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A Visit To Gurudwara Bangla Sahib - New Delhi, India
About Gurudwara Bangla Sahib
Gurudwara in India means a Sikh place of worship or a Sikh temple. On a recent trip to New Delhi I, along with my wife and her brother-in-law, decided to visit one historical Sikh temple called Gurudwara Bangla Sahib located at Connaught place, in New Delhi.
(Sahib is thus written and spoken, as a form of respect to someone of high authority. Sikhs, therefore, call their Holy book as Guru Granth Sahib. Guru Granth Sahib is considered a living Guru; a living entity).
All Sikh gurudwaras are constructed in the Sikh architectural style with domes. A tall flagpole called Nishan Sahib is installed in the Gurudwara complex of all gurudwaras.
[Nishan means a symbol and Nishan Sahib symbolizes the presence of a Sikh Gurudwara. It is actually a triangular flag bearing an emblem and made of cotton or silk cloth. It is mounted on a wooden or metal pole and installed in the gurudwara complex]
The main building has golden domes atop it. Gurudwara Bangla sahib is associated with the eighth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Harkrishan Sahib.
There is a sarovar (pond) in the Gurudwara complex. All sarovars inside the gurudwaras are considered holy and their water is called "Amrit" or "nectar". Amrit has healing powers.
Gurudwara Bangla Sahib was originally a bungalow that was first completed in 1664. The word Bangla means bungalow. It was then rebuilt in 1783 by the Sikh General, Sardar Baghel Singh. The present form of Gurudwara Bangla Sahib took shape after India attained independence.
A Personal Visit To Gurudwara Bangla Sahib
History Of Gurudwara Bangla Sahib
Bangla Sahib was the bungalow of an Indian King, Raja Jai Singh, and it was then known as Jaisinghpura Palace located in an area called Jaisingh Pura. Today this area is called Connaught place which is a famous shopping place in New Delhi.
The 8th Sikh Guru, Guru Harkrishan Sahib stayed at this bungalow in 1664. When an epidemic of smallpox and cholera struck the city of Delhi back then, Guruji tended to the sick and provided medicines, food and water from this place. Due to his proximity with sick people, Guruji contracted small pox soon after. He succumbed to it on 30 March 1664. He was just 7 years old at the time of his death and was the youngest amongst all Sikh Gurus to have been appointed Guru at the age of 5 years.
A sarovar or pond was constructed at the place of the well from where water was provided to the sick people then. This sarovar water is healing in nature and people who visit Gurudwara Bangla Sahib take this holy water back home, with them.
Gurudwara Bangla Sahib is thus a very much revered Gurudwara of historical and religious significance.
Today, within the Gurudwara complex, apart from the main worship building, a sarovar, a community kitchen, a school, an art gallery/museum, a library and a hospital exist.
A new multi level car parking has been built recently. The Gurudwara hall and the Langar (community kitchen) hall have been air conditioned.
The community kitchen is open to people of all religions, rich or poor. While in the entire Gurudwara complex, including the community kitchen, people are supposed to cover their heads with a handkerchief, scarf or headgear and walk barefoot out of reverence to the sanctity of the place. There is a shoe minding room at the entrance where one leaves one's footwear before proceeding inside.
Jantar MantarClick thumbnail to view full-size
Some Tourist Attractions Near Gurudwara Bangla Sahib
A few places of tourist interest around Gurudwara Bangla Sahib can be clubbed with the visit to the Sikh temple. The following are a few prominent ones.
During the Mughal rule, Jantar Mantar was an astronomical laboratory. Maharaja Jai Singh who was a great mathematician built this. The observatory relayed the time and the solar and lunar movements then.
JanpathClick thumbnail to view full-size
Janpath is one of the main markets of New Delhi. It is adjacent to Palika Bazaar. It also houses the Janpath market which is very price friendly and is thus frequented by budget travellers and tourists
One can find curios, garments, handicrafts etc along with many fast food outlets in Janpath market.
It is an underground shopping complex. Lots of cheap stuff like apparels,electronic products, footwear etc can be bought cheap here. Explore your bargaining power and get good deals here.
Connaught PlaceClick thumbnail to view full-size
Connaught place is officially named as Rajiv chowk and is one of the biggest commercial, business and financial hubs in Delhi. Several Indian firms have their head offices here.
Way To Reach Gurudwara Bangla Sahib
Nearest metro station is Rajiv chowk. Catch a taxi, autorickshaw or a cycle rickshaw to reach the gurudwara.
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Accommodation Around Bangla Sahib Gurudwara
One can stay in the Yatri Niwas run by the Gurudwara or stay in some hotels mentioned below that are near the Gurudwara. All are located around and in Connaught place.
- The Park- A 5* Hotel
- Apartment 52 - About 300 meters from the Rajiv chowk metro station
- Hotel Asian International - A budget friendly hotel.
- The Metropolitan Hotel & Spa - An upscale hotel with innovative design, modern technology and eco-friendly practices
- Connaught Hotel - A business class hotel
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© 2012 Rajan Singh Jolly