THE LEGENDS OF 130 REMAINING SIKH GURDWARAS IN PAKISTAN

By: Wali Imran Khan.

Discovering remaining Sikh Gurdwaras in Pakistan is a feat equal to finding Rosetta stone – but I manage somehow by bribing and cajoling authorities. It is hard because the old Gurdwara is dead center of bustling bazaars and narrow lanes, with suspicious neighbors more interested in finding out my background rather than telling me how to get in. The architecture, people, generosity, and stories I hear inside are like nothing in mainstream Pakistani cities.

How many Gurdwaras are there in Pakistan?

I would estimate that 190 Gurdwaras are left in Pakistan now, but are fast fading as there are no devotees left to maintain the sites.

Which is the biggest Gurdwara in Pakistan?

Kirtarpur Sahib Gurdwara, right at the border of Indi and Pakistan is probably the largest, area wise amongst all Gurdwara in Pakistan.

How many Sikh are there in Pakistan?

A 2010 survey of NADRA owned by the Government of Pakistan shows 6146 Sikhs registered in Pakistan, whereas, US Department of State estimates the number to be 20,000.

List of Gurdwaras in Pakistan

This is the list of 121 Gurdwaras that I do know exist in Pakistan.

1.Gurdwara Janam Asthan, Nankana Sahib

This is where the revered Baba Guru Nanak was born.

It is vast, well maintained, and renovated. The best thing is that they allow non-Muslims to wander across the courtyard like pesky tourists.

2. Gurdwara Panja Sahib, Hassan Abdal

This Gurdwara has the sacred handprint of Baba Guru Nanak.

Guru Nanak personally stopped a huge boulder rolling down from a mountain from destroying sacred property.

The sacred stream of Sikhism still flows underneath, with lovely fish swimming inside.

3. Gurdwara Balila, Nankana Sahib

This is the site of Baba Guru Nanak’s childhood home.

 

4. Gurdwara Patti Sahib, Nankana Sahib

“Patti” is the wooden board that Guru Nanak used for his early academic education here.

Gurdwara Patti Sahib, also called Gurudwara Maulvi Patti, lies midway between Gurudwara Janam Asthan and Gurudwara Bal Lila. It is along the road leading from Janam Asthan to the railway station. Patti means a wooden tablet on which young scholars practise writing. Hence the name of the Shrine which represents the Village school attended by Guru Nanak Dev.

 It is also said that young Nanak surprised his teacher by composing and reciting an acrostic, called patti, and that is why the Shrine is called Patti Sahib or Maulvi Patti. The Gurudwara consists only of the sanctum in a small square domed room This Gurudwara is close to the Gurudwara Bal Lilah. Later on, he was sent to Pandit Brij Lal for learning Sanskrit. The place where education was important to Guru Nanak is known as Gurudwara Patti Sahib.  This Gurdwara is close to the gurdwara Bal Lilah. At this site, Guru Nanak Dev Ji used to learn Devnagri. Later on, he was sent to Pandit Brij Lal for learning Sanskrit. At the age of 13, the Guru was sent to Maulvi Kutab-Ud-Din of Talwandi to learn Persian. But the wisdom and the spiritual enlightment of the Guru Nanak Dev urged all three of them to make obeiance before the Guru’s clear expressions of truth and wisdom. Guru Nanak while criticising the prevalent education system, enlightened them with the actual pupose of learning. He gave new meaning to each and every word. 

 

5. Gurdwara Kiara Sahib

This is where Baba Guru Nanak performed the miracle of regrown standing crops that his cattle had destroyed.

6.Gurdwara Maal Ji Sahib

Built by Dewan Kora Mal, this is the site where Baba Guru Nanak as a child was shaded by a Mal tree that traveled with the Sun’s movement.

7. Gurdwara Tamboo Sahib, Nankana Sahib

It is here that Guru Nanak’s giving ways were revealed to the world when he gave away Rs 20 of his own to needy people – called the “Sacha Sauda” (real transaction)

8. Gurdwara Nihang Singhan, Nankana Sahib

This Gurdwara was built by the Nihang “immortal” armed Sikh faction of Sikhism.

9. Gurdwara Panjvin Chhevin Patshahi, Nanakana Sahib

This Gurdwara is where the fifth and Sixth Guru Hargobind and Arjun Dev passed by in the 15th century. Both Shrines are inside the Gurdwara.

10. Gurdwara Chhevin Patshahi, Nankana Sahib

Guru Hargobind’s own Gurdwara is located here.

11. Gurdwara Ram Thaman ji, Kalu Khara, Kasur

Baba Ram Thaman Ji was a maternal cousin of Baba Guru Nanak and a respected sadhu himself, whom Guru Nanak visited frequently.

12. Gurdwara Bhai Bahlol Qadiwind, Kasur

This is where Sat Gur visited and build a Gurdwara on the land donated by Bhai Bahlol

13. Gurdwara Bhai Pheru, old Anarkali Market, Kasur

This Gurdwara was built by Hindu overseers of Sikh affairs, called the Mahant, during the persecution days of Sikhism by British colonials.

14. Gurdwara Hardosahari Kasur

This is the site where a local influential Muslim Jat ruler converted to Sikhism on the urging of Guru Amar Das Ji

15.Gurdwara Holan Sahib, Bharnawan, Kasur

The Gurdwara built at this site where a local Muslim by the name of Sultan presented green chickpeas to Guru Nanak has since collapsed, but the holy significance of the act remains.

16. Gurdwara Jhari Sahib Tergay, Kasur

17. Gurdwara Malji Sahib, Kanganpur, Kasur

18. Gurdwara Manji Sahib at Manakdeke, Kasur

19. Gurdwara Panjvin Patshahi, Hanjrai, Kasur

20. Gurdwara Panjvin Patshahi, Shaikhrumi, Kasur

21. Gurdwara Pehli Patshahi, Alpa, Kasur

22. Gurdwara Pehli Patshahi, bheelgran, Kasur

23. Gurdwara Tham Sahib, Jamber, Kasur

24. Gurdwara Bairi Sahib, Chevin Patshahi, Kharak Lahore

Sat Guru Hargobind tied his horse reigns to a Bair tree here in the Burki Village of Lahore.

25. Gurdwara Baoli Sahib Guru Arjun, Laha Bazar, Lahore

Guru Arjan Dev commissioned a Baoli of sacred water here, with the money collected from resolving a business disputed between a Hindu and Pathan Muslim business transactions. This was to show the proper to his followers to dispose of disputes.

26. Gurdwara Buddhu Da Awa

Guru Arjun Dev settled a business transaction between two Sikhs where Bhai Buddhu gave unprepared bricks from his kiln to another respected Sikh. The grateful businessperson built a Gurdwara in honor of Guru Arjun here, which is sited near Sikh college on Shalimar Road.

27. Gurdwara Chhevin Patshahi, Amar Saddu, Lahore

Also called Gurdwara Bibi Kaulan, this Gurdwara has the Shrine of Guru Hargobind close by.

28.  Gurdwara Chhevin Patshahi, Dhilwan, Burki, Lahore

This Gurdwara was built to honor Guru Hargobind at a place where he used to preach on a Manji (bench)

 

29. Gurdwara Chhevin Patshahi, Guru Mangat, Lahore

30. Gurdwara Chhevin Patshahi, Hadiara, Lahore

31.  Gurdwara Chhevin Patshahi, Mozang, Lahore

32. Gurdwara Chhevin Patshahi, Padhana, Lahore

33. Gurdwara Chhevin Patshahi, Rampur Kalan, Lahore

34. Gurdwara Chhevin Patshahi, Rampur Khurd, Lahore

35. Gurdwara Chhevin Patshahi, Jhalian, Lahore

36. Gurdwara Chhevin Patshahi, Minhala, Lahore

37. Gurdwara Chota Nanakiana at Manga, Lahore

38. Gurdwara Chow Bachcha Sahib, Dharampura, Lahore

39. Gurdwara Chowmala Sahib, Bhatti Gate, Lahore

40.  Gurdwara Dera Sahib, Panjvin, Patshahi, Lahore

41. Gurdwara Dharamshala Sri Guru Ram Dasji

42. Gurdwara Dewan Khan at Chuna Mandi, Lahore

43. Gurdwara Janamasthan Bebe Nanaki, Dera Chahal, Lahore

44. Gurdwara Janamasthan Guru Ram Das Ji, Chuna Mandi, Lahore,

45. Gurdwara Lahura Sahib, Ghawindi, Lahore

46. Gurdwara Lal Khoi Mochi Gate, Lahore

47. Gurdwara Nanak Garh, Badami Bagh, Lahore

48. Gurdwara Chhevin Patshahi, Mozang, Lahore

49.Gurdwara Chhevin Patshahi, Bhati Gate, Lahore

50. Gurdwara Pehli Patshahi, Manak, Lahore

51. Gurdwara Prakash Asthan, Sri Guru Ram Das Ji, Chuna Mandi

52.Gurdwara Rori Sahib, Jahman, Lahore

53. Gurdwara Shaheed Ganj, Sighnian, Lahore

54. Gurdwara Shikargarh Sahib, Kacha, Lahore

55. Gurdwara Sri Nanak Garh, Chhoti Ravi, Badami Bagh, Lahore

56. Gurdwara Tahli Sahib Baba Sir Chand Ji, Railway Station, Lahore

57. Gurdwara Khui Bhai Lalu Ji, Tatlay Aali, Gujranwala

This is where Guru Nanak ji created the legend of Malik Bhago and Carpenter Bahi Lalo for his disciples. Guru Ji refused the buttered bread of the tyrant Malik Bhago and chose the simple bread of Bhai Lalo because it was pure.

58. Gurdwara Chhevin Patshahi, Kotli Bhaga, Eminabad

A Gurdwara honoring Guru Hargobind is built here with a pipal tree, manji, and Tara sahib still intact.

59. Gurdwara Chhevin Patshahi, Rasul Sharif (Rasul Nagar), Wazirabad, Gujranwala.

This Gurdwara is built on the left bank of the Chenab River to honor the visit of Guru Hargobind Sahib. This Gurdwara has Guru Granth sahib written on its walls.

60.  Gurdwara Damdama Sahib, Railway Station, Gujranwala

Baba Sahib Ji Bedi was a dedicated preacher of the Sikh religion and Dambama was his litany style of preaching.

61. Gurdwara Guru Kotha, Wazirabad, Gujranwala

Gurdwara Kotha Sahib is dedicated to the visit of Guri Har Gobind Ji on his return from Kashmir. This beautiful Gurdwara is about to be run over by illegal encroachments

62. Gurdwara Khara Sahib, Bhaike Mattu, Noshehravirkan, Gujranwala

63. Gurdwara Khuhi Bhai Lalo ji, Eminabad

64. Gurdwara Panjvin Patshahi, Chak Ram Das, Gujranwala

65. Gurdwara Rory Sahib, Eminabad

66.        Gurdwara Baoli Sahib Sialkot

Gurdwara Baoli Sahib is where the legend of the death of Maula Karar occurred because he refused to meet Guru Hargobind. The Baoli is long gone.

67.  Gurdwara Bair Sahib, Sialkot

This is the site where the legend of the spell placed by Muslim Saint Hamza Ghaus was dispelled by Baba Guru Nanak, because of his wisdom. Baba Guru Nanak convinced the saint to spare the city of Sialkot because “life is bitter’, and “death is certain.” The bair tree where this discussion occurred is long gone.

68 Gurdwara Chhevin Patshahi, Glutian Khurd, Sialkot

This beautiful Gurdwara is in private use now, but once had exquisite marble work on it. It lies on Sialkot-Gujranwala main road.

69.  Gurdwara Gurusar, Rehsma, Salehpur, Sialkot

This is the site where Guru Hargobind threw a lance and a sweet water spring sprout out.

 

70. Gurdwara Pehli Patshahi Fathe bindar, Sialkot

Jagat Guru came here to visit the constructed Gurdwara in honor of Guru Nanak sahib Ji

 

71. Gurdwara Tahli Sahib, Rehsema, Salehpur, Sialkot

Guru Hargobind passed by here and tied his horse to a Tahli (branch) of the Sheesham Tree. His relics were also placed at this Gurdwara once, but not anymore.

72. Gurdwara Bhai Maani Singh Rawalpindi

Currently being used as a school in Sarafa Bazar Rawalpindi

73. Gurdwara Chhevin Patshahi, Damhial, Rawalpindi

This Gurdwara contained the relics of Guru Gobind Ji and is at quite a distance from Rawalpindi’s main city.

74.  Gurdwara Chhevin Patshahi, Narali, Rawalpindi

75.  Gurdwara Narankari Bazar, Rawalpindi

76. Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Raja Bazar, Rawalpindi

77.  Gurdwara Dharamshala Bhai Harnam Singh Ji at Bucceki, Sheikhupura

Guru Arjun Dev Ji stayed here at the place of Bhai Harnam Singh Ji, a devotee, but the Gurdwara is barely recognizable.

78.  Gurdwara Ajnianwala, Sheikhupura

Anjianwala is the place of a separate Sikh sect called Surjan Dasia and the Granth compiled by them is called Ajit Granth.

79. Gurdwara Panvin Patshahi, Jatri, Sheikupura

80.  Gurdwara Pehli Patshahi, Hafmadar, Sheikhupura

81.   Gurdwara bhuman Shah, Dibalpur Okara

This Gurdwara pays respects to Bhai Bhuman Shah whose langar would never disappoint the needy.

82. Gurdwara Chota Nanakiana, Dibalpur, Okara

83.  Gurdwara Chota Nanakiana, Hujra Shah Muqeem, Okara

84. Gurdwara Bhai Hima ji, Magghiana, Jhang

85.  Gurdwara Fateh Shah Jhang

86. Gurdwara Nanaksar Jhang

87. Gurdwara Chhevin Patshahi, Bacche, Hafizabad.

88. Gurdwara Nanaksar, Harappa, Sahiwal

89. Gurdwara Chowa Sahib Rohtas Jhelum

This beautiful Gurdwara is right outside Rohtas fort in Jehlum and is being renovated for the visiting Sikh devotees. Guru Nanak Sahib is said to have visited this sacred site.

90. Gurdwara Janamasthan Mata Sahib Kaur Ji, Rothtas

This gurdwara is a better shape as it is located inside the Rohtas fort wall and the fort is under the protection of two government departments.

91. Gurdwara Pehli Patshahi, Balgondai, Jehlum

92.  Gurdwara Pehli Patshahi, Katas, Chakwal

This Gurdwara is in the middle of the ancient Hindu holy site of Katas Raj and has recently been cleanup for devotees.

93.  Gurdwara Pehli Patshahi, Chawli Masaekh, Burewala, Vehari

94.  Gurdwara Thara Sahib, Sakhi Sarwar, DG Khan

95. Gurdwara Thara Sahib, Shah Shams Road, Multan

96.  Gurdwara Chhevin Patshahi, Gujrat city

This is the only Gurdwara dedicated to Guru Hargobind Ji that survives in Gujrat city. The remaining four are long decimated.

97. Gurdwara Kot Bhai Than Singh, Fateh Khan, Attock

The only Gurdwara inside Attock Khurd has been leveled by the private owner of the property. I have not seen any other Gurdwara in Attock.

98.  Gurdwara Shaheed Bhai Dalip Singh, Chak Jhumra, Faisalabad

99.   Gurdwara Thara Sahib, Uch, Bahawalpur

100. Gurdwara Pehli Patshahi, Makhdoom Pur, Pahuran, Khanewal

101. Gurdwara Amir Shah Singh Jhanda Ram Street, DI Khan

102. Gurdwara Dharamshala Guru Nanak Devji, DI Khan

Guru Nanak Ji stayed here during his fourth udasi travel and the place is now a government school.

103. Gurdwara Kali Devi, Topan wala, DI Khan

At this site, Guru Nanak’s miracle of toppling the Kali Devi moorti occurred. Although it is a Gurdwara, and Guru Nanak did not encourage deities, people called it Kali Murti Gurdwara out of tradition.

104. Gurdwara Jogi wara, Shernath, Bannu, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa

105. Gurdwara Chhevin Patshahi, Mansehra,

106. Gurdwara Siri Dayal Sar Topi, Mansehra

107. Gurdwara Chhevin Patshahi, Chitti Gatti, Hazara

108. Gurdwara Pehli Patshahi, Balakot, Hazara

109. Gurdwara Bhai Joga Singh Peshawar, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa

Joga Sahib was a local disciple of Guru Gobind who he took along during his travels. The legend says that Joga Sahib was saved from hellfire because of his loyalty to his guru when despite provocation by a beautiful sex worker, he could not manage to visit her. Gurdwara joga Sahib is in the Namakmandi locality.

110. Gurdwara Gurhatri, Peshawar City

Although there is not any intact Gurdwara in Gurhattri Peshawar, the legend of Guru Hattri (Guru’s shop) is so interesting, I had to include this place too.

The legend is that Guru Nanak during his fifth travels, visited the shop of Abdul Rahman to exchange his old shoes with a new pair. The shopkeeper kept the old shoes for generations, and a devotee built a Sikh religious site here. There is little left of the Gurdwara.

111. Samadhi Akali Phula Singh, Nowshehra

This Samadhi is located across a river and can only be reached by boat. It is a few kilometers away from GT road in Nowshehra.

112. Gurdwara Pehli Patshahi, Shikarpur, Sindh

This modern-looking Gurdwara still has the original banyan tree of Sat Guru Nanak Sahib’s travel here.

113. Gurdwara Pehli Patshahi, Jind Pir, Sukkur

Guru Nanak Ji is said to have visited this site and the Hindu Temple complex in Sadhu Bela from here.

114. Gurdwara Sadhu Bela, Sukkur

Guru Nanak Ji traveled to this island in the center of the Indus River to preach Sikhism and the right path to Hindu Sadhus there.

115. Gurdwara Pehli Patshahi, Clifton, Karachi

116. Gurdwara Pehli Patshahi, Justice Kyani Road, Karachi

117. Gurdwara Pehli patshahi, Bulani, Larkana, Sindh

118. Gurdwara Pehli Patshahi, Mirpurkhas, Sindh

119. Gurdwara Pehli Patshahi Tilganji Sahib, Masjid Road, Quetta, Baluchistan

Tilganji sahib gets its name from the “til” (Sesame seeds) that Baba Guru Nanak gave them in the offering of his visit in the third travels’

120. Gurdwara Pehli Patshahi, Kalat, Baluchistan

I have never heard of a Gurdwara in Kalat, but if it were there, it would be a miracle Baba Guru Nanak reached there across the vast expanse of emptiness without tons of water.

121. Gurdwara Chota Nanakiana Skardu, Gilgit Baltistan

There were Hindu and Sikh soldiers at Skardu Kharpocho Fort right up to 1948, but I did not see any Gurdwara. Maybe I must ask around more this time.

Bhai Bhag Singh Gurdwara, Kurri Shehr Rawalpindi

Bhai Bhag Singh Gurdwara, Kurri Shehr Rawalpindi

 

Bagh Sardaran Gurdwara Sujjan Singh, Rawalpindi

Bagh Sardaran Gurdwara Sujjan Singh, Rawalpindi

 

Sikh Bedi Mahal Kalar Syedan, Potohar

Sikh Bedi Mahal Kalar Syedan, Potohar

 

View of Ranjit Singh Samadhi, from Lahore Fort

View of Ranjit Singh Samadhi, from Lahore Fort

 

Gurudwara in Bhera

Gurudwara in Bhera

 

Gurudwara in Rawalakot

Gurudwara in Rawalakot

 

Sikh Gurdwaras in Kallar Sayedan, Potohar

Sikh Gurdwaras in Kallar Sayedan, Potohar

 

Sikh Gurdwaras in Kallar Sayedan, Potohar

Sikh Gurdwaras in Kallar Sayedan, Potohar

 

Tilla Jogian Gurdwara, Jhelum

Tilla Jogian Gurdwara, Jhelum

 

 

This is all I could do with the resources I had.

Conclusion

The Sikh World Diaspora must help maintain the Sikh Heritage and Religious Sites inside Pakistan, assisting Government of Pakistan in the process. If Pakistani Sikh do not maintain their sites, who else would?