Thursday, 21 November 2019

118 - Gurdwara Chakki Sahib & Gurdwara Khuhi Bhai Lalo (Eminabad)

As I mentioned in my previous post about Gurdwara Rori Sahib, Eminabad is an old town and in the late middle ages, it was an important city in the region. The founder of the Sikh religion Baba Guru Nanak Dev ji (1469 - 1539) also lived here for some time. There are three gurdwaras associated with the Guru ji. The biggest one is Gurdwara Rori sahib, which I already have covered in my previous post, the link is given below:


In this post, I shall cover the other two historic gurdwaras in the town. One of them is famous as Gurdwara Chakki Sahib, located at: 32°2'32.01"N; 74°15'35.98"E.  The details are given about this gurdwara on the following link:


Gurdwara Chakki Sahib, at Eminabad is located where a large millstone was kept which was once used by Guru Nanak. In the Janamsakhis, it is mentioned that Guru Nanak Dev was taken as a prisoner along with thousands of his fellow countrymen by Babar's men.
Baba ji was, along with many of his fellow prisoners, forced to grind corn with hand-driven chakkis (millstones). His captors were surprised to see that the millstone used by Guru Nanak was turning, by itself, while Baba ji was simply pouring grist into the opening in the stone as he sang songs to the Glory of One God.
The Guru's songs to 'One God' (the Mughals as Muslims also believed in One God) and, even more the stone's turning by itself amazed the Mughal soldiers who brought this to the immediate attention of Babar.
The present building, inside the town of Eminabad, is a simple flat-roofed room with some ancillaries surrounded by a brick paved compound.

The main entrance of the Gurdwara Chakki Sahib, Eminabad. (23.07.2019.)

Another view of the door of the gurdwara. (23.07.2019.)

In front of the gurdwara Chakki Sahib. (23.07.2019.)

GURDWARA CHAKKI SAHIB

The inside view of the gurdwara Chakki Sahib. (23.07.2019.)

It is just a big simple hall, divided from inside into two portions. (23.07.2019.)

The prayer hall. (23.07.2019.)

An adjoining room. (23.07.2019.)

Sardar Sandip Singh. (23.07.2019.)

Inside the prayer hall. (23.07.2019.)

The Mughal Emperor, meeting the Guru. (23.07.2019.)

Guru Nanak ji, with Bhai Mardana, rubabi (left) & Bhai Bala (right). 

From Left to Right: Guru Tegh Bahadur, Babu Guru Nanak & Guru Gobind Singh. 

The second gurdwara I visited was gurdwara Khuhi Bhai Lalo. The gurdwara is located about 200m from the gurdwara Chakki Sahib, at  32°2'32.02"N; 74°15'35.95"E. The information about this gurdwara is given below on the following link:


Gurdwara Khuhi Bhai Lalo Ji: Bhai Lalo was a carpenter living at Eminabad during the 1500's. Guru Nanak Dev, the founder Guru of the Sikhs stayed with him on several occasions. Bhai Lalo's house became a dharmsal (a place where dharam is taught and learnt), meeting place for local followers of the Guru, and was later developed into Gurdwara which was named after a "khuhi" (narrow well) which existed even when the old house had crumbled.
Bhai Lalo, a resident of Saidpur (Eminabad), was a carpenter of Getaura caste. Guru Nanak stayed at his house when came he to Eminabad in about the early 1500's. It is the place where the Guru composed the following bani (hymns) in Tilang raag.
A man by the name of Malik Bhago was a minor official of the ruler of Eminahad. He arranged a big feast for the Brahamins (Braham Bhoj) and also invited the Guru, who declined the invitation. This made him angry and he summoned the Guru through official command.
The Guru squeezed his buttered bread with one hand and with other hand squeezed the plain bread of Bhai Lalo before all present in the court. Blood started trickling from Malik's buttered bread and milk oozed out of plain bread of Lalo, the carpenter. The Guru explained that Malik's income was earned by "sucking" the blood of the poor people whereas the income of this carpenter had the milk earned by his hard labour. "This was the reason behind my rejection of your rich food and that was why I had preferred the simple diet earned through hard labour," said the Guru.
Lalu's house, where Guru Nanak Dev Ji had stayed, was made into a Gurdwara. This is called Gurdwara Khuhi Bhai Lalo Ji - "Gurdwara at the well of Lalu". The well in front of the Gurdwara still provides drinking water is still intact and usable. 

Gurdwara Khuhi Bhai Lalo. (23.07.2019.)

The entrance of the Khuhi Bhai Lalo. (23.07.2019.)

STONE LAYING CEREMONY
OF
GURDWARA BHAI LALO-DE-KHOOI
BY
MR PETTER JOUN SAHOTRA
FEDERAL OF STATE
FOR MINORITIES AFFAIRS
GOVT. OF PAKISTAN
APRIL 18, 1993.

The door of the gurdwara Khuhi Bhai Lalo. (23.07.2019.)

It is a simple two room gurdwara. (23.07.2019.)

Khuhi, the well, in the gurdwara. (23.07.2019.)

Looking down the well. (23.07.2019.)

The prayer room. (23.07.2019.)

Guru Nanak Dev ji. (23.07.2019.)

A burj, watchtower of the old defensive wall of Eminabad. (23.07.2019.)

Another view of the tower. (23.07.2019.)

The gate of the old town. (23.07.2019.)

The main bazaar of the town. (23.07.2019.)

A street towards Gurdwara Khuhi Bhai Lalo. (23.07.2019.)

An old house behind the gurdwara Khuhi Bhai Lalo. (23.07.2019.)

I did not know the exact location of these gurdwaras. So I asked a few persons and they guided me to them. But I became alarmed to find both of them closed and locked. However, a person advised me to contact a Sikh, who has a shop of cosmetics in the main bazaar. I found him without any difficulty, for being the only Sikh in the town and everybody knew about him. 

Sandip Singh received us warmly, but apologised that he could not help us much regarding visiting the gurdwaras, as he did not have keys to them and advised us to contact the administration of gurdwara Rori Sahib, which we had just visited. However, he offered us cold drinks and water, which we accepted immediately, as after roaming about in the hot and humid weather we were exhausted. His shop was a refuge from the heat outside. 

In hope of finding some solution to our problem, we lingered on, and I tried to charm him with my basic knowledge about Sikh history and the Gurmukhi alphabets. And probably that worked and after sometime, he relented and called a person and then went to meet him, leaving the shop to our watch. He returned in around ten minutes and brought the keys to both of the gurdwaras. He showed us the gurdwaras from inside and also informed us about the history of the gurdwaras. I shall never forget his hospitality and help. Sandip Singh s/o Himmat Singh, was born in Hassan Abdal and not have been living in Eminabad for the last ten years. His elder brother also lives in Eminabad. 

 Sardar Sandip Singh s/o Sardar Himmat Singh in his shop. (23.07.2019.)

With Sandip Singh. (23.07.2019.)

These two gurdwaras are not fully functional but are in the control of the Sikh community. These two are also off limit to foreigners. The Sikhs from other countries only visit the gurdwara Rori Sahib and due to security concerns or administrative issues are not allowed to come here. But I hope all this will change soon and they will be allowed to come here freely. 

Tariq Amir
November 21, 2019.
Doha - Qatar.

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