Gurudwara Shri Paonta Sahib                                                           <<Back  Next >>

BRIEF HISTORY OF GURUDWARA SHRI PAONTA SAHIB

VIEW OF GURUDWARA PAONTA SAHIB DURING MID 1970's

The city of Paonta Sahib situated on the bank of river Yamuna in Himachal Pradesh, got inhabited by Kalgidhar Patshah Guru Gobind Singh Ji eternalizes many significant events of our history. This is the only city in the soil, the keystone of which was laid by the Guru with his own holy hands. It goes without saying that the city was named by the Guru as well. It is on this very place that Guru Gobind Singh during his life time fought the first battle in the battlefield of Bhangani against the neighboring rajas of Bai- Dhar. The Guru gathered together the untrained force of the volunteers where as the raja has an army of 20,000 rained warriors. Nevertheless the Guru registered a crushing defeat on them. The Guru stayed at this place in the city of Nahan for more than four years. It was here that the eldest Sahibzada Ajit Singh was born. The Guru composed much of the santicified literature here on the banks of river Yamuna.

Guru was in Anandpur Sahib when Raja Rattan Singh of Assan paid homage to him. This family had an association with Guru Nanak since the time of Guru Teg Bahadur. The raja presented the gift of a magnificent elephant to Guru along with other expensive & rare articles. The hauda erected onthe elephant for the purpose of riding was very captivating. The raja made an appeal to the Guru that his delight lay in the fact that the holy Guru himself make the use of this valuables & grace the elephant by personal rides.

It became the talk of the town that such unique elephant & other objects were not found anywhere in the country with any other state. The city of Anandpur was situated within the jurisdiction of the state of Raja Bhim Chand. Resultantly he thought of attaining the elephant for his own darbar. But the problem was of making the demand of the elephant from the Guru himself. On the eve of the wedding of his son, Bhim Chand send a minister to the Guru's presence for borrowing the prasadi hathi & other objects. The Guru could very well notice his malafied intention. Moreover it was already the craving of Raja Rattan Singh the sole rider if the hathi must be Guru himself & no one else. Consequently Guru refused to lend the elephant. Bhim Chand not only got annoyed but also became Guru's bitterest foe. He made up his mind to take the forcible possession of the elephant by facing the Guru in the battlefield.  Bhai Sahib Bhai Vir Singh believes that dictates of Aurangzeb to Raja Bhim Chand was the main reason for enemity between Guru Ji & Bhim Chand. According to BhaiVir Singh after the martyrdom of Guru Teg Bahadur, Auranjzeb remained under the impression that Sikh religious order would be rooted out or atleast Sikhs would not be able to raise their voices. He little knew that he had the sanction of the Almighty in his gross roots. Resultantly Guru Gobind Singh has commenced preaching Sikhism velmently at Anandpur Sahib on a very large scale. He assigned the preaching job to prominent Sikhs & gave importance to Katha & Kirtan in Sikhism. He also encouraged the heroic dignity like his grandfather. Such like news were not convenient to Auranjzeb who wished that this sect should be compressed without using apparent force. Therefore he felt it imperative to extend his patronage to raja of Kahlur who made stringent efforts to subdue the Guru. The Jangnamah  Guru Gobind Singh throws appropriate hints on this point.

Bhai Vir Singh further clarifies this issue . As has already been pointed out that the Raja of     Kahlur Started attempting to dominate the Guru and demanded many valuables from him. He also tried to make him round on many issues against the agreement of the purchase of the land of Makhowal . He felt that the Guru would be easily subdued if he was made to agree on the issue of Makhowal . Otherwise he would be forced to face the foe in the battle field , thus receiving the compliments from Aurangzeb .

The  Rajas of Bai-dhar were constantly quarreling with one another. Some territory of Raja Medni Prakash of Nahan was captured by Raja Fateh Shah of Garhwal and the former was not capable of getting it back from his hands. Medni Prakash who was the 33rd Raja of Nahan had a council with his ministers and Rishi Kalpi , a prominent religious personality. Both of them argued that since he had full confidence in the house of Guru Nanak, There could not be any reason why his ninth successor Guru Gobind Singh was not invited in the state . It was quite in the fitness of things to take his shelter and recently he would resolve the whole problem. Bhai Vir Singh ,while referring to the invitation of Raja of Nahan writes:

Raja of   Nahan and the Raja of Garhwal were not on good terms with each other . The Raja of nahan was eager that the Guru should shift and settle in his state so that there might prevail peace with Fateh Shah , the ruler of Garhwal. In the far of Doon ,Ram Rai was in favour of Fateh Shah of Garhwal who was enjoying the eternal solace on account of the formers spiritual blessing. The Raja grinding his on axe by the presence of the Guru in his own territory, thus though of the union of religion with patience. He thus , very respectfully extented an invitation to the Guru. The Guru was pleased to honour the Sangat by accepting there request but made a insuring war which was threatening them.

The Raja of Nahan requested the Guru to oblige the former by visiting his state which was accepted by the Guru. The Guru fully realized that in view of the striking conflict with Raja Bhimchand of  Kahlur it would not be possible to engage seriously with the work of writing literature as it required peacefull environment.Moreover , it was also not dis arrival to prepare the next plan of action while sitting at Anandpur Sahib . In view of this the Guru satisfied the state of Nahan with his holy presence and was given a warm welcome by Raja Medni Prakash His ministers and hundred of followers of the house of Guru Nanak.

The Guru stayed in the city of Nahan and made a short sojourn of the area . He visited many places . On reaching the present place where rthe city of Paonta Sahib is now situated on the bank of the Yamuna , the Guru liked the natural surroundings very much and made up his mind to stay here. While giving a discription of Paonta Sahib and its history in an interesting way through a dialogue between Bhai sham Singh and Bhai Ram Singh the city of Paonta Sahib is described by Bhai Vir Singh in the words ('where now stands the city of Paonta Sahib ')This western side of the Yamuna is known as Sirmor-di-dun . The dun of Ram Rai is situated on the east of Yamuna which is called Dehradun on account of Dera of Baba Ram Rai . But the area where the Guru established his Dera is known as Kiar-di-dun. Here the Guru got built a fort on the bank of theYamuna for his residential purpose . In the vicinity of the fort , the Guru made arrangement for a cantonment . Bhai Santokh Singh writes that the Guru founded a city and named it Paonta, a site to keep the feet on.

While describing the most impressing environment and the Yamuna, in the vicinity of Paonta Sahib, Bhai Vir Singh writes : The Yamuna passes between the two Duns, Just a bit below Kalsi after crossing the Himalayas. There is a road bridge. It turns to the west near the Paonta after flowing between the two Duns through the Shivalik Hills. It makes a circuit its speed looks very appropriate and captivating. The place where the Guru sets up his Dera on the bank of Yamunwitnessed the construction of a fort like building within a few days. Side by side a townbegan to be developed for the inhabitation and trade of the people. Raja Medni Prakash gave the whole of this land to the Guru. Subsequently, six hundred bighas of more land was registered in the name of the Guru's Dera. This self inhabited place was named Paonta by the Guru himself. Bhai Kahn Singh of Nabha in his Mohan Kosh has given three connotations of this word:......in which a foot can be kept ; a foot hold;a shoe; the floor lying before the house where a guest  enters after keeping his foo there on. All these names can be associated with this name. As said before, the Guru him self named Paonta.   

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