Historical Gurdwaras in Golden Temple Complex
Sri Harmandir Sahib also known as Sri Darbar Sahib or Golden Temple, (on account of its scenic beauty and golden coating ), is named after Hari (God) the temple of God. The Sikhs all over the world, daily wish to pay visit to Sri Amritsar and to pay obeisance at Sri Harmandir Sahib in their Ardas.
Guru Arjan Sahib, the Fifth Nanak, conceived the idea of creating a central place of worship for the Sikhs and he himself designed the architecture of Sri Harmandir Sahib. Earlier the planning to excavate the holy tank (Amritsaror Amrit Sarovar) was chalked out by Guru Amardas Sahib, the Third Nanak, but it was executed by Guru Ramdas Sahib under the supervision of Baba Budha ji. The land for the site was acquired by the earlier Guru Sahibs on payment or free of cost from the Zamindars (landlords) of native villages. The plan to establish a town settlement was also made. Therefore, the construction work on the Sarovar (the tank) and the town started simultaneously in 1570. The work on both projects completed in 1577 A.D.
Duni Chand Khatri
Duni Chand Khatri was a rich land lord of Patti town (31°16’52.52″N 74°51’26.63″E). He had five daughters. All were beautiful and talented. One day Duni Chand asked his daughters,”Tell me who provides you meals” Elder four daughter readily said that their father was providing them every thing. He is their benefactor. But the younger daughter named, Rajni replied, “It is God that sustains all living beings” Hearing this reply Duni Chand was so enraged that he married Rajni to a leper. But Rajni did not care about it. She accepted the leper as her husband and served him with great love.In those days Guru Ram Das Ji was constructing a new city at Amritsar. Rajni took the leper with him and reached Amritsar. She met the devotees of the Guru When devotees saw that her husband was leper they took pity on her and provided him a room to live. She also joined the other devotees and was deputed to cook meals in the common kitchen. She was well contented with her fate. She was always contemplating the name of God. When she was going to join his duty, she used to take her husband with her. Making a suitable arrangement for his sitting under a shady tree, she used to go to the kitchen. One day she left him to sit under a Ber tree. When her husband the leper was sitting on the bank of the pond, he saw a pair of crows dipped down in the pool and flew away with their colour changing from black to white. Seeingthis he concluded that pool did not contain an ordinary water, so he made up his mind to bathe in the tank. He reached near the pond and dipped into the water. Dukh Bhanjani Beri in 1884 When he came out he was astonished to see himself hale and healthy, He was no longer a leper. He walked as a youngman and again sat under the shade of the Ber tree. When Rajni returned from langar she was unable to recognize him. When the youngman convinced him her telling her the whole story; Rajni felt very happy. They met Guru Ram Dass Ji and told him the whole story The Guru was pleased to hear it. He told Baba Budha Ji that pond was the same haly place about which Gum Amar Dass Ji had foretold. When the people of the area heard about the appearance of Netar pond they rushed to see and have a bath in it The tree under which the leper was sitting came to be known as Dukh bhanjani Beri as it relieves the pains and afflictions A Gurdwara has been built near that Bed and thousands of people take bath near that Beri
Ath Sath Tirath
Past the Dukh Bhanjani Ber is a raised marble platform which is the Ath Sath Tirath, the Shrine of the Sixty-Eight Holy Places. To bathe near it, some believe, their dreams of visiting the 68 holy places of India will be fulfilled.
Gurdwara Mata Kaulan Sahib or Gurdwara Kaulsar Sahib
Gurdwara Mata Kaulan Sahib or Gurdwara Kaulsar Sahib is a sacred Sikh shrine on the west-side of Gurdwara Baba Atal in Amritsar, Punjab near the main Darbar Sahib at Harmandar Sahib.Next to the Gurdwara Mata Kaulan lies a Sarovar (pool) known as Kaulsar Sahib or Kaulsar Sarvor, named after a holy lady who was raised as a Muslim called Bibi Kaulan, the adopted (possibly Hindu) daughter of the Qazi of Lahore.She was a highly spiritual woman who was above religious divides and took refuge with the sixth master Guru Hargobind Ji at Amritsar (1606-1645). The samadh of Mata Kaulan lies at the western end of the Kaulsar Gurdwara.The significance of Gurdwara Mata Kaulan and Kaulsar sarovar could be adjudged from the fact that Guru Hargobind, the sixth Sikh guru, had directed the devotees to take a dip in the Sarovar Kaulsar before the Golden Temple sarovar. (a sakhi to this effect is written right outside the entrance of Gurdwara Bibi Kaulan, adjacent to Darbar Sahib).Mata Kaulan, against whom her ‘father’ the qazi had pronounced a death sentence, for showing devotion to Sikh gurus, was brought discreetly to Amritsar by Sant Mian Mir who had laid the foundation stone of the Golden Temple. Mata Kaulan, who was allotted a special place near the Golden Temple and Baba Atal, where she spent her entire life before breathing her last at Kartarpur.The excavation of Kaulsar was started in 1624 and was completed in 1627 under the supervision of Baba Budhaji, first head granthi of the Golden Temple.Kaulsar is one of the five holy tanks (Sarovars) at the holy city of Amritsar including Santokhsar, Bibeksar, Ramsar and the main one after which the city is named, Amritsar at the Golden Temple.In March 2004, the karseva of the first-ever sarovar named after a muslim woman, Mata Kaulan, adjoining the Golden Temple was completed when a ‘state of the art’ filteration system was also installed.
The Akal Takht was begun by the sixth Sikh Guru, Guru Har Gobind as a symbol for political sovereignty of Sikhs. It stood as a symbol of political and military resistance against the tyranny and cruelity of the rulers the 17th and 18th century. In the 18th century, Ahmed Shah Abdali led a series of attacks on the Akal Takht and Shaheed Bunga Baba Deep Singh Ji
Sri Harimander Sahib
Three premises of Sri Harimander Sahib have three bers, or jujube trees, the Lachi Ber, the Ber Baba Buddha ji and the Dukh-Bhanjani Ber, which are the oldest inhabitants of the Temple complex. They were there before Sri Harimander came into being and are not only the silent spectators of the journey of the new faith across the 400 years, but are also its active participants and benefactors. Had it not been for the charismatic role of Dukh-Bhanjani Ber, there would not have been, perhaps, the Amrit-sarovar, the town of Amritsar or even the Sikhs’ holiest shrine. It was largely because of the unique curing ingredients of the pond water around the Dukh-Bhanjani Ber that Guru Amar Das had suggested his son-in-law and successor, Guru Ram Das, to develop this spot as the Sikhs’ spiritual capital and the epicenter of their faith. It was in consideration of its ability to dispel all ailments and suffering that Guru Ram Das called it Dukh-Bhanjani Ber, that is, the Ber that dispelled sorrows. In the Sikh tradition, it was after it cured Ranjani’s leprous husband that the Dukh-Bhanjani Ber began acquiring its significance. The Dukh-Bhanjani Ber stands in the centre of the eastern plank of the Amrit-sarovar Gurdwara Baba Gurbachan Singh Ji.
Gurdwara Thara Sahib
Gurdwara Thara Sahib in Amritsar is situated just to the north, of the Akal Takht Sahib. This is where the ninth Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur rested when he arrived from Baba Bakala to pay his respects to Darbar Sahib soon after he was announced as the next Guru. The custodians of the Harmindar Sahib closed the doors on the Guru to safeguard their vested interests.
Baba Atal Rai
Baba Atal Rai was born in Samvat 1676 at Amritsar to Guru Hargobind Sahib, the sixth Sikh Guru and Mata Mahadevi, daughter of Bhai Daya Ram Marwah of Mandeala. From early age he was intelligent, lively and a deeply religious boy. He was called Baba because he carried a wise head over his young shoulders. Here Baba means, wise old man. He used to play every evening with his age-mates and tell them many wise things. Whatever he said, even in jest, had some deep humane meaning.
Mata Kaulan was a women who was a free spirit and wanted to explore her surroundings. She had been adopted by a muslim priest called Rustam Khan. He was based in Lahore, Pakistan. Qazi Rustam Khan had bought her from her parents while she was a child. It is possible that her parents were Hindus. The Qazi gave her the education of Islam and sent her to Saint Mian Mir for higher schooling.