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  1. photos I took of the historic Gurdwara Thamm Sahib. The Thamm that Guru Arjan Dev Ji built was destroyed by the Moghals in 1740s (i think) but the gurdwara was rebuilt again by Dal Panth. This used to belong to the Sodhis of Kartarpur under Baba Wadhbhag Singh but he gave it over to the Guru Khalsa Panth after Moghals took it over. There is nothing surviving from Guru Sahib's personal possessions here though. My Guru blessed my eyes and heart with a visit to this sacredplace. I didn't know there was so much history to Kartarpur. There are many other historic Gurdwaras here in close proximity inc where Guru Teg Bahadur was married to Mata Gujari, the chabucha of Guru Hargobind Sahib, the antim sanskar place of Mata Kaulan etc. I will put those up soon as well. Parts of the Qila (fortress) that Guru Sahib built is still there. It is under the control of the Sodhis of Kartarpur still.
  2. Another gurdwara has been demolished in Pakistan https://sikhsiyasat.net/2017/08/28/building-gurdwara-sahib-demolished-thoha-khalsa-village-near-rawalpindi-pakistan/
  3. Lahore’s historical gurdwara now a Muslim shrine The well of blood Gurdwara ‘Lal Khoohi’ (the well of blood) was built at the spot where Guru Arjan Dev was kept in confinement. The site housed the haveli (mansion) of Chandu Shah,the diwan of Mughal Emperor Jahangir, who had developed hatred for the Guru after he rejected the marriage proposal of the Emperor's daughter with the Guru’s son, Hargobind. The Guru is believed to havespent his last days here, drinking from the well. In1927, the SGPC took charge of the gurdwara. Vishav Bharti Tribune News Service Chandigarh, June 13 A historical gurdwara in Lahore has been turned into a Muslim shrine, according to a recent article by Islamabad-based anthropologist Haroon Khalid. Gurdwara ‘Lal Khoohi’ (well of blood), built at the spot where Guru Arjan Dev was kept in confinement, has now become ‘Haq Char Yaar’. Khalid, known for documenting the historical and cultural heritage of Pakistan, said this was yet another instance of a place of worship belonging to a minority community being appropriated by the dominant Muslim population. Khalid, who has written books on Pakistan’s minorities, said the fifth Sikh Guru was also tortured at this place. “The story goes that this site housed the haveli (mansion) of Chandu Shah, the diwan of Mughal Emperor Jahangir, who had developed hatred for the Guru after he rejected the marriage proposal of Chandu Shah’s daughter with the Guru’s son, Hargobind,” he said. As per Khalid, “The Guru is believed to have spent his last days here, drinking from the well. That’s how it came to be called ‘Lal Khoohi’.” Prof JS Grewal, a chronicler of Sikh history and former director of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, confirmed that the reference to the fifth Guru’s confinement at Chandu Shah’s haveli was found in Sikh texts. Lahore-based Majid Sheikh, a journalist and a writer who has extensively written on Lahore’s history and is now doing PhD on ‘Ancient history of Punjab’ at Cambridge University, said, “This place has nothing to do with Islam. There seems to be no limit to our ignorance.” The gurdwara was initially very small, but Sikhs purchased the adjoining houses and built a bigger building. In 1927, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) took charge of it. Talking to The Tribune, Haroon said most of the places of worship belonging to the minorities in Pakistan were in a bad condition. Most of them have been taken over by Partition refugees and transformed into houses. “Over the years, these buildings have lost their architectural heritage. However, there are a handful of gurdwaras and temples that the Pakistan Government looks after. These are the places which Sikh and Hindu pilgrims are allowed to visit,” he said. http://www.tribuneindia.com/mobi/news/punjab/lahore-s-historical-gurdwara-now-a-muslim-shrine/251494.html
  4. http://scroll.in/article/810934/how-the-sikh-religion-evolved-from-the-time-of-its-founding-guru Driving down the Multan Road Highway, exploring Pakistan's Sikh heritage A visit to some ancient gurudwaras across the border. Image credit: Haroon Khalid | A gurdwara dedicated to Guru Nanak in Manga in Pakistan's Lahore district. Jul 01, 2016 · 06:30 pm Updated Jul 01, 2016 · 11:23 pm Haroon Khalid 4.8K Total views Email Print Email Print The gurdwara before us was in a dismal state – only its pillars and outer structure still stood. The facing pool reflected this depressing sight. Soaked in sweat, a labourer digging up mud from near the pool – to widen it, perhaps – dropped his shovel and walked up to us. “This is the gurdwara of Guru Nanak,” he said. “Who was he?” I asked, to ascertain what, if anything, Guru Nanak meant to him. “He was a Sikh Guru.” That’s all he knew. My companion, Iqbal Qaiser, my mentor and the one who introduced me to Sikhism, offered some more insight: “This gurdwara was burned at the time of Partition. The priests here were refusing to leave, so the mob burned it down.” The plot on which the gurdwara stands was allotted to it by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the founder of the Sikh Empire. We walked around this enclosed space, which now contains a fish farm under the Pakistani Fisheries Department. The land abutting the gurudwara is occupied by a school. The Multan Road Highway passes through the gurdwara’s gate, while the Pakistani town of Manga is across the road. Back to the beginning “Manga is about 1,000 years old,” Qaiser told me. It did looked ancient, but more because of how run-down it was. There was filth, junkies and stray dogs on the streets. This is a small town, the last of Lahore district as one heads south towards Multan. The river Ravi once used to flow across the western boundary of Manga. “Guru Nanak crossed the Ravi and stayed at Manga for a little while,” Qaiser told me. “Here, he preached his message and then came to this spot, where the Gurdwara was later constructed.” “Did anything special happen here?” I asked. “No,” Qaiser said. “Nanak, along with his companions, Mardana and Bhai Bala, sat here under the shade of a tree and then moved on. Come to think of it, some people are remembered for the buildings they have constructed – Shah Jahan, for example, would always be remembered for summoning the Taj Mahal – and then there are those in whose memory a place, even in a jungle like this, becomes sacred.” I wondered if Nanak, or his devotees, knew then what an important role he would play in the cultural and religious history of Punjab. Walking around, wearing a saffron chola – a long, loose shirt – he must have looked like an ordinary mendicant. It is believed that Guru Nanak was incarcerated by the invading forces of Babur after he defied the king’s orders and refused to pray for his success. Babur could not have foreseen that Nanak, in the centuries to come, would become one of the most revered mystic poets of India and hailed as the first guru of Sikhism. “Isn’t it ironic, Iqbal Sahib, that Nanak spoke vehemently against institutionalised religion and today, Sikhism is an institutionalised religion with its own rites and rituals?” Qaiser asked. A few years ago, when I was working with the Sikh community in the city of Nankana Sahib, an incident with a boy has been imprinted on my mind. I was sitting with my back towards the Gurudwara Janam Asthan there – considered the birth place of Guru Nanak. “Don’t sit with your back towards the shrine,” the young Sikh boy warned me. I politely heeded to his demand, but I found it ironic that I had been asked to do so, given Guru Nanak’s own beliefs. The story goes that Guru Nanak went to Mecca for the Hajj pilgrimage and slept with his feet towards the Ka’aba – a structure in the Grand Mosque that is considered the most sacred Muslim site in the world. When someone complained, he changed the direction of his feet, but the Ka’aba, too, moved. “Tell me, where should I direct my feet?” Nanak is said to have asked. “In which direction does God not reside?” The story may be apocryphal story but its essence – of questioning the rituals and traditions we uphold in the name of religion – still stands. Moving ahead The gurudwara at Beherwal. We drove a few kilometres from Manga to the small village of Beherwal. Here, we were greeted by another empty building. “This gurdwara is associated with Guru Arjan, the fifth Sikh Guru,” Qaiser said. The building's walls, however, were intact and made of thick brick, which indicated that it was constructed during British rule. It was here that Guru Arjan is said to have performed a miracle by turning brackish water from a well sweet. The well still exists inside the premises of this building, which was locked. “This is a government institute now,” a man from the village told us. “It is shut on Sundays. If you want to see it from the inside, you should return tomorrow.” Sikhs believe that the nine gurus that followed Guru Nanak all spread his message and that the tenets of Sikhism that were formalised by the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, in the form of Khalsa – a body of initiated Sikhs – were based on Guru Nanak’s teachings. In other words, it is believed that all gurus had the essence of Guru Nanak in them. I, on the other hand, think that as is the case with many other religious movements, the form that Sikhism took after Guru Nanak’s time is something he may not have associated with. Time and transitions For example, Nanak, instead of appointing his son as his spiritual descendant, chose his most talented student, Angad Dev. Following this tradition, Guru Angad appointed his student instead of his son as the next guru – Amar Das. However, after this it became a family fiefdom. Guru Amar Das appointed his son-in-law Ram Das as the next Guru, who then appointed his son, Arjan. The subsequent gurus were from the same family, clearly a departure from Nanak’s heritage. “Iqbal sahib, isn’t it true that Guru Nanak believed in non-violence?” I asked as we headed back to Lahore. “Yes,” Qaiser said. “On the other hand, Guru Gobind Singh was a warrior and he told his warriors that it is right to fight a just war through force. Do you think Guru Nanak would have agreed with this philosophy?” I asked. We still debate this. There is no black or white answer. The political realities facing the tenth guru were different from those of the first guru. However, there is also no doubt that, increasingly, after Guru Nanak, Sikh masters were engaged in politics, taking the side of certain dissenting princes. For example, Guru Arjan allegedly gave his blessings to Jahangir’s son Khusrau when he rebelled against his father. Guru Har Rai, the seventh Sikh Guru, sympathised with Dara Shikoh, the brother of the tyrannical Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb. Every year, on the occasion of Guru Nanak’s festival at Nankana Sahib, a banner is put up with all the Sikh gurus – with Guru Nanak on one end and Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth spiritual master, on the other. Nanak is depicted as a mystic dressed in a saffron chola, while Guru Gobind is shown wearing a tiara adorned with pearls, a silk garment and pearl necklaces. The pictures of the eight gurus in the middle trace the transition of gurudom. Haroon Khalid is the author of the books In Search of Shiva: A study of folk religious practices in Pakistan and A White Trail: A journey into the heart of Pakistan’s religious minorities. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
  5. WJKK WJKF ! This post will be long so I apologize beforehand, but please provide some help. Prior to going to this Gurdwara, I had heard a lot about the committee and the granthis in the gurdwara. This includes people who have observed swearing and arguments bewteen granthis and committtee meemebers in the darbar hall in the presence of SGGSJi. I also found out that they do not do Rehraas at a set time and sometimes they do it at 7:30pm. In addition to this I heard the granthis and parthaan of the gurdwara chose to completely stop langar apart from Sundays, despite there being classes on some weekdays in the evening. Also, they use the sangats money to order pizza for the other granthis birthday but when the sangat came in they did not offer them anything and told them to eat the leftover sweets on the table. And finally, the most surprising thing, for once it was the committee members trying to fight for the correct running of the gurdwara but the granthis and parthaan shut them off. All of this spurred me to go investigate for myself.. So, about 2 weeks ago I visited a Gurdwara in the outskirts of the city center. It was midday on a Friday, so I didn't expect there to be much sangat as the Gurdwara is further away from houses. Now, when I arrived to the Gurdwara, I went in and sat in the presence of Maharaj Ji. There was a tape playing Shabads on quite low. So after a little while, the Granthi came in and told me to come and get Prashaad from the him, so I got up and put my hands together, the then proceeds to putting the Prashaad in my hands as well as fully touching my hands (he didn't know if I had washed my hands or not). Seeing as I had just got up, I made my way into the langar hall and waited for him to come out, once he came I asked him what time Rehraas in recited in the Gurdwara. He mirrored what people had told me beforehand, he said that there isn't anytime, they do it whenever they can, even 7:30pm, I was glad that he didn't lie, that was a start I guess, but how wrong I was.. I then asked him what they do after Rehraas, he said that they do the Ardaas and that's it. I asked them if they do Shabads or the Aarti after Rehraas, but he said no. I then asked about other classes and programmes that they have (at this point we were sitting in the langar hall). He responded to me saying that the sangat and naujawan are not interested in classes of any type. But he did say that they have yoga classes and Punjabi classes on, and that the turnout is not great. I told him that if I were to get a slot and gather sangat then would that be fine - he started to hesitate and then changed the topic by saying 'well you'll have to pay for the ingredients for langar and then pay for the electricity and gas and cook yourself'. I was a bit surprised as this should be coming from the gurdwara's part as there was no talk of any akhand paath, wedding etc. I do kirtan and shabads in different Gurdwareh and I genuinely wanted to have a slot at that gurdwara too. So I asked if there was any way that on a weekday after Rehraas I could do the Aarti or on the weekend if I could have a 10 minute slot for a shabad and if I'm lucky then an hour slot so I could do english katha for the youth. But he laughed at me and said no, he said that they already have contracts with other ragis so it's not possible. So, i pushed him into giving me a time slot during a weekdays but even then he didn't let me. He also then said that no body other than the ragis and the granthis can go on stage, indicating that i can't do anything. I then very politely asked for half an hour to do simran only - and he had the adacity to say, why would you want to do anything here when there is no sanagat and that the darbar hall is empty. When he said this I was so shocked, I told him that it doesn't matter for the sangat as Maharaj Ji himself is present but even then he didn't take his words back. The conversation kept going back and forth and this point and i wasn't getting anywhere. I tried everything, but he laughed it all of. Now here is the bit which aggravated me, I asked him if he was part of the committee and he said he was. He then asked me why I asked him that and whether I wanted to join the committee. Now, I had no intention of joining any committee, but just to see what his answer was going to be I said that I did want to be part of the committee - you know what he did then, he laughed in my face and said 'well I'm sorry, but you can't'. I was shocked at this but I decided to laugh back and said 'Oh, really, is it because you think I am a child?' (I'm 21 btw). He then laughed even more and said no, that wast the reason, so i asked him what the reason was and with MASSIVE smirk he said it was because I was a female. I instantly tried to argue my way around this, telling him that this is going against what out gurus say. The worst part - he didn't give a sh*t!! He said why would females be on the committee when it consists of all males who are old. I always asked about arguments during meetings and he owned up saying that they have arguments etc in the darbar hall. So basically, i didn't get anywhere and i told him that i will be back lol. But truth is, I have no idea what I plan to do - all I know is that I want to and that I will do something about this corruption - but this is where i need all your help. I would like you guys to give me some suggestions as to what I can do - education-wise, I think I know enough to argue their points. I'm looking for action to take place. I genuinely appreciate all of you who have taken your time outto read this and offer advice.
  6. Guest

    Meaning of GurDwara.

    Hi, Meaning of the words should be understood in SURTTI called holy spirit. The word Gurdwara is made up of two words; one is Gur, which stands for DHANGHH or formula or logical reasoning called intuition. Dwara means a communal place where you can come together to ponder over His Word. So, in the Gurdwara, Sangatt should ponder over His Word and then be able to Preach Gospel to the local. Sikhism is continuation of Christianity and Sikh should tell them the names of the Five Husbands of the Samaritan Woman at well in John 4. They were Kaam, Karodhh, etc. Men of letters call her a prostitute. She was St.Photina.
  7. Gurfeteh During the times of the Gurus only Harimander Sahib was built as a Gurdwara. The rest of the places was where satsang was held and (maharaj) ranjit singh started to build Gurdwaras on places where the Gurus had visited or held Satsang, but before that was there Gurdwaras other then Darbar Sahib.
  8. Hey all, we're always talking about extremely important issues regarding Sikhi and morals on these forums, and the role of the Gurdwara. One of my close friends in New York, has started the FindGurdwara project in order to create an accurate and updated database of Gurdwaras around the world to help Gurdwara Seekers find them, also to bring the Gurdwaras together on a common platform. He has created an iPhone app (obviously free) called FindGurdwara where you can find Gurdwaras and even Add Gurdwaras and photos of Gurdwaras to the database in case you see that a Gurdwara is not listed on the map. I thought it was a very cool concept and wanted to share it with you all. If you want to check it out and maybe even add a Gurdwara to the app, I pasted it link below to FindGurdwara's iTunes page: https://bitly.com/findgurdwara Thanks for letting me share!
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