ਸਿੱਖ ਇਤਿਹਾਸ

Sultanpur Lodhi -City, Guru Nanak Sahib stayed for 14 yrs.

 Sultanpur Lodhi is a city and a Municipal Council in the Kapurthala district in the Indian state of Punjab. The town is named after its founder, Sultan Khan Lodhi, who was a general of Mahmud of Ghazni in 1103 AD and has also been mentioned in the Ain-e-Akbari. Sultanpur Lodhi is located on the south bank of a seasonal rivulet called Kali Bein, which runs 6 miles (9.7 km) north of the intersection of Beas and Sutlej Rivers, two of the Five Rivers of Punjab. The word Punj – ab, literally means land of five rivers.

Sultanpur Lodhi is one of the most important Ancient Cities of India, estimated to be established around the 1st century AD. It was a major place of meditation and knowledge for Buddhism From the 1st century to the 6th century AD. In that period, the city was known by the name ‘Sarwmanpur’. Many statues, coins, and other such objects of that time, have been found during the archeological research surveys and excavations of the city. It is also believed that the ancient Buddhist book of ‘Abinav-Prastava’ was also written here by Katiyana in the 8th century.

Sultanpur Lodhi, in those days, was not only famous for its surroundings and trade, but also for its educational institutions. The city was also called ‘Peerran Puri’ {city of monks}. Many historical religious personalities are related to Sultanpur Lodhi. Many of the tombs (Makbaras) of those monks are still present in the city. There were many Islamic schools for the study of the Qur’an (Madrasas) in the city. Two of the sons of Shah Jahan, Dara-Sikoh and Aurengzeb completed their studies in one of these famous white masjids of Sultanpur Lodhi, in which the Madrassas were usually located

When the Islamic invader Mehmood Gaznavi invaded this city, it was reduced to ashes by his army, a layer of black soil, found only a few meters below the ground level has literally left proof of that.  In the 12th century the Nawab Wali Muhammad Khan, cousin brother of Emperor of Delhi Nasir-u-din Muhammad Shah was appointed as the Hakim (ruler) of Punjab. Once one of the two sons of Hakim, Sultan Khan passed the remains of the city and was struck by the beauty of the surroundings. He decided to rebuild the city by his name so the new city of Sultanpur Lodhi rose out from the ashes of Sarwmanpur. This new city of Sultanpur Lodhi was also the center point of the old trade route between Delhi and Lahore. It was one of the major trade centers of north India at that time. It consisted of 32 major markets and about 5600 shops and famous for trade. The city was spread over in an area of 8 miles. The black canal called vei nadi at that time runs through the center of the city.

Sultanpur Lodhi is given great importance in the ancient book of Aine Akbari. This city in those days had many royal gardens and farms. There are many of those royal buildings, which are still present. One of those is Hadera, which was once the place of rest for the queens on their way to royal gardens. It was also the place of entertainment for the royal family, where dances and other royal functions were organized. Unfortunately, this place is now just an old building, waiting to die.

At the end of the 14th century in 1475, the governor of Lahore Daulat Khan Lodhi was the ruler when Guru Nanak dev Ji came to the city of Sultanpur Lodhi, after the marriage of his sister Bibi Nanki Ji to Shri Jai Ram of Sultanpur Lodhi.  Bhai Jai Ram was an official in the service of Nawab Daulat Khan Lodhi, a feudatory chief, who became governor of the Province of Lahore during the first quarter of the sixteenth century. At the insistence of Jai Ram, Guru Nanak took the job of Modi (manager) of the Nawab’s provision stores. During that time there grew up a Sangat, holy fellowship of disciples, which so prospered that Bhai Gurdas in his Varan, called Sultanpur the “treasure of God’s adoration.” Today Sultanpur Lodhi has several gurdwaras commemorating events connected with the life of Guru Nanak Dev Ji

.In June 1488, Guru Nanak dev ji was married to Bibi Sulkhani ji. While staying in Sultanpur Lodhi she gave birth to two sons, in July 1494, Shri Chand ji, and in Feb 1497, Lakmi Chand. Guruji spent more than 14 years ( 14 years, nine months, and 13 days) in the city. During this period guru, Ji became the talk of the town for his kind and saintly appearance and behavior. In 1497 Guru Ji disappeared in holy Rivulet (Kali Bein) flowing along the North end of the city and then Re-Appeared after three days with the teaching of “na koi hindu, na koi muslman” {no one is Hindu, no one is Muslim}.  This led to the birth of a new religion, Sikhism. Thereafter Guru Ji left his job and the City to start with the First Udasi {Sacramental Journey}.

After Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the fifth Guru Arjen Dev Ji on the occasion of his marriage in nearby village Dhala rested in Sultanpur Lodhi. A Gurudwara having the Sehra and the wedding clothes of guru Ji, is constructed on that place. After so much development of the city, unfortunately in 1739 when the Nadar Shah the famous invader, on his way to Delhi invaded Sultanpur Lodhi after looting the whole city, it was set to fire. After that Ahmed shah, Abdali again destroyed it. Later Sardar Jussa Singh Ahluwalia, after taking the historic monuments under his custody, re-established the city from the very beginning, but it could not regain its old prestige and glory.

The Present-day Sultanpur Lodhi is a Sub-Division (From 1969) and Tehsil of District Kapurthala of Punjab. It is a small town, connected by the Road & Rail. It falls under the Ferozepur Division of Northern Railway. Sultanpur is a Municipal Council city in the district of Kapurthala, Punjab. Union Ministers Piyush Goyal, Harsh Vardhan, and Harsimrat Kaur Badal on 4 October 2019 flagged off the ‘Sarbat Da Bhala Express’ train at New Delhi railway station.  The renamed New Delhi-Ludhiana Intercity Express will ply from New Delhi to Lohian Khas via the holy city Sultanpur Lodhi. The Sultanpur city is divided into 13 wards for which elections are held every 5 years. The Sultanpur Municipal Council has a population of 16,877  as per a report released by Census India 2011. Recently a new regional campus of Guru Nanak Dev University Amritsar has been set up nearby.

Gurudwara Ber Sahib:-

the biggest shrine at Sultanpur is situated on the bank of the rivulet Kali Bein., half a kilometer to the west of the old town. The grounds of the Gurdwara Ber Sahib here mark the spot where Guru Nanak Dev Ji entered the rivulet  Bein for the morning ablutions. Guru Nanak Ji used to sit under the Ber Tree to meditate after performing his morning ablutions. Guru Ji meditated under this tree daily for 14 years, nine months, and 13 days. It was during one such ablution one morning Guru Nanak disappeared into the stream and was not seen for two days. When he reappeared at a spot, 2 km upstream, now known as Sant Ghat, the first words he uttered were, “No one is Hindu, No one is Musalman (Muslim).” Guru Nanak was now ready to embark on his long journeys as directed by Akal purkh. Gurudwara Ber Sahib is built by the side of that old ber tree which is believed to be the one under which Guru Nanak would sit in meditation. The present building of Gurudwara Ber Sahib was built by Maharaja Jagatjit Singh of Kapurthala. Besides the daily services and observance of important Sikh anniversaries, a largely attended fair takes place on each birthday of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Sant Ghaat is at about 2 km from Ber Sahib where Guru Ji emerged after his three-day immersion in the Bein

Gurdwara Hatt Sahib:-

As a young man Guru Nanak was convinced by his family to accept employment here as the accountant of the provisions of Nawab Daulat Khan Lodhi. Guru Nanak got the job on the recommendations of his brother-in-law Jai Ram. The Nawab was very much impressed by the young Guru who would work diligently in the day and spend the evenings and night singing the praises of God with his friends. In the south of the old fortress-like serai, marks the spot where Guru Nanak worked as the custodian of Nawab Daulat Khan’s provision stores.  This Gurdwara is situated on the back south side of the old fortress. It is said that here the Guru had been distributing provisions to the saint, darvesh, qalander, and the needy uttering, “Tera, Tera”. When Guru Sahib’s glory spread all over the town, the Nawab’s spies reported to him of the “confused” state of affairs in the commissariat and of the grossly “Negligent” attitude of Guru Nanak.   Lodhi ordered a thorough check to the made of accounts of the commissariat. The penalties for defaulters in State payments in those times were severing involving torture, mutilation, and even death.

When, however, the stores were checked it was founded with no default of any kind, but they’re in excess. The Guru’s management was consequently commended by the Khan, who offered him a certain amount as a reward for his honest and faithful service. The Guru refused to take the preferred amount and suggested to the Khan to distribute it among the poor. There are fourteen weights preserved in a room in a glass cabinet here, used by the Guru Ji for weighing the provision. There is built a beautiful building of Gurdwara.

Gurdwara Antaryatma Sahib:-

The Muslims asked Guru Nanak Dev Ji whether he was a Guru for the Hindus or Muslims. Guru Nanak dev Ji replied that he is common to followers of both religions. The Muslims to test him requested to attend Namaaz (prayers observed by Muslims). Guru Nanak Dev Ji went along. Everyone stood in the mosque in order to offer Namaaz and started offering prayers (kneeling) but Guru Nanak Dev Ji kept standing straight. After offering Namaaz, the Muslims angrily asked “why didn’t he offer prayers to which Guru Ji replied that they hadn’t offered prayers either. Nawab said that they did offer prayers. Guruji said that your heart was away to get horses from Kandahar. You were physically present here and so was I, but not mentally. On hearing this khan said that the Guru should have offered prayers along with the priest. Guru Nanak Dev Ji replied that even he was physically present here but his mind was taking care of the newborn female calf at home to ensure that the calf didn’t fall into a well. Then everybody bowed to Guru Ji and begged pardon.

Gurdwara Guru Ka Bagh:-

a flat-roofed hall in the interior of the town marks the premises where Guru Nanak Ji lived with his wife, Sulakhni, and their two sons, Baba Sri Chand Ji and Baba Lakhmi Chand Ji. The Guru Granth Sahib is seated in the hall on a rectangular platform. Guru Nanak Dev ji spent 14 years in Sultanpur Lodhi as a young man in this house of Guru Nanak where his two sons Baba Sri Chand and Baba Lakhmi Chand were born. Here many sadhus and saints used to visit Guru Nanak to listen to his spiritual Bachan. There was provision for langar for them also which was prepared by Bibi Nanaki Ji. Well (Khooh) is also located here, from which water was used for Langar Preparation.

Kothari Sahib:-

a narrow low roofed cell in a small house in Mohalla Vaddian is where Guru Nanak was detained while his accounts were being checked, following a false complaint lodged by his detractors. In one of the two small rooms close by is seated the Guru Granth Sahib.

Gurdwara Sant Ghat:-

on the bank of the Bein, is where Guru Nanak reemerged on the third day of his disappearance into the river near the site of Gurdwara Ber Sahib.

Gurdwara Bebe Nanaki Ji:-

constructed in the 1970s, honors the memory of Bebe Nanaki, elder sister of Guru Nanak. The actual house, a three-storeyed old building where Bebe Nanaki is believed to have lived with her husband, Jai Ram, is inside the old town in Mohalla Chhimbian. But the premises being in private possession, a public monument (cornerstone, laid on 13 November 1970) was raised in the form of a gurdwara by Bebe Nanaki Istri Satsang Charitable Trust under the chairmanship of Bibi Balwant Kaur of Birmingham (United Kingdom). The Gurdwara Bebe Nanaki JI comprises a central hall, with the Guru Granth Sahib seated in a white marble palaki at the far end. The Guru Granth Sahib is also seated in a small side room symbolizing Bebe Nanaki’s own lodging.

Gurudwara Sehra Sahib:-

 is dedicated to Guru Arjan who passed through Sultanpur in 1604 on his way to Dalla for the marriage of his son, Har Gobind, the future Guru Hargobind (revered for his concept of Miri and Piri). According to tradition, the marriage party stayed overnight at this place, and the sehra, or ceremonial wreath was fastened round the bridegroom’s head here. The Gurdwara, within a brick-paved walled compound, is an octagonal domed room in which the Guru Granth Sahib is seated. All these shrines at Sultanpur Lodhi with the exception of Gurdwara Bebe Nanaki JI, which is under the management of the Trust, are administered by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee through a local committee.

Kali Bein:-

a 99-mile-long (160 km) river, is considered sacred by the state’s majority Sikh population. Over the past couple of decades, it was reduced to a filthy drain into which six towns and more than 40 villages emptied their waste. Parts of the river dried up, leaving neighboring farmlands parched. Its polluted waters also seeped underground, contaminating the groundwater and causing lethal diseases. Seechewal, a Sikh holy man, set out to clean up this mess. Drawing on the Sikh tradition of Kar Sewa (voluntary service), he and his followers taught locals why they should clean the Kali Bein, enlisting volunteers to do the physical work and raising funds for equipment. The scale of the task was gigantic — volunteers cleared the entire riverbed of water hyacinth and silt and built riverbanks and roads alongside the river. When appeals to government and municipal bodies failed to stop dirty water flowing into the river, Seechewal launched a public-awareness campaign to encourage villagers to dispose of their sewage elsewhere. Some villages revived traditional methods of waste disposal and treatment, and farmers lined up for a share of the treated water. A government order to divert water from a nearby canal was eventually obtained. As the riverbed was cleared, natural springs revived and the river began to fill up. Since then, trees have been planted along its banks and fishing has been banned to preserve bio-diversity. Today, the Kali Bein is thriving. Families head there for picnics and the devout bathe during religious festivals. Seechewal has turned his sight to the tanneries and other factories that dispose of untreated waste in rivers. He is also leading efforts to get residents and the government to clean up rivers and creeks in a more systematic way across the state. “We have proved that it is possible to restore our rivers to a pristine condition if we all come together,” says Seechewal. “It is time to do that on a bigger scale.”

There are other places Of Prominence other than Gurudwaras.

2- Mandirs Singh Bhawani, Mandir BharaMal, Mandir Ahli Wala Shivala, Mandir Mata Asha Rani, Mandir Ram Rameshwaram, Mandir Choura Khuh etc.

3- Chitti Masjid, Peer Gabgazi, Panj Peer

4- Hadira, Quila Sarai (Now housing, Local Police Station)

5- Kali Bein (Ghats developed by Sant Sechewal Ji)

6- Forthcoming “Pind Babe Nanak Da”

                ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕਾ ਖਾਲਸਾ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕਿ ਫਤਹਿ

 

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Nirmal Anand

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