Shri Keshgarh Sahib is located in the center of the city of
Anandpur Sahib, Punjab, India at a distance of about 40 KMs from
the district headquarters, Rupnagar. It is also known as "Takht
Shri Keshgarh Sahib" and is one of five highest Sikh institutions
in India; it is the city's main Sikh shrine. The city began as
Chakk Nanaki, which was founded by Guru Tegh Bahadur in 1665.
His son Guru Gobind Singh ji, who spent 25 years of his life in
the city, added greatly to the city's size, giving it the new
name of the City of Bliss (Anandpur).
stone was laid on March 30,1689. In fact, It was here that the
Khalsa was born with the first initiation of Khande Di Pahul,
when the young Guru called for a special congregation on the Baisakhi
day of 1699 with thousands of Sikhs in attendance. One can only
imagine how large the area was around Keshgarh Sahib then to accommodate
the many thousands of Sikhs in attendance on that historic day.
At that time
the hill of Keshgarh Sahib was at least 10-15 feet higher than
it is today. Next to it there was, at that time, another hill
known as "Tambu (tent) Wali Pahari", because a special
tent was set up there on the day of the revelation of Khalsa.
That hill and a long range of small hills which extended from
Kesgarh Sahib to Anandpur fort no longer exists, because in the
name of progress, in 1973, a road was constructed to link Kesgarh
Sahib and Anandgarh Sahib fort that necessitated levelling the
fort was built in 1699. The neighboring hill armies attacked Anandpur
Sahib several times between 1700 and 1705, but were never able
to reach Kesgarh Sahib because the fort was seemingly impregnable
and besides, before reaching the gates of Kesgarh the armies would
have had to capture the forts at Taragarh, Agamgarh, Fatehgarh
and Anandgarh and that never happened.
of Anandpur Sahib
It was only
after the half starved occupants of the city and its defensive
forts, convinced Guru Sahib to agree to leave the city, under
the promise of safe passage from their attackers. It was only
when the great Guru and his Sikhs were about to forge a nearby
river, that the hill armies entered the fort and began to demolish
were unable to return to Anandpur Sahib until Baba Banda Singh's
efforts to retake the city proved successful. Banda Bahadur also
subjugated the ruler of Bilaspur, who had been behind the siege
of the city in 1705. But all too soon the Sikhs had to face another
wave of persecution after the fall of Baba Banda Singh.
Sahib becomes prosperous again
next ten years most of the Sikh homeland was once again under
the rule of Sikhs. With Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the other Sikh
Misls and the Patiala dynasty, becoming the de facto rulers of
Punjab, a period of peace and prosperity allowed the scattered
Sikhs to begin making frequent visits to Anandpur Sahib. Anandpur
Sahib became the safest place for Sikhs. Baba Baghel Singh of
the Karorasinghia Misl, who had taken charge of Delhi and constructed
many Sikh shrines in the city, visited Anandpur Sahib in the 1780s
and decided to construct, repair and renovate the shrines of the
In 1812, Mahan
Chand, the ruler of Bilaspur, attacked Anandpur Sahib only to
suffer heavy losses.
Sahib is one of the Five Takhats or 'Seats of Authority' of the
Sikhs. Keshgarh Sahib is the home of many historical relics (Pictures
in Photo Gallery) which belonged to Shri Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
These include the actual Khanda (double edged sword) that the
Guru used to prepare amrit on the revelation of Khalsa Day, a
Kataar, Guru Gobind Singh's personal dagger (which he always carried),
a saif (a double edged weapon presented to the Guru by Mughal
Emperor Bahadur Shah) and a beautiful gun that was presented to
Guru Sahib by one of his sikhs from Lahore.
regular Granthis began serving at Kesgarh Sahib. Historical sources
mention the names of Bhai Karam Singh, Bhai Kharak Singh, Bhai
Budh Singh, Bhai Puran Singh, Bhai Amar Singh etc as the Granthis
of Kesgarh Sahib. For about a century (1820 to 1925) Kesgarh Sahib
had only one Granthi, but after Gurdwara reform movement (1920-25)
a "Jathedar" was appointed here too. This designation
was given to Giani Resham Singh, Giani Partap Singh Mallewal,
Jathedar Bir Singh, Master Ajit Singh Ambalvi, Giani Fauja Singh,
Giani Bachitar Singh, Jathedar Gurdial Singh Ajnoha, Jathedar
Harcharan Singh Mahalon, Bhai Shawinder Singh, Bhai Balbir Singh,
Bahi Manjit Singh (Prof.).
of Guru Gobind Singh Ji and His Warriors