A magnificent and spacious bungalow in Delhi owned by Raja Jai Singh Amber (Jaipur) who commanded great respect and honour in the court of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb now enjoys the status of a holy Shrine called Gurdwara Bangla Sahib. The eighth Guru Sri Harkishan had stayed here for a few months as guest of Raja Jai Singh. Since then it has become a place of pilgrimage for both, Hindus and Sikhs. They pay their respect to the memory of Guru HarKishan, nominated as successor by the seventh Guru, Sri Har Rai. He passed away on October 6, 1661 A.D. When only a little over five year old, he had been tried and tested as a perfect fearless and fully illuminated soul.
Baba Ram Rai, his elder brother became much perturbed when he learnt that Har Krishan had been appointed the spiritual head. He tried in vain to influence the leading Sikhs of Delhi and Punjab. Later he approached Emperor Aurangzeb to help him acquire the Gurugadi. Consequently, Aurangzeb agreed to summon Guru HarKishan to see whether he was really superior and more spiritual.
Fortunately both Raja Jai Singh and his son Raja Ram Singh were in Delhi at that time. When approached by Sikhs for help, they agreed to assist them in their predicament.
The Rajput chief took over the responsibility of persuading Guru HarKishan to come to Delhi and also gained assurance from the Emperor that as long as he (the Emperor) was not satisfied about the succession issue, Guru HarKishan would stay with him in his bungalow as guest.
During his stay in Delhi. the Guru spent most of his time in serving the humble, the sick and the destitutes for cholera and smallpox were spreading in an epidemic form. He distributed medicines, food and clothes to the needy. He also directed Diwan Dargah Mal to spend all the daily offerings made by the people to the Guru for the poor. The Guru won more admirers. Soon stories about his healing powers spread throughout the city.
A small tank was constructed by Raja Jai Singh over the welL Nowadays, the faithful take home this water as amrit to cure their ailments. The Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee runs a hospital in the basement of the Gurudwara building. Besides, the Khalsa Girls School is located in the adjoining building. A tank 225 x 235 ft with 18 ft wide Parikarma and 12 ft wide varandah along its three sides has been constructed entirely with people’s contnbution and voluntary labour.
The Art Gallery located in the basement of the Gurdwara is also very popular with visitors. They evince keen interest in the paintings depicting historical events connected with Sikh history. It is named after the Sikh General Sardar Bhagel Singh who supervised the construction of nine Sikh Shrines in Delhi in 1783 during the time of Shah Alam II.
The Secretary, Management Committee, Gurdwara Bangla Sahib, Ashok Road (near Connaught Place), New Delhi Pin code 110001
Ashok Road (near Connaught Place), New Delhi, Ncr Delhi, India, 110001
Telephone: 91-11-23365486, 23342871
Tags: Guru HarKrishan