Gurdwara janam Asthan Nankana Sahib: More Historical Facts
Bhola vaid na jaaneie karak Kaleje maah. (P. 1279)
Guru Nanak Dev Ji stayed at his birthplace up til 35 years of age and hereafter went to Sultanpur.
For a long time, this place remained in normal form. In A.D. 1613 (Samwat 1670), Guru Hargobind visited the birth place of Guru Nanak and entrusted the responsibility of looking after this place to Alamst, an ardent disciple of Baba Sri Chand. Since then Udasis, (the followers of Guru Nanak’s Son) looked after this place for a long time.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh got a magnificent building built there and at the behest of Baba Sahib Singh, the Maharaja gave 700 acres land as religious endowment to his holy shrine but the Udasis continued to maintain the place. They had the charge of this place during the times full of stress and strife for the Sikhs But with the passage of time, in early 20th century, these Udasis Mahants began to treat this revenue free jagir as their personal property and indulged in erotic and luxurious life. To get these historical Gurdwaras from the hands of these apostates the Gurdwara Prabandh Sudhar Movement was started. One peaceful Jatha that entered Gurdwara Janam Asthan was mercilessly hacked by the mercenaries of Mahant Narain Dass. Even the holy Sri Guru Granth Sahib was made target of their bullets. Many a people belonging to this jatha were tied to a Jand and burnt alive. The Martyred half-burnt bodies were thrown into the well.
This incident gave such an impetus to the Gurdwara Reform Movement that the Mahants had to handover the shrines to the Sikh Sangats. The magnificent building of this gurdwara along with the beautiful gardens, enthralls the onlookers and devotees. There is a big sarovar and a spacious inn which provides accommodation to the pilgrims. The historical Jand and the well are still existing, telling the tale of atrocities perpetuated by Mahant Narain Dass on simple-hearted and peace-loving Sikhs. According to Bhai Kahn Singh Nabha, the auther of Gurshabd Ratnakar Mahan Kosh, this shrine had 18 thousand acres of land attached to it and a cash endowment of Rs. nine thousand eight hundred and ninety two also.
By the partition of the Indian sub-continent, the Sikhs not only lost many lives, wealth etc. but also their most loved and revered shrines which went to the other side of the border. After this partition, a mention of Nankana Sahib Gurdwara in the daily ardasa or prayer has become a regular feature. These Sikh shrines in Pakistan are managed by a Waqf Board and every year, Sikh Jathas visit these shrines on four different occasions.
At present there are 25-30 Sikh families residing in Nankana Sahib and as a result of this, daily service is performed and bani is recited. Bhai Partap Singh is functioning as the Granthi. At the occassion of Guru Nanak’s anniversary, about three thousand Sikh devotees from India visit Nankana Sahib. Sikhs from all over the world come there too.