Gurdwara Bangla Sahib
An arresting golden dome and sky piercing flagpole is the identity of Gurudwara Bangla Sahib in Delhi. It is the most signficant shrine of the sikhs in the city. Located next to Gol Dak Khana, this place of Sikh worship is open to people of all faiths, castes or creeds.
Gurdwara Bangla Sahib is the biggest gurudwara in Delhi. It was initially the residence of Raja Jai Singh Amber of Jaipur. In 1664, Guru Harkishan Singh (the 8th Sikh Guru) stayed here during his visit to Delhi. As the legend goes, there was an epidemic of smallpox in the city that time. Guru Harkishan Singh Ji helped the suffering by offering aid and fresh water from the pond at this house. It is believed that the Guru blessed the holy water (Amrit) of the pond (Sarovar). People take bath in the holy pond to wash off their misdeeds and attain peace of mind.
The Gurdwara is devoted to the eighth Guru, Shri Guru Harkishan Sahib Ji and named after the Sikh General Sardar Bhagel Singh who raised a total of nine Sikh shrines in Delhi in 1783, including Gurudwara Banga Sahib.
Apart from the sacred pond, the Gurudwara has:
- A secondary school
- Baba Baghel Sing Museum
- A library
- A hospital
- Sangat congregations
- Pangat or community kitchen, also known as Guru-ka-langar, serves delicious food to all the devotees visiting here everyday.
Before entering the main complex, it is compulsary for everyone to cover heads with a cloth. The cultural music/prayer 'Gurbani' echoes in the Gurudwara throughout the day. Over hundreds of volunteers and devotees work here everyday to show their dedication towards the lord.
Music and songs are considered to be one of the special ways in Sikhism to connect the human soul with the God. Numerous occasions and festivals are celebrated in the Gurudwara which show the fervour of devotees towards their religion. The committee celebrates the birthday as well as the death anniversary of Guru Sri Harkrishnan Sahib with equal respect. Other major festivals celebrated are the birthdays of all their 10 gurus (especially that of Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind Singh), Baisakhi and Bandi Chhor Divas (Diwali).