Saturday, February 28, 2009

Gurudwara Kotha Sahib near Amritsar

In Sikhism, the places visited by Sikh gurus during their lifetimes, have been developed into pilgrimage spots. One such place happens to be Village Vallah located near Amritsar. This place was visited by the ninth Sikh Guru, Tegh Bahadur.

And, about four miles from the holy city in village Vallah stands a magnificent edifice - Gurudwara Guru ka Kotha meaning Guru’s house.It is said Guru Tegh Bahadur, while leaving Amritsar, visited this village.

Legend has it that when Guru Tegh Bahadur visited the Golden Temple after becoming Guru, priests denied him entry. The Guru thereafter went to Vallah and was entertained by Mai Haro. Her house is where the gurudwara ‘Guru ka Kotha’ now stands. "When people of Amritsar came to know that Guru Teg Bahadurji was not allowed to enter the Golden Temple and he came to this place, they came here to take the Guru back. Guruji refused to go, but blessed the people saying that if people of Amritsar visited this Gurudwara during the fair on full moon day, they would remain happy.

Today, the holy place is visited not only by people from Punjab, but from all across the country," said Baldev Singh, the head priest of Gurudwara Kotha Sahib.

Every year, a large number of devotees throng the holy spot to celebrate the annual fair, held on the full moon day. The month-long fair that starts on February 6 is a unique example of ardent faith and devotion.

Born in Amritsar, Guru Tegh Bahadur was the youngest of the five sons of Guru Har Gobind. His father gave the name Tegh Bahadur meaning mighty of the sword to him for showing valour during a battle with the Mughals. During his young years Tegh Bahadur fought along his fathers’ side but after Guru Hargobind’s fierce and bloody battle in 1634 at Kartarpur, he turned to the path of renunciation and meditation.

Guru Tegh Bahadur’s 17-day stay at village Valla proved to be a blessing for the villagers.

"We come here every year to make wishes and all our wishes are fulfilled. People from all parts of the world come here to visit this gurudwara," said Baljinder Singh, one devotee. People visit this holy place irrespective of their caste or creed and set an example of brotherhood and unity. At the gurudwara, they enjoy the Langar or, community meal upholding the principle of equality.