Sri Hargobindpur

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(45 km south of Gurdaspur, Dist. Gurdaspur) Guru Arjun Dev, the 5th Guru, founded the town of Sri-Hargobindpur in 1595 AD in memory of his son Hargobind’s birth in that year, as the child was the only son born to the Guru Arjan Dev after many prayers.

In another account, Guru Hargobind, the 6th Guru, laid the foundation of the new town near a tiny village, Ruhela, on the right bank of the river Beas. He liked the place so much that he decided to build a town on an open space available on the bank of the river. This brought him into conflict with Chaudhry Bhagwan Dass of the Gherer tribe who was killed in a squabble. The local population was so thankful for deliverance from the tyranny of the Chaudhry, they helped the Guru in the construction of the town which came to be called Sri Hargobindpur after the Guru. Plans for this city show an organic village enclosed by walls with five gates though only one of the original walls remain.

In 1630, the Mughals tried to confiscate the town by force which brought the Guru into conflict with the Mughal army which he defeated. At the site of this historic battle, now stands a magnificent shrine called Gurdwara Damdama Sahib. The Gurdwara Granthia was built here by Guru Hargobind to teach granthees and is owned by a family associated with the army of Guru Hargobind. After the battle with the Mughals, Guru Hargobind showed his respect and tolerance of other religions by not only building a Gurdwara but also ordering the building of a mosque for Muslims called Guru ki Maseet. This structure, recently conserved under the UNESCO Culture of Peace program, was given into the care of the Nihang Sikh community when the Muslim caretakers had to leave during Partition. Today, it is an important shrine for both Sikhs and Muslims. Guru Hargobind’s own house is now a place of pilgrimage as well and is now the Gurdwara Man Sahib.

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