Monday, 2 October 2017

Gurdwara Sacha Sauda


At the age of eighteen, Guru Nanak Sahib Ji, was sent by his father Mehta Kalu to the city to do business. His father was disappointed that Guru Sahib's mind was not into farming and other worldly work, therefore, he thought perhaps engaging him in trade would firstly, be a good profitable profession, and secondly his son would be happy all day talking to his clients about his business.

Thinking this way and choosing an auspicious day, Mehta Kalu called Bhai Mardana Ji to accompany Guru Sahib. Mehta Kalu gave twenty rupees to Guru Nanak and Bhai Mardana Ji and said, 'Go with Nanak. Buy and bring some genuine goods by selling of which we may make profit. In this way if you make a profitable transaction, next time I will send you with more money to buy goods.'

Guru Nanak and Bhai Mardana Ji started from Talwandi Sabo towards Chuharkana (now known as Farooqabad) to purchase some merchandise. They had hardly gone ten or twelve miles from the village when they came across a village, where the people were starving, thirsty and sick due to lack of water and an outbreak of disease.

Guru Nanak Sahib Ji said to Bhai Mardana Ji, 'Father has asked us to carry out some profitable transaction. No bargain can be more truly profitable than to feed and clothe the needy. I cannot leave this true bargain. It is seldom that we get an opportunity to carry out some profitable transaction like this.'

Guru Nanak took all the money to the next nearest village dwelling, where he bought plentiful supply of food and brought water for these people. Guru Sahib invested the twenty rupees into what we today call 'Langar'.

Eis bhaekh ai thhaavahu gireho bhal aa jithhahu ko varas aae || 
'Instead of wearing these beggar's robes, it is better to be a householder, and give to others.' 
(Guru Granth Sahib, Ang 587)

As well as bringing food and water to the villagers, Bhai Mardana Ji and Guru Sahib brought clothes for with the money that was left. Taking leave from the villagers, they started back 'empty-handed'. When his father admonished him for squandering his hard earned cash, Guru Nanak said that that was the best bargain he could have made.

Many years later, Sikhs built at the village of Sacha Sauda built a Gurdwara in memory of Guru Nanak's kindness which in due course became a popular Sikh site attracting visitors from near and far.

A land endowment of over 100 acres (250 bighas) was made to the Gurdwara during the Sikh Empire by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The Gurdwara formerly administered by udasi priests was occupied by Jathedar Kartar Siá¹…gh Jhabbar on behalf of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee on 30th December 1920. At the time of its evacuation in the wake of the partition of the country in 1947, it had a huge fortress like, three storey building with domed towers.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Kasab Khana Mosque

This elegant mosque is situated just south of the Pakistan Railways Carriage and Wagon Shops and along the northern boundary of the Royal Palm Golf Club. During the time of Emperor Jahangir, a populous 'mohalla' or neighbourhood was established here to settle the butchers, hence the area came to be called Mohalla Kasaban or the Butchers' Quarters. The butchers were settled far out east of the city as the city's Hindu population despised them for their line of work. 

The mosque was built by the mohalla people in 1649 AD. With Mugal power dwindling in the mid 1700s, the Sikhs targeted the Butchers' Quarters twice and were warded off by the inhabitants. There were numerous smaller skirmishes due to which they eventually abandoned the mohalla to settle within the city walls. During this time, Kabuli Mal, who had been appointed by Ahmed Shah Durrani, was the governor of Lahore. In the time of Ranjit Singh, the mosque was used as a powder-magazine and was in the occupation of General Gulab Singh, who divested it of its beautiful tank and used the bricks to build a house just north of the mosque. When the Sikh rule ended and the mosque was emptied of ammunition, it was occupied by Mian Ahmed Din who was the caretaker of Mian Wadda's Shrine and School on the claim that Mian Jan Muhammed, who at one time was the first imam of the mosque, was a disciple of Maulvi Muhammed Ismail alias Mian Wadda. Jan Muhammed was a learned man of his time and died in 1671 AD and was buried in a walled enclosure to the north of the mosque.

Presently, the mosque is known as Taj Din Mosque (presumably some relation to Mian Ahmed Din).  It has three domes with the central one being significantly larger than the other two. The central arched entrance to the prayer chamber is flanked on either side by smaller ones. The facade has been renovated with modern tiles and on the inside, the domed ceiling has some beautiful cut-glass work of modern vintage. There is a peculiar tower like structure in the southeastern corner, which was presumably used for announcing call to prayer.

Monday, 11 September 2017

Smadhi of Mahan Singh father of Raja Ranjeet Singh

Mahan Singh Sukerchakia (d. 1792), was the Son of Sardar Charat Singh Sukkarchakia (d. 1770), and Mai Desan (d. 1778). He had a Sister named Raj Kaur, who later got married to Sardar Sahib Singh Dhillon (d. 1811), of Bhangi Misl.

He was married to Bibi Raj Kaur, the daughter of Rajah Gajpat Singh (d. 1789), a Sidhu Jatt of the royal Phulkian Jind State. His second marriage was to Bibi Mai Kaur, the daughter of Sardar Jai Singh, a Maan Jatt chieftain of village Mughal Chak, near Gujranwala, where the HQ of Mahan Singh was located. Bibi Raj Kaur, gave birth, to Ranjit Singh in 1780, at Gujranwala, who was destined to become the Sikh ruler of the Punjab, in 1799. Bibi Mai Kaur, also gave birth to a Son, he became the foster brother of Ranjit Singh.

Mahan Singh as the new leader of the Sukerchakia Misl he captured the Rohtas Fort from Nur ud-Din Bamezai, a general of Ahmad Shah Durrani. With the help of Jai Singh Kanheya he laid a four month siege to Rasool Nagar and captured the city from Pir Mohammed, its Chattha leader. The reputation he gained as a result of the siege led to Sardars loyal to the Bhangi Misl defecting to him He continued to expand his territory and captured Pindi Bhattian, Sahiwal, Isakhel, Kotli Loharan, and Jhang. In 1784-5, He used a feud between rulers to raid Jammu, but because he gained a great degree of wealth without sharing or informing his partner Jai Singh Kanheya, Jai Singh refused his attempts to reconcile. Maha Singh then created an alliance with Jassa Singh Ramgarhia and defeated the Kanheya Misl at the Battle of Batala. During the Battle of Batala Jai Singh Kanheya's son and successor, Gurbaksh Singh Kanheya, was killed.
His widow, Sada Kaur betrothed her daughter to Ranjit Singh, Maha Singh's Son. Sada Kaur would later succeed to the leadership of the Kanheya Misl and aided Ranjit Singh in his early victories. In 1792, he died during the siege of Sodhra in Gujranwala, which was being occupied by the Bhangi Misl.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Sunset & River Jhelum (Pictorial Blog) 260317

Jhelum River is a river that flows in India and Pakistan. It is the largest and most western of the five rivers of Punjab. It is a tributary of the Indus River and has a total length of about 725 km (450 mi). In its course this river takes the form of a stream, which is a lovely site for camping in the trekking. 

Course of Jhelum River 

Jhelum River originates from a spring at Verinag, which is at the foot of Pir Panjal in the south-eastern part of Kashmir Valley. It then flows through Srinagar and Wular Lake and enters Pakistan through a deep ravine. The largest tributary of the Jhelum is the Kishenganga (Neelum) River, which joins near Muzaffarabad and enters into the Punjab. 

Monday, 17 July 2017

Gurdawara Pehali Patashi Fathe Bhinder

Cultural heritage is the legacy of physical science artifacts and intangible attributes of a group or society that are inherited from past generations, maintained in the present and bestowed for the benefit of future generations.

Whereas, Tragic from the lost historical architecture is a kind of heritage, which taking last breath’s of its being and about to be vanished from ground and eyes forever. The stories absorbed inside of glorious past from decades, centuries will be end with its loss.

I was wandering in outskirts of Daska in search of a pre-partition Gurdawara which is located in Fatah Bhinder village.
Fateh Bhinder is a small village of twenty, thirty houses. The two storey Gurdawara Building can be seen from a distance. It was constructed outside the village. The elevation of building is different from found other normally Gurdawara’s in Pakistani Punjab.  The doors and windows are constructed of Colonial style buildings Pattern. The covered area of Gurdawara is around 4 kanal. The area is owned by Uqaf Department Punjab and they have given it on lease. Most of the villagers living in Fatehe bhinder were migrated from India after partition. So before partition it was a Sikh population village. Near Gurdawara there is Langer khana building (Place to feed Sikh Pilgrims) as well. There is no building of such stature exists in nearby villages.

Our historian Friend Mirza Safder Baig was also along us during exploration of this Gurdawara. He told that this Gurdwara is of Pehli Patshahi meaning the "Gurdwara of the first master”, visited by Guru Nanak Sahib during his life. Gurdwara Fatehe Bhinder Sahib has been built to preserve the memory of this visit of revered Guru.
The existing condition of Gurduwara is in very bad shape. After partition nobody has done any effort to preserve this historical building. Soon it will be all debris and the last symbol of great legacy of Sikh’s in Fatehe Bhinder will be tragically lost from history for ever.

Gurdwara Sacha Sauda