Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s blessed trail in Kapurthala

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Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the founder of the Sikh faith, was one of the greatest spiritual leaders of all time. Raised in a Hindu home and conversant with Islamic traditions, the Guru had a deep understanding of spirituality and his teachings were original and continue to be relevant and universal to this date. His teachings, expressed through remarkable poetry, speak of equality, brotherhood and peace. He laid down a set of guiding principles that he believed led to a spiritually fulfilling life, and these are followed by millions of Sikhs globally.

Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji moved to Sultanpur Lodhi at the behest of his elder sister Bebe Nanki. The siblings enjoyed a deep affectionate bond that would last till the end of her life. She was the first to recognise the extraordinary and unconventional genius of her younger brother. Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji needed no persuasion to relocate, and soon took up employment as a manager of stores for the local ruler, Daulat Khan. Sultanpur Lodhi is a sacred site that saw the young Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji find his enlightenment and emerge as a Guru.

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Gurdwara Sri Ber Sahib, Sultanpur Lodhi, Kapurthala

 

Image courtesy: ©Lonely Planet/ Puneetinder Kaur Sidhu

Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji stayed the longest, for nearly 15 years, in the ancient town of Sultan pur Lodhi which is venerated as the most sacred site by the faithful. The Gurdwara Ber Sahib is a majestic, white monument and stands by an ancient ber tree that has given this pristine gurdwara its name. This is the sacred site where Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji would sit in contemplation.

Gurdwara Sri Hut Sahib, Sultanpur Lodhi, Kapurthala

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The gurdwara commemorates the time Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji worked in the modikhana (store) of which he was in-charge. Inside this beautiful building, with its brilliantly painted ceiling, encased in glass is a collection of nine stone weights nestled on a velvet spread, now burnished by touch and time. These were the weights the Guru is believed to have used while dutifully dispensing provisions.

Gurdwara Bebe Nanki Ji Sahib,Sultanpur Lodhi, Kapurthala

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Built in honour of the exceptional Bebe Nanki Ji, the Guru’s elder sister and lifelong confidante, this serene shrine is near Gurdwara Hut Sahib. It was completed in the year 1970 under the supervision of the late Bibi Balwant Kaur (MBE) and Baba Kartar Singh, with donations received from around the world.

Gurdwara Sri Kothri Sahib,Sultanpur Lodhi, Kapurthala

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Enclosed within the sanctum is a tiny low-roofed and marble-clad cell where the Guru was confined after a false complaint was lodged against him. Paintings depicting this incident are hung on the walls of this cell. A notable one is that of Daulat Khan expressing regret and asking for forgiveness from the Guru after the truth was discovered.

Gurdwara Sahib Guru Ka Bagh

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This gurdwara marks the house Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji and Bibi Sulakhni lived following their marriage and where their two sons were born. This elegant, marble-clad gurdwara with a golden-tiled dome has a façade punctuated by a cantilevered balcony with fine carving and pietra dura panels. The doorway is intricately carved and encased in beaten silver. The brightly painted ceiling of the Darbar Sahib (sanctum) is surrounded by equally brilliant floral motifs in coloured mirror work.

Gurdwara Sant Ghat Sahib

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On the western outskirts of Sultanpur Lodhi, away from the main cluster of shrines, this gurdwara is located in close proximity to the cremation ground where the Guru resurfaced after being submerged in the Kali Bein for three days. It is here that he is believed to have also composed the Mulmantra. The Mulmantra is acknowledged as the essence of the Sikh faith.

Gurdwara Sri Antaryamta Sahib

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The gurdwara is believed to be the place where Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji was asked to prove that he belonged to followers of all persuasions by his critics. The Gurdwara Sri Antaryamta Sahib is a lovely double-storey building with a high central dome and chhatris. The gleaming white shrine has an expansive, palm-tree studded frontyard surrounded by rooms for devotees wishing to stay. Paintings, visually depicting this anecdote from the Guru’s life, hang in the colonnaded verandah that wraps around the sanctum.