Punjab is popularly known as the land of five rivers. We all know how beautiful Punjab is and how close it is to every Indian’s heart. It is one of those states that exudes core Indian culture in terms of hospitality, religion, food and respect.
One such place in Punjab is Anandpur Sahib. It is located at the edge of the Shivalik hills and is considered a valuable, spiritual space in the Sikh community because Guru Tegh Bahadur and Guru Gobind Singh resided here.
For this reason, Anand Sahib Gurudwara is visited by a large number of tourists every year who come and seek blessings here. Its history dates back to the time when this was built to honour Sikh gurus.
In case you are looking to visit Anandpur Gurudwara anytime soon, plan for the summer season.
History Of Anandpur Sahib
Anandpur Sahib is a sacred city in Punjab which is located at a distance of 95 km from Chandigarh. It occupies great significance in every Punjabi’s life. The Anand Sahib Gurudwara is said to have been founded in 1665 by the ninth guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur. Guru Tegh Bahadur used to reside in Kiratpur earlier, but due to some disputes, he later moved to Makhoval.
Two years later, he was beheaded by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb as he refused to convert to Islam. This martyrdom led to the crowning of his son Guru Gobind Singh as the successor.
Guru Gobind Singh then later on spent 25 years of his life teaching and guiding all his disciples. It is considered one of the most iconic and spiritual places in Punjab where people come to seek the blessings of their Guru.
Gurudwaras in Anandpur Sahib
1. Gurudwara Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib
This is one of the best Anandpur Sahib Gurudwaras and is the birthplace of the Khalsa. Among the Five Takhts, this Gurudwara holds a very sacred value in the religion of Sikhism. The Gurudwara is located on the same hill where Guru Gobind Singh Ji held congregations. Inside this Gurudwara, there is a small religious museum Virasat-e-Khalsa which has several artefacts that talk about the founding, history, culture and practices of Sikhism.
2. Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib
In November 1675, Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib Ji got martyrdom in Delhi. His beheaded head was cremated at this same place. It is said that the oldest structure in the shrine is the central pedestal in this Gurudwara.
3. Gurudwara Guru ka Mahal
This Gurudwara is worshipped as the 'Guru ka Mahal’. Along with Guru Gobind Singh Ji, his disciples used to live here. It has all the residences where Guru Teg Bahadur stayed.
4. Gurudwara Bhora Sahib
This Gurudwara is the residence of Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib Ji. This Gurudwara has an underground room which was earlier used for meditation and composing hymns. The sanctum of this Gurudwara entails the holy Guru Granth Sahib.
5. Gurudwara Akal Bunga Sahib
At this popular Anandpur Sahib Gurudwara, Guru Gobind Singh delivered a sermon after completing the last rites of his father, Guru Teg Bahadur. A visit to this Gurudwara will help you foray into Sikhism’s philosophy of justice and peace.
6. Gurudwara Mata Jit Kaur
This place is a dedication to Guru Gobind Singh’s wife, who was said to have a divine eye. She had a premonition that her young sons were being tortured.
Major attractions in Anandpur Sahib
This is a museum that was built in honour of Sikhs celebrating 500 years of Sikhism. When you enter the museum, you will get to see a lot of relics that belong to the Sikh era.
2. Takhat Sri Kesari Sahib Ji
This is one of the popular Gurudwaras in Anandpur Sahib. The foundation of this Gurudwara was laid in the year 1689 and Khalsa Panth was born here. Khalsa Panth is a community of Sikhs.
3. Sarovar Anandpur Sahib
Sarovar Anandpur Sahib is a place for taking a dip in the holy water. It is like a cleansing ritual for the soul. This is a sacred lake, covering an area of 860 square feet. It is situated next to the Takhat Sri Kesgarh Sahib Ji Gurudwara.
4. Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Sikh Museum
This is a museum where tourists get to learn about the glorious history of Sikhism and also witness priceless relics and artefacts from the past. The museum was constructed in the year 1983 and is located close to the Takhat Sri Kesgarh Sahib Ji.
5. Jhajjar Bachauli Wildlife Sanctuary
Located about 15 km away from Anandpur Sahib, this sanctuary is the ideal place for nature lovers, wildlife photographers as well as adventure enthusiasts. It is closely located near the Sutlej river and is a wildlife retreat for all wildlife lovers.
Gastronomic attractions in Anandpur Sahib
If you are a fan of traditional Punjabi food, you will love having food around Anandpur Sahib. Urad dal, chana, and kabuli chana are some famous dishes in this region. You can also try their special bread like Kulche or Bhature. In case you are also a fan of spicy street food, this is the place to go in Punjab.
Where to shop in Anandpur Sahib
If you are visiting Anandpur Sahib, you cannot miss out on the shopping experience here. Right from leather shoes to bags, woollens, copper, brass jewellery, and handicrafts, there are a lot of items you can buy from Anandpur Sahib. You also get copies of Sikh scriptures entailing the history of the place. You can take back souvenirs with you from this holy place.
How to reach Anandpur Sahib
By air: Board a flight to the Chandigarh International Airport located at a distance of 89 km and then, book a cab to reach Anandpur Sahib.
By train: Board a train to Anandpur Sahib or Ambala Railway station.
By road: You can travel to Anandpur Sahib from your location by your own vehicle or rented vehicle or bus. The nearest city is Ludhiana, at a distance of 14 km.
At Anandpur Sahib, apart from the local Gurudwaras, food and shopping attractions, one can witness the Holla Mohalla here, which is a special kind of Holi celebration along with a martial arts display.
All popular traditional Hindu festivals like Holi and Diwali are also celebrated here with immense enthusiasm. Most of the Anandpur Sahib Gurudwaras hold a lot of festive feasts on Guru Nanak Jayanti. So the next time you are in Punjab, we highly recommend you visiting the holy town of Anandpur Sahib.