Sunday, May 5, 2013

Rawalpindi - Gurdwara Panja Sahib

Tour date: July 2010

During one of my return trip to Pakistan for official duty after mobilisation to the headquarters, I visited our client in Islamabad for settlement of the final account. We normally will stay at our IJM concrete guest house in Bahria Town, one of the modest housing area in town. As it was nearly weekend, I extended my stay by touring Islamabad and Rawalpindi cities with Nahran. 

Nahran took along his friend who is more familiar with tourist attraction in Northern Pakistan as he was spending quite a long time studied medicine. He mentioned about the Gurdwara Panja Sahib which is famously visited due to a rock believed to have a printed hand of the Sikhism founder, Guru Nanak, the 1st guru of 12. Twice a year the Sikhs will visit this gurdwara. Gurdwara is punjabi word for "Gateway to the Guru" is the place of worship and mostly it's architecture resembles a mosque. Gurdwara Panja Sahab is located at Hasan Abdal, 48km from Rawalpindi established in 1870. 

Gurdwara entrance gate

This holy and revered place was named Panja Sahib by Hari Singh Nalwa, the most famous general of the Sikhs Kingdom. He is credited with having built the first gurdwara at this place. During the British Punjab, the management of Panja Sahib went into the Hindu hands but at presence it was managed by the volunteer group.

The gurdwara was built with a series of water features around to remark a story of Guru Nanak and a local saint, Hazrat Shah Wali Qandhari. During meditation atop of nearby hill, Guru Nanak had annoyed the Wali and when he sent his disciple to seek for water from the Wali, the request was turned down. Thus, Guru Nanak had placed his hand on a nearby rock resulted a fresh spring water flowing to quench the thirst.

We were not allowed to enter the gurdwara, so, I do not had an opportunity to witness Guru Nanak hand  printed on the rock as believed. But the view of the outside gurdwara are really breathtaking. 

Guru Nanak was born in April in 1469 near Lahore, Pakistan. At 30 years old, when he returned from 3 days disappearance (believed drowned in a river), he broke his silence by saying "There is neither Hindu nor Mussulman (Muslim), so whose path shall I follow? I shall follow God's path. God is neither Hindu nor Mussulman and the path which I follow is God's". Thereafter, Guru Nanak traveled to places far and wide teaching people the message of one God (monotheist) who dwells in every one of  God's creations and constitutes the eternal truth. 

Let us all start questioning our self "Who are we to judge?".

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