Nankana Sahib is the town of Guru Nanak’s birth. It was formerly called Rai Bhoe Do Talwandi. The Cheif of the town Rai Bullar was one of the earliest to recognise Guru Nanak’s special significance and he donated nearly 20,000 acres of land to Guru Nanak, which later became known as Nankana Sahib.
There are several Gurdwaras in the town associated with Guru Nanak.
The largest site is Gurdwara Janam Asthan marking the birth place of Guru Nanak. One thing we noted was that the durbar where Guru Granth Sahib is installed is very small. In fact barely 15-16 people could sit in this place. Surrounding this structure is a larger building with a much larger capacity.
This was noted about many of the historical Gurdwaras, even though many of these were built during the prosperous times of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s rule. In times gone by it seems that Gurdwaras were very intimate places, or maybe they were so because there were not so many modern day conveniences such as loud speakers available.
The other Gurdwaras we visited were:
Gurdwara Bal Lila located right next to Gurdwara Janam Asthan. At this place it is said that children would play and where Guru Nanak started imparting spiritual thoughts. This Gurdwara is being re-built at the moment.
Gurdwara Kiara Sahib. At this place it is said that Guru Nanak allowed his cattle to graze onto the land of a neighbouring farm destroying crops, but when the townsfolk came they saw no destruction. This is a small Gurdwara which has a disused Sarovar.
Gurdwara Patti Sahib where Guru Nanak came for his formal education.
Gurdwara Mall Ji Sahib. This Gurdwara marks the spot where Rai Bullar witnessed Guru Nanak while sleeping beside a tree a large cobra shielded his head from the sun. Here Rai Bullar erected a small monument beside the tree which still stands today. Later a larger Gurdwara was built.
Gurdwara Tambu Sahib was the site of a large tent where Guru Ji rested for a while under a tree. This Gurdwara is also being re-built at the moment and is also the site for very large accommodation buildings and langar hall to cater for the many visitors during Gurpurab.
We also visited a pair of Gurdwaras which were dedicated Guru Arjan Dev Ji and Guru Hargobind Ji. Gurdwara Panjveen Paathshai and Gurdwara Chevin Paathshai which contains a remnants of a tree where Guru Hargobind tied his horse.