Bidar can not be described only in terms of its historical monuments and its Bidri Work. It also plays a great role in the religious history of my country. Being a threshold of Muslim dynasties, it is obviously evident that Dargahs will be a common feature. However, I was surprised to see equal number of Sikh and Hindu devotees thronging the city on the weekend that I was there.
One of the most noticeable experience that I had was at Guru Nanak Jhira Sahib. I am usually a person who is far removed from religious experiences. However, the tranquility that surrounded this Gurudwara was something very different. From one of the local patron, it was revealed to me that Bidar actually has a long association with Sikhism and is known to be the hometown of one of the first members of Khalsa.
The Gurudwara was built in 1948 as a sign of homage to the first Sikh guru Guru Nanak. It is said that during his second missionary tour of South India, he arrived at Bidar to meet Pir Jalaluddin and Yakoob Ali. At that time, there used to be acute shortage of drinking water in India and famine in many parts of India. The plight of the people was so heartening that while uttering Sat Kartar, he shifted a stone and removed some rubble from the place with his wooden sandal. A spring of cool and fresh water started flowing from this spot, and can be still seen. The is how the place came to be known as Nanak Jhira (Jhira=Stream).
The beauty of the monument can be seen right as you start walk down the road sloping down to the main entrance. The white majestic structure with gold detailed work definitely packs an impressive punch.
This holy shrine consists of a Darbar sahib, Diwan Hall and Langar Hall. In the sukhaasan room, the holy book of Sikh, guru granth Sahib, is placed. There is a separate room called Likhari Room where all donations are accepted. As a sign of respect, I didn’t take pictures in that room. The Langar Hall is a free community kitchen where free food is given to all pilgrim 24 hours night and day.
The holy spring that I spoke about earlier, is collected in a small Amrit Kund (A holy water tank) built opposite the Gurudwara.
Rules and Regulations:
- Decorum and dignity should be maintained with respect to any religious place.
- Inappropriate dressings (shorts, mini skirts, etc) are obviously not allowed.
- As long as you are in the Gurudwara, from the main shrine to the Langar Hall and the Amrit Kund, all ladies and gents are advised to keep heir head covered. In case this is a impromptu visit and you are not carrying any head covering with you, don’t worry. The Gurudwara has plenty of scarf for this very purpose.
The serenity of the place was so soothing that it sparked the wanderlust in me to visit the Golden Temple, Amritsar. Sometimes, a simple place serves as a double-edged sword; it can cut through a plate of butter. But what a pleasant sting it leaves behind.
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