulers, refused to oblige Alif Khan who was camping at Nadaun in a makeshift garrison on the top of a hillock. Alif Khan had served an ultimatum of war against the defaulting rulers.
Fearing the wrath of the mighty Mughal army, Bhim Chand, the Raja of Kahloor, sent a message to Guru Gobind Singh at Anandpur Sahib who immediately led his cavalry to Nadaun and stationed his army on the banks of the Beas where the gurdwara was built.
A fierce battle ensued on the dawn of the March 20, 1691, between the Mughal army supported by the Katoch rulers of Kangra on the one hand and the combined forces of several Rajput kings under the command of Bhim Chand, Raja of Kahloor, on the other. The Mughal army held a superior strategic position in a garrison on the top of a hill which helped it inflict heavy casualties on the rebels who were forced to retreat.
It was at this juncture that Guru Gobind Singh himself led his army into the battle field in support of the Rajput kings and turned the tables on the Mughal Army which suffered heavy casualties. Guru Gobind Singh, shooting deadly arrows, killed Raja Dayal Chand, a strong warrior, who had sided with Alif Khan. Alif Khan, fearing annihilation at the hands of the Gurus army, fled from the garrison in the middle of the night and thus Bhim Chand of Kahloor emerged victorions in the battle.
The Guru halted in
Nadaun for eight days and recorded the event in his
manuscript. He returned to Anandpur Sahib on March 28,
1691. Maharaja Ranjit Singh built the first original
structure on the spot where the Guru had pitched his
tent. This historic Gurd-wara was affiliated to
Shiro-mani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee in 1935. A
conference of Sikh scholars was organised here on April
5, 1991, to celebrate the 300th anniversary of historic
battle of Nadaun.
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