Tribune correspondent Manmeet Singh Gill and photo journalist Sunil Kumar take you to the holy land of Tarn Taran, which was chosen by Guru Arjan Dev due to its proximity to the Grand Trunk Road built by Sher Shah Suri from Lahore to Delhi, so that travellers and traders could preach the religion far and wide
Guru Arjan Dev — the fifth Sikh master — started digging a holy sarovar — ‘Tarn Taran’, which means the boat that takes one across, in 1590. Six years later, he laid the foundation stone of the city, which is now known as Tarn Taran. Even though Amritsar, the holiest of the Sikh cities, was founded in 1577, the Guru felt the need for a new city to reach out to travellers and traders for preaching the religion far and wide. The place where Tarn Taran exists now is chosen due to its proximity to the Grand Trunk Road built by Sher Shah Suri from Lahore to Delhi.
A district headquarter since 2006, Tarn Taran has Goindwal Sahib and Khadoor Sahib towns in its vicinity, where many Sikh gurus spent significant years of their lives. Several gurdwaras from the Guru period still exist in these towns. Have a look...
Tarn Taran Sarovar
Largest of the Sikh holy sarovars, it is nearly rectangular in shape with its northern and southern sides measuring 289 metres and 283 metres, respectively, and eastern and western sides measuring 230 metres and 233 metres, respectively. It was originally fed by rainwater that flowed in from the surrounding lands. A water channel connecting it with the Kasur Branch Lower of the canal was constructed in 1833.
Gurdwara Darbar Sahib (Tarn Taran)
It is a three-storey building on the south-east corner of the holy sarovar — Tarn Taran. The upper portion of the building is covered with glittering gold-plated sheets. The lotus dome, damaged in an earthquake in the early 20th century, was subsequently reconstructed and has an ornamental gold pinnacle with an umbrella-shaped gold finial.
Gurdwara Chaubara Sahib
It was once the residence of Guru Amar Das and his family. It has a small room with a smaller room having an entrance through it. The Guru Granth Sahib is seated in the front room.
Gurdwara Angitha Sahib (Darbar Sahib)
Khadoor Sahib is a place which had been visited by eight Sikh gurus. Guru Angad Dev — the second Sikh master — lived at the place for many years and it was from this place that he left for his heavenly abode.
Gurdwara Shri Tapiana Sahib
It is a place associated with the first Sikh master — Guru Nanak Dev, who visited Khadoor Sahib five times during his lifetime. It is said the Guru, along with Bhai Bala and Bhai Mardana sang hymns at this place. Later, Bhai Bala on the instructions of Guru Angad Dev wrote the Janam Sakhi of Guru Nanak Dev at this place.
Only one minaret of the four planned by Kunwar Nau Nihal Singh on the four corners of the holy sarovar stands on its northeastern corner. A dome was added later on top of the 156-feet and 6-inch high three-storeyed tower constructed during the Kunwar’s lifetime.
A double-storeyed arched gateway, ‘darshani deori’ of the Darbar Sahib was built during the era of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The existing structure has survived the onslaught of time and the recent attempt by a kar sewa sect to demolish it.
Parkash Asthan Guru Granth Sahib
It is a square building adjacent to the Baoli Sahib with a sanctum in the centre, where the holy book is installed.
The Goindwal Baoli, which comprises a flight of 84 steps, was built by Guru Amar Das in the 16th century. It is believed that the recitation of complete Japji Sahib on each of the steps followed by bath in the holy well helps liberate one from the cycle of transmigration. The devotees start from the topmost step, complete the recitation and then descend 84 steps to bathe in the holy water. They then start from the second step at the top and complete the cycle till all steps are covered.
Khoo (well) of Bibi Amro
The water of the well got dug by Bibi Amro, daughter of Guru Angad Dev, was saline. It is said on the request from followers, Guru Angad Dev gave them a log of wood, which was thrown into the well and the water became drinkable.
Gurdwara Khoo Guru Ram Das
It’s a gurdwara in Goindwal, west of Chaubara Sahib, where Guru Ram Das served water to devotees in his childhood. Bhai Gurdas had also ascended for heavenly abode from this place.
It is a wooden peg (now covered with a silver sheath) fixed in the wall inside Chaubara Sahib, which is believed to be used by Guru Amar Das for support when he meditated in a standing posture.
Gurdwara Guru Ka Khoo (well)
The well was a resting place for Guru Arjan Dev at night. After overseeing the digging work of the sarovar at Darbar Sahib all day, he used to spend his nights at this place. It is believed that the water of the well has a medicinal value, especially for patients suffering from leprosy.
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