Guru Nanak Jayanti: The 550th birthday celebrations of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji take place on November 12. ‘Gurudwara’ means the ‘gateway to guru’ as the word can be divided into ‘Guru’ and ‘Dwara’. The holy place is open to everyone regardless of their respective faith. It is the significant place of worship for Sikhs. Though some of major Gurdwaras associated with the life of Shri Guru Nanak Dev ji are now in Pakistan, there are some distinguished Gurdwaras in India as well which are closely associated with his life. Visiting these Gurdwaras on the occasion of his Parkash Purab will be a divine experience. You can offer your prayers on his 550th birth anniversary there. Here are 5 Gurdwaras in India which are associated with the life of Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji:
Gurdwara Sri Ber Sahib:
This Gurdwara is situated on the bank of the river Kali Bein near Sultanpur Lodhi, in Punjab. Shri Guru Nanak Dev ji used to perform his ablutions in the river Bein. It was here that he meditated under a Ber (plum) tree for 14 years. According to legends, he disappeared under its waters one day only to emerge three days later as the enlightened Guru. His first words upon his emergence were that there is no Hindu, no Mussalman. The Gurdwara’s ground marks the place he entered the rivulet. Built by the Maharaja of Kapurthala in the mid 20th century, the Gurdwara has a three-storeyed building with a marble sanctum, octagonal pillars and stucco designs on its entrance.
Gurdwara Khandh Sahib:
The name of this Gurudwara comes from ‘kachi khandh’ or mud wall which stood at the site of the Gurdwara in accordance with local traditions during Shri Guru Nanak Dev ji’s wedding. It is located at Kandhli gate, Batala Punjab.
He sat beside the wall awaiting formal reception by his hosts. An old lady at the time had pointed out the dilapidated condition of the wall to which he reassured that it was safe. Thus, the wall became a revered object for his devotees. They even constructed a memorial in front of it. A mud wall encased in glass and plastered neatly next to Guru Granth Sahib is a symbolic representation of the previous one.
Gurdwara Pathar Sahib:
25 miles away from Leh lies Gurdwara Pathar Sahib. It is situated on the Leh-Kargil road and is situated 12,000 ft above sea level. It was built in 1517 AD in order to commemorate Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji’s visit to Ladakh. During his lifetime, Shri Guru Nanak Dev traveled to many places and even went to Tibet. Some Tibetans even rever Guru Nanak Dev ji as a Buddhist monk with the name, Guru Gopka Maharaj, according to the Dalai Lama.
Situated near Diyuri village in the Champawat district of Uttarakhand this Gurudwara holds special significance for Sikhs. Along with Bhai Mardan ji, Shri Guru Nanak Dev ji himself visited the place. He asked Mardan ji to eat a reetha (soapnut) as they were sitting under its tree. Usually slightly bitter, the reetha had tasted sweet. Nearby ascetics got wonder-struck by this feat. Later, all reethas where Shri Guru Nanak Dev ji sat were found to have turned sweet.
Gurdwara Shri Pehli Patshahi
Gurdwara Shri Pehli Patshahi means the Gurdwara of the first master. It is situated near Lakhpat in Gujarat. Shri Guru Nanak Dev ji visited here during his first and fourth udasis (missionary journeys). He visited the site on his way towards Mecca during his fourth udasi. His rare personal possessions are retained in this Gurdwara. Thus, making it a must-visit place for any devotee.
The government of Punjab is also hosting events on the occasion of the birthday of Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji. A trip to any of the above Gurdwaras to offer your prayers would be a must on the 550th Parkash Purab of Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji.