Paonta Sahib: An important Sikh landmark
Snuggled between the borders of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, is the tiny district of Sirmour. And in the heart of Sirmour is the industrial town of Paonta Sahib. The town, however, has more significance in the religious sense, due to the presence of Gurudwara Paonta Sahib.
The Gurudwara of Paonta Sahib is revered as one of the most hallowed places for the Sikhs. Sitting on the banks of the Yamuna River, the gurudwara serves as an important place of worship and religious activities for the Sikh community around the world. Book a taxi service in Chandigarh to visit Paonta Sahib.
Best time to travel
Being in the foothills of the Himalayas, Paonta Sahib experiences mountain climate. The best time to travel here is usually between the months of March and July when the weather is pleasant and not very cold or hot.
It is said, that the tenth Sikh Guru Gobind Singh, found the town of Paonta Sahib, and is also related to their community leader Banda Singh Bahadur. And, the gurudwara was built in memory and honor of the Guru. The gurudwara was originally called Paontika, derived from Paon in Hindi meaning ‘feet’ and tika meaning ‘becoming stable’. This is where legendarily, the great Sikh guru found his footing.
The story goes that Guru Gobind Singh was traveling on his horse and stopped at this place. He found the vibes of this place so strong that he stayed here for a long four and half years, something he had never done before. This was the place, where he wrote the Dasam Granth and many other religious books of the Sikhs before he moved to Anandpur Sahib.
Paonta Sahib and its surroundings
The gurudwara is recognized by a palanquin or Palki, made of pure gold. It is said that one of the devotees donated the palanquin out of his reverence and faith of the gurudwara.
This religious sanctum is more than just a place of worship. Going by the principles of the Sikh religion, the Paonta Sahib Gurudwara dedicates itself to the betterment and development of people. There are areas dedicated to the religious site for the same. These places organize different religious festivals and cultural events to bring the community together as one. For example at the Shri Talab Asthan, you will find salaries of the gurudwara association member being distributed. While the Shri Dastar Asthan holds a turban tying competition.
The in-house langar (gurudwara eatery) serves free meals to devotees, visitors and the poor.
There is also a museum on site, which houses the antiques and weapons used by Guru Gobind Singh during his stay in Paonta Sahib.
If you thought that a place of worship is only about praising the Almighty, then you are in for surprise at this holy place. There is a Kavi Darbar, near the Gurudwara premises but a part of its association nonetheless, which attracts poetic talents of the local community. The venue is popular for holding poetry competitions every year, or during any significant religious festival.
There is also a recently rebuilt temple attached to the Gurudwara, dedicated to Goddess Yamuna.
If you are visiting Paonta Sahib, you must also visit another prominent place of worship in the vicinity. About few kilometers from the town, you can head to the Bhangani Sahib Gurudwara. Overlooking the Yamuna River, the entire scenario renders a magnificent sight.
There’s yet another significant place of worship near Paonta Sahib. About 12km from the town, you can find the Gurudwara Shergarg Sahib. This place has more historical significance with a legend of its own. The story goes that Guru Gobind Singh was traveling across the forests of this area when he encountered a man-eater tiger. With a single stroke of his sword, Gobind Singh beheaded the predator and thereafter, this gurudwara was built to commemorate his valiance. If you’re looking to visit Gurdwara Shergarg Sahib, book a taxi in Amritsar so you can visit both places with ease.
Being a prominent place of worship, Poanta Sahib and its neighboring gurudwaras are thronged by pilgrims from far and wide visit this Gurudwara to pay obeisance and take part in the sacred events