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Visited India & Pakistan Part - IV: A Journey back to Roots


Los Angeles/Apr 16, 2024 Singh

After visiting Kartarpur Sahib , it was time to visit and pay our obeisance at some of other holy places. Net on our list were Gurdwara Sahib Sacha Sauda and Nankana Sahib. After eating a hearty breakfast, we headed towards Gurdwara Sacha Sahib less than two hours drive from Lahore. When my wife and I visited this Gurdwara in 2006, it was far removed from the adjoining village of Sacha Sauda. However, now the village population has moved close by to the Gurdwara. Also, the Gurdwara buildings have gone a major renovation and improvements since our last visit 18 years ago. This is the place where Guru Nanak Dev ji, the first Guru of the Sikhs and founder of Sikhism started the tradition of free langar for the needy.

According to historical accounts, Guru ji’s father gave him twenty drupes to do good business. Guru ji and his companion Mardan were going to nearby Mandi Chuhar Kana to do some business. At this place they came across some hungry sadhus . Guru Nanak Dev ji decided to join them and asked Mardana to bring some groceries from Chuhar Kana to feed those hungry sadhus. Mardana brought the groceries, and they fed the sadhus. I, and may be some other people had the impression that it was a one-day event. However, when we went into the Gurdwara, the Gurdwara officials told us that the feeding of the hungry sadhus and other needy people continued for a long time. He stated that twenty rupees at that time was a lot of money. Also, when the surrounding villagers and traders found out about it, they started to contribute food and other items. So, this was the beginning of a tradition of langar that has become one of the proud traditions of the Sikh community around the globe. After paying our respects here it was time to move on to close by Nankana Sahib.

As soon as we entered this holy place there was a wonderful feeling of peace and quiet. Members of the management commitment gave us a very warm welcome. After having tea and refreshments they showed us around the place and the complex where Guru Ji was born Pakistan Gurdwara Management Committee with blessings of the Pakistan government has done an excellent job in making this holy place very pleasant and attractive for the pilgrims. After paying our obeisance and having langar, we requested the management to show us other Gurdwaras in and around Nankana Sahib connected with Guru ji’s life.  Promptly they sent a suitable guide with us. This enabled us to visit a number of Gurdwaras including Gurdwara Tambu Sahib, Mal  sahib, Bal Leela , Patti Sahib and few others. It was a matter of great joy for all of us to visit all of these Gurdwaras associated with Guru Nanak ji’s birth, childhood and adulthood. It was a real blessing for all of us to visit and pay our respects at this holy place. The Pakistan has done a good job in making these holy places easily accessible by building roads and other amenities. At every Gurdwara we visited we, were very impressed by the security available. Most of these officials were very polite and respectful. After thanking our hosts, we were on our way to Lahore less than two hours drive away. Everywhere we went we had very enjoyable experience.

Balwant Sanghera
(Balwant Sanghera is a retired School Psychologist and Community Activist. He has just returned from a trip to India and Pakistan)