Sunday, 6 October 2019

104 - A Tour of Jhang City 1: Two Old Gurdwaras & A Dharmshala

Jhang is an old city, situated almost in the middle of Pakistani Punjab. Its fertile lands are irrigated by two rivers Jhelum and Chenab. It is home to the legendary Heer, heroine of the most famous love story of South Asia, the story of Heer and Ranjha. Their tomb is also located in the same city. I visited the tomb ten years ago in 2009. You can see details on the following link:

This time I came in hope of finding one or two gurdwaras. But despite the oppressive heat and short time, I found more than I expected. The small area which I could see, made me aware of the rich architectural heritage of the city. I saw many houses that could be considered good examples of architecture in the early decades of the last century. 

First, I shall take you on the tour of an old gurdwara, that was built around 1942. It is sad to think that such a beautiful gurdwara, had to be abandoned just a few years after its completion. Currently, it is being used as a centre for the blind, managed by the Pakistan Association of the Blind. It is a kind of vocational centre that provides lodging and training to the blind, so that they can stand on their own feet. We were warmly received by Mr Akhlaq Ahmad, the Joint Secretary of the centre. Most of the staff members of the centre are blind, but are manging the tasks of the centre all by themselves. 

The main entrance leads to a big hall, which probably was used as the darbar hall, the main prayer hall. There are rooms on three sides of the hall and a staircase leading to the first floor. The building is well maintained and retains its original beauty. The balconies of the first floor overlook the main hall. It is located in Nabina Markaz wali gali at  31°16'37.75"N, 72°18'34.54"E. 

A view of the facade of the gurdwara in Jhang. (13.072017.)

The main entrance of the gurdwara. (13.072017.)

The main entrance of the gurdwara. (13.072017.)

Another view of the entrance. (13.072017.) 

A balcony above the door. (13.072017.)

੧ ਓ  ਸਤ ਗੁਰਪਰਸਾਦ
One True God - Obtained by Guru's Grace

ਇਹ ਟਿਕਾਣਾ ਸ੍ਰੀਮਾਨ 
ਮਹੰਤ ਕਰਮ ਚੰਦ ਸਾਹਿਬ
ਜੀ ਕੇ ਉਪਕਾਰ ਸੇ ਸਾਧ
ਸੰਗਤ ਮਾਈ ਭਾਈ ਨੇ
ਸੇਵਾ ਕਰ ਕੇ ਬਣਵਾਇਆ
ਚੇਤ੍ਰ ੧੦ - ੧੯੯੯

۱ اونکار ست گُرپَرَ ساد
ایہ ٹکانڑاں سریمان
مہنت کرم چند صاحب
جی کے اوپکار سے سادھ
سنگت بھائی مائی نے
سیوا کر کے بنڑوایا
چیتر10 - 1999 (مارچ/اپریل 1942ء)

1 True God   Obtained by Guru's grace

This lodging / abode was constructed with the favours of Mahant Karam Chand,
by all congregation, brothers and mothers.
Chet 10 - 1999 (Samvat) March / April, 1942 AD

Steet of the gurdwara. Nabina Centre wali gal. (13.072017.)

Stairs leading to the first floor. (13.072017.)

The main hall. (13.072017.)

A view of the first floor. (13.072017.)

Rooms on the left side of the hall. (13.072017.)

A cupboard in the wall. (13.072017.)

Mr Akhlaq Ahmad (centre), the joint secretary, with his staff members. (13.072017.)

A corridor on the first floor. (13.072017.)

This portion is used for cooking and eating. (13.072017.)

Hatim Alvi Memorial Braille Library
Jhang Branch
Established: 14 February, 1987.

The main entrance of the dharmshala. (13.072017.)

At a short distance from this gurdwara exists a building which was probably a dharmshala (a lodging house), associated with this gurdwara. It is a big house and has an imposing entrance. It was built in 1938. It is located at  31°16'38.51"N, 72°18'36.33"E.

ਇਹ ਟਿਕਾਣਾ ਸ੍ਰੀਮਾਨ
੧੦੯ ਮਹੰਤ ਕਰਮ ਚੰਦ
ਸਾਹਿਬ ਜੀ ਸ਼ਾਹ ਜੀਵਣ 
ਵਾਲਿਉ ਕੇ ਉਪਕਾਰ 
ਸੇ ਬਣਿਆ ਸਮਤ

ایہ ٹکانڑاں سریمان
109 مہنت کرم چند 
صاحب جی شاہ جیونڑ
والیوں کے اُپکار 
سے بنڑیاں سمت
1995 (1938 ء)

This lodging / abode was constructed with the favours of  sir Mahant Karam Chand 
sahib ji shah ji, in Samat 1995 (1938 AD)

੧ ਓ   ਸਤਿ ਗੁਰਪਰਸਾਦ
One True God - Obtained by Guru's Grace

ਅਵਹੁ ਸਜਣਾ ਹਉ ਦੇਖਾ ਦਰਸਨ ਤੇਰਾ
Come my beloved God, let me now look at you God

ਝਾੰਗ        ਟਿਕਾਣਾ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਸ੍ਰੀਮਨ ੧੦੯ ਸੰਤ ਭਾਈ ਹੇਮਾ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਜੀ      ਮਾਘਿਆਨਾ  
ਦਰਵਜੇ ਦੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਕਰਾਈ ਸਵਾਇਵਾ ਰਾਮ ਤਾਣੇਕਾ ਤਿਸ ਦੀ ਸੁਪਤਨੀ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਕੌਰ 

ਅਈਏ ਜੀ ਅਇਆਂ ਨੂ       ੧੯੯੫         ਸਤਿਨਾਮ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ

1اونکار   ست گرپرساد
آہو سجڑاں اہو دکھان درسن تیرا
 جھنگ      ٹکانڑاں صاحب سریمان 109 سنت بھائی ہیما صاحب جی      مگھیانا
دروازے دی سیوا کرائی سوائیا رام تنیجا تِس دی سُپتنی گوبند کور

آئیے جی آیاں نوں       1995  (1938ء)      ستنام سری واہِ گرو

Jhang      Lodging of Sant bhai Hema Singh ji       Maghiana
The service for the door was rendered by Gobind Kaur wife of Ram Taneja
1995 (1938 AD)

The imposing door of the building. An election poster is partially hiding the decorations. (13.072017.)

A closer view of the main door. (13.072017.)

੧ ਓ   ਸਤਿ  ਗੁਰਪਰਸਾਦ
(One True God - Obtained by Guru's Grace)

ਦੀਨਿ ਦੀਨਿ ਚਾੜੇ ਸਵਇਆ ਨਾਨਕ ਹੋਤਿਨ ਘਟ
(Day by day he prospers O Nanak, he shall not fail)

ਸ੍ਰੀਮਾਨ ਮਹੰਤ ਕਰਮ ਚੰਦ ਜੀ ਦੀ ਰਹੀ ਇਸ ਡੇਓਢੀ
ਦੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਕਰਾਈ ੨੧੦੦ ਇਕਿ ਸੋ ਰੁਪਿਅ ਅਰਦਾਸ ਕਰਾਈ
ਭਾਈ ਸਵਾਇਅ ਰਾਮ ਤਨੇਜਾ ਸਪੁਤਰ ਭਾਈ  ਚਰਨ ਦਾਸ
ਜੀ ਦੇ ਟਿਕਾਨਾ ਭਾਈ ਹੇਮ ਰਾਮ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਜੀ  ਮਿਘਾਨ
ਸੰਮਤ ੧੯੯੦ ਬਕ੍ਰਮੀ ਵੇਸਾਖ ੩

1 اونکار    ست گرپرساد
دن دن چڑے سوائیا نانک ہوتِن گھٹ
سریمان مہنت کرم چند جی دی راہی اس ڈیوڈھی
دی سیوا کرائی 2100 اکی سو روپیہ ارداس کرائی
بھائی سوائیا رام تنیجا سپُتر بھائی چرن داس
جی دے ٹکانہ بھائی ہیم رام صاحب جی مگھان
سمت 1995 بکرمی وِساکھ 3

Bhai Savaia Ram Taneja, rendered a serivce of Rs 2100/- for this lodging of 
Bhai Hem Ram Sahib ji Maghan, for the sake of Mahant Karam Chand ji.
Samat 1995 Bikrami Wesakh 3 (April, 1938)

The following are a few pictures of the narrow streets around the dharmshala. Showing its outer walls, with windows. 

On the western outskirts of the city I made a chance discovery of a very beautiful building with a dome. Most probably it is a gurdwara and almost a century old. A beautiful specimen of Sikh architecture. As a plaque shows it was built sometime in the beginning of the 20th century. Even after a century and neglect of seven decades, it has not completely lost its beauty and grandeur. It is located in a courtyard with rooms on all sides, where at present some families are living. This gurdwara is located at  31°16'30.28"N, 72°17'55.35"E

The gurdwara with its beautiful dome. (13.072017.)

A plaque above the door of a room. (13.072017.)

੧ ਓ    ਸਾਤ  ਗੁਰਪਰਸਾਦ
___ਤਸ ਭਵ  _____ਹੋਈ
 ਆਜ ਜੁਗਾਦੀ ਰਖਦਾ ਸਚ ਨਾਮ ਕਰਤਾਰ
ਅਨੰਦ _________________
ਸ੍ਰੀਮਾਨ ____________ ਸਿੰਘ
____________ ਇਸ ਕੁਟਿਆ
ਦੀ ___________________
ਰਾਮਚੌਦਰੀ ______ਦਿਅਲ ਨਾਰੰਗ
ਮਿਤੀ __੧੫ ਸੰ:  ੧੯੭੩

1 اونکار    ست گرپرساد
__تِس بھاو _______ ہوئی _____
آج جُگادی رکھدا سچ نام کرتار
سریمان _____________سنگھ
_________________اس کٹیا
رام چودھری ______دیال نارنگ
متی ___15 سمت 1973 (1916 ء)

Ek Onkar Satgur Prasad
_____ tis bhav ________hoi ______
Aaj jugadi rakhda sach naam kartaar 
(From beginning to present the True Name of the Creator has saved us)
Anand ____________________
Sriman _______________ Singh
___________________ iss kutia
Ram Chaudhri _____ Dayal Narang
Miti ___15 Samvat 1973 (1916 AD)

The gurdwara is located in a vast courtyard. (13.072017.)

A closer look. (13.072017.)

Some old rooms one side of the gurdwara. (13.072017.)

The beauty of the structure is quite visible even today. (13.072017.)

The main entrance. (13.072017.)

Another view from the outside. (13.072017.)

The above three buildings show the rich architectural heritage of Jhang city. There are many more such examples, some of which  I shall present to you in my next post about the Jhang City. At the end I would like to sincerely thank Dr. Tarunjit Singh Butalia, who was very helpful in reading the inscriptions in Gurmukhi, especially translating some Sabds from Guru Garanth sahib, the holy book of Sikh religion. Dr Singh is currently residing in USA and is actively engaged in promoting interfaith harmony and peace. He has a special relationship with Pakistan, as his ancestors were natives of Butala Jhanda Singh, near Gujranwala. You can see the details in the following post:

Tariq Amir

October 6, 2019.
Doha - Qatar. 

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