Dr Amrit Kaur | September 17, 2022 10:26 AM

The town of Sultanpur Lodhi which falls in the present day Kapurthala District of Punjab, is a sacred place for the Sikhs. Among the sacred places relating to Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji (1469-1539) the first prophet-teacher of the Sikhs, in addition to Nankana Sahib, District Nankana Sahib (Pakistan), Kartarpur Sahib, District Narowal (Pakistan) and Dera Baba Nanak, District Gurdaspur of Punjab this town is of paramount importance for the Sikhs.

Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji was born on April 15, 1469 at Rai Bhoi Ki Talvandi now called Nankana Sahib 65 kms south-west of Lahore, now in Pakistan. But by custom his Janam Purab is celebrated on the full moon day in the month of Kartik. Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji came to Sultanpur Lodhi approximately at the age of 15-16 years and stayed in this town for 14 years 9 months and 13 days. It was here that he attained the spiritual light and henceforth started his udasis i.e. long tours in the four directions to spread the message he had received from the God Almighty.

Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji came to Sultanpur Lodhi on an invitation from his sister Bebe Nanaki Ji and her husband Jai Ram Ji to involve him in some trade. Jai Ram Ji, who was in the service of local Nawab Daulat Khan Lodhi got Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji appointed as incharge of the modikhana (state granary). In the course of weighing the grains when he came to number 13 i.e. 'tera' which means 'thine' he would continuously repeat the words 'tera tera' and would go on weighing the grains continuously. At this place in his sacred memory now stands Gurdwara Hatt Sahib which is situated in the southern direction of the fort behind the Government sarai. The 14 weights used by him are still preserved in this Gurdwara.

At the place where Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji was detained when his accounts were being checked on the basis of a false complaint made to Nawab Daulat Khan that he was giving away grains liberally now stands Gurdwara Kothari Sahib. On checking the accounts, however, it was found that in the granary there were more grains than necessary.

The principal shrine at Sultanpur Lodhi is Gurdwara Ber Sahib which is situated on the bank of the rivulet Kali Bein which is at a distance of half a kilometre from the old town in the western direction. During his stay at Sultanur Lodhi Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji after performing his morning ablutions in the rivulet Kali Bein would sit under a ber (jujuba) tree to meditate. This tree is still extant.At this place Bhora Sahib is also present where Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji sat for meditation. At the place where he meditated the thara (platform) on which he sat still exists. At this sacred place now stands the spacious and elegant Gurdwara Ber Sahib.

One morning after meditation he disappeared into this stream and reappeared three days later at a spot 2 kms upstream which is now known as Sant Ghat. At this place now stands Gurdwara Sant Ghat Sahib. During these three days he had an intimate communication with the Divine. On his reappearance he uttered the words 'Na Ko Hindu, Na Musalman' (there is no Hindu, there is no Musalman). He also uttered the 'Mul Mantra' the opening clause of Japji Sahib.

By uttering the words that 'there is no Hindu, there is no Musalman'. he reconciled the two warring communities into one brotherhood. Because of this utterance he was called by Nawab Daulat Khan to explain his position and also to participate in Namaz (muslim prayer) with him. The Nawab and the Qazi recited the Namaz but Guru Sahib stood aside. Being asked as to why he had not joined them he told them that their minds were engrossed in something else and not the Namaz. He told them that the Qazi was thinking of his new-born mare which he was afraid might fall in a nearby well and that the Nawab was engrossed in purchasing horses in Kabul. They both fell at his feet. At the site of the mosque to which Nawab Daulat Khan had invited Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji to join him in the Namaz, now stands Gurdwara Antaryamta Sahib.

As mentioned earlier Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji had come to Sultanpur Lodhi approximately at the age of 15-16 and stayed here for 14 years, 9 month and 13 days. It was at Sultanpur Lodhi that on September 24, 1487 he was married to Bibi Sulakkhani Ji daughter of Mool Chand Ji and Bibi Chando Rani Ji of Batala, District Gurdaspur, Punjab. They had two sons (Baba) Sri Chand Ji (born 1494) and Baba Lakhmi Das Ji (born 1497). At the site of the premises where Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji resided with his wife and children which falls in the interior of the town stands Gurdwara Guru Ka Bagh.



In Sultanpur Lodhi there is one Gurdwara in the sacred memory of Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji who in 1604 on his way to Dalla for the marriage of his son (Sri Guru) Hargobind Sahib stayed overnight. This Gurdwara is named Gurdwara Sehra Sahib.

After the revelation in Kali Bein Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji left his service in the granary and leaving behind his family embarked on udasis (long tours) on his mission to preach the God's message. At this time he was about 29-30 years old. His first tour which was the longest and lasted for about seven years was to the east. After this udasi he came to Sultanpur Lodhi for a short visit and then started his second udasi which was to the south, the third udasi was to the north and the fourth to the west.

During his parchar (preaching) campaigns he gave the message to the masses as engrained in Mūl Mantra which are the opening lines of Japji Sahib as well as of Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

"(ik) oaṅkār satinām kartā purakhu nirbhau nirvairu akāl mūrati ajūnī saibhaṅ gurprasādi"

"God is one; call Him Eternal truth; He is the Supreme creator; He knows no fear and is at enmity with none. His being is Timeless and Formless; He is autogenous, attainable through the grace of the Guru".

He also propagated the cardinal principle "Nam Japo, Kirat Karo, Wand Chhako". Around 1521 after his four udasis he came to the village Pakkhoke also known as Pakkhoke Randhave now called Dera Baba Nanak which is situated on the left side of river Ravi and falls in District Gurdaspur of Punjab. At this place his wife and children were staying with his wife's parents. On reaching this village he alighted at the irrigational well of Bhai Ajitta Randhawa Ji, the headman of Pakkhoke. The members of Guru Sahib's family came to this place and his devotees began to flock to this place.

At the insistence of his family and devotees including Bhai Ajitta Randhawa Ji, Bhai Doda Ji and Bhai Karori Mal Ji he decided to make his permanent abode in the vicinity. Thus, shortly thereafter he moved to the other side of the river Ravi and founded a habitation naming it 'Kartarpur' meaning 'the abode of God' which now falls in Narowal District of Pakistan. He made this place his permanent abode and lived here with his family for 18 years. He also invited his parents Mehta Kalu Ji and Mata Tripta Ji to stay there. From then onwards he lived at Kartarpur Sahib. At this place in addition to religious preaching he gave a written version to his religious preachings. During his 18-year stay at Kartarpur Sahib he did farming. He also gave a practical shape to his preaching 'Nam Japo, Kirat Karo, Wand Chhako'. In Kartarpur Sahib at the place where Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji had set up a dharamsal as a place of congregational worship Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, Kartarpur has been established .

Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji left for his heavenly abode on 22 September, 1539 at Kartarpur Sahib. Before leaving for his heavenly abode on September 22, 1539 he declared Bhai Lehna Ji whom he had re-named as 'Angad' as his successor. Thus, Sri Guru Angad Dev Ji became the second prophet-teacher of the Sikhs. Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji's parents Mehta Kalu Ji and Mata Tripta Ji had left for their heavenly abode earlier in 1539. Mata Sulakkhani Ji left for her heavenly abode after Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji also at Kartarpur Sahib.

After Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji left for his heavenly abode, the Hindus and Muslims wrangled over his mortal remains each claiming him to be their prophet. But there they found only a chadar (cloth sheet) instead of his body. Each of the two communities took one-half of this cloth. The Hindus and the Sikhs put their portion of the cloth in an urn and constructed a dehura (samadh) and the Muslims built a grave. But the waters of river Ravi started eroding its right bank threatening Guru Sahib's samadh. Therefore, his elder son Baba Sri Chand Ji got the urn exhumed from Kartarpur Sahib and burried it on the left bank of the river Ravi at Thara Sahib, built at the site of Ajitts Randhawa Ji's well where Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji had sat on his arrival to Pakkhoke Randhave after his four udasis. At this place a small habitation grew which came to be called 'Dehura Baba Nanak'. The word dehura means samadh or mausoleum. Popular usage changed the word dehura into dera (abode) and the place got the name Dera Baba Nanak.

Later on Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji's grandson Baba Dharam Das Ji, son of Guru Sahib's younger son Baba Lakhmi Das Ji founded the habitation now named as Dera Baba Nanak. At the site of the original Dehra now stands a spacious and elegant shrine Gurdwara Dera Baba Nanak Sahib.

In the sacred memory of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji in Dera Baba Nanak there is another shrine named Gurdwara Langar Mandir Chola Sahib which was established by Baba Kabuli Mal Ji, a descendent of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji who had procured a chola (loose gown) believed to have been presented by a Muslim devotee to Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji during his stay at Baghdad after his visit to Mecca and Madina. Baba Kabuli Mal Ji had brought this Chola Sahib to Dera Baba Nanak on March 1, 1828 and built a room in which it was installed three days later. Since then every year from 21st to 23rd Phagun the last desi month which corresponds to the months of February-March a congregation is arranged during which langar (free community meal) is arranged for the pilgrims who come to have darshan (holy gimpse) of this chola sahib.

The aerial distance between Dera Baba Nanak, District Gurdaspur, Punjab and Kartarpur Sahib, District Narowal, Pakistan is approximately 1½ kms. Currently preparations are underway on both sides of the Indo-Pak border to construct a Corridor to allow the devotees from the Indian side to have darshan (holy glimpse) of Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, Kartarpur and pay their obeisance on the auspicious occasion of 552ND Birth Anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji the great spiritual teacher and social reformer which fell on 19 November. This corridor provides an access to the pilgrims to have darshan of this sacred place on a permanent basis. Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji's 552 ND Birth Anniversary was celebrated on November 19, 2021 all over the world with great pomp and show.


Gurudwara Ber Sahib, Sultanpur Lodhi

Gurdwara Sri Sant Ghat, Sultanpur Lodhi

Gurdwara Sri Hatt Sahib,

Gurdwara Sri Kothri Sahib, Sultanpur Lodhi Sultanpur Lodhi

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