Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, New Delhi
Why is the famous Gurudwara Bangla Sahib of Delhi, called by this name?
This holy gurudwara dating back to year 1664 AD, is related to the visit of Honourable 8th Sikh Guru, Shri Guru Harkishan Sahib Ji.
In 1664, India was ruled by last of the Moughals, King Aurangzeb. Guru Harkishan Sahib, who was only 8 years old at that time, was requested by Aurangzeb through Maharaja Jai Singh of Jaipur, to bless Delhi, which was reeling under the epidemic of plague. Every day people were dying of this epidemic. This place, where Gurudwara Bangla Sahib stands now, was the bunglow owned by Maharaja Jai Singh of Jaipur and that is where it’s name as Gurudwara Bangla Sahib originated.
Youngest queen of Aurangzeb perhaps wanted to test Guru Ji’s ingenuity and confirm if this 8 year old boy, whom the Hindus and Sikhs of her regime worship like God, has any sensory perception. So, she dressed herself as a maid and went to Guru ji to offer him a sweet drink. Antaryami Guru Harkishan Das Ji recognized her at the first glimpse. He told her to sit down on the floor. Then Guru ji walked upto her and quietly sat in her lap like a child would. He asked, “Are you satisfied that I am none other than Harkishan? The queen apologized with tears in her eyes and complimented him in traditional Muslim way and left embarrassed.
Plague was taking tolls of life every day in Delhi. King Aurangzeb was worried. Guruji washed his feet in the pond located in the bunglow and asked those who were suffering, to drink a sip. This had magical effects and those who drank the water from the tank, were cured. Those who were healthy, got protected from the disease.
Thus, with the blessings of Shri Guru Harkishan Sahib, Delhi was freed from epidemics of plague. Maharaja Jai Singh dedicated his bunglow (spoken as “Bangla” in Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi) for making a holy Gurudwara, which is reason why this is known as Gurudwara Bangla Sahib.
V S Saxena