Places of Historical, Religious and Tourist Interest
Takhat Sri Keshgarh Sahib
The most important of the complex of shrines at Anandpur Sahib is Gurudwara Keshgarh Sahib, which stands on the place where the "Khalsa" was born. It is regarded as one of the five sacred "Takhats" or seats of Sikh religion. It is on the main Rupnagar-Nangal road and one has to walk up a cobbled path to reach the shrine, built on the hillock. Climbing up some steps, Darshani Deorhi has to be crossed first Then comes the large open marbled quadrangle at the end of which steps lead up to the central shrine. In the centre of the hall is a room displaying twelve weapons used by Guru Gobind Singh in battle. There is an imposing dome on the hall with a golden kalas on the top. A big serai of about 200 rooms is also attached.
It was here in 1699, on the Baisakhi day (13th April), Tenth Master Guru Gobind Singh Ji created Khalsa by baptizing five beloved Sikhs known as "Panj Piaras". At the behest of the Guru, thousands of people had assembled on the hill where now Gurudwara Keshgarh Sahib stands. The Guru appeared before the congregation with a naked sword in his hand and told that his thirsty sword demanded the life of a volunteer. A deep hush fell over the crowd. Ultimately, Daya Ram, a Khatri of Lahore came forward. The Guru took him to a tent and returned with his sword with blood. He asked for another head and Dharam Dass, a Jat from Delhi offered himself. Three more similar calls brought out Mohakam Chand, a washerman of Dwarka, Sahib Chand, a barber from Bidar and Himmat Rai, a water carrier from Jagan Nath Puri. From the tent in which these five followers had been taken, Guru Gobind Singh brought out the five Sikhs dressed in new clothes, blue turbaned with loose long yellow shirts, a waist band round their waists, with sorts of Knicker-bockers worn as underwears and with swords dangling by their sides. It was an inspiring sight. The Guru told the congregation that these were his Five Beloved Sikhs (Panj Payaras), and he baptized them by offering them Amrit (the nectar of immortality) he had prepared by dissolving Sugar Bubbles (Patasa) in water sanctifying the sweetened water by stirring it with double edged sword (khanda) and reciting the holy verses. The Guru himself took the Amrit from the Panj Payaras, thus removing the distinction between himself and followers. On that day, Guru Gobind Rai became Guru Gobind Singh. The Panj Payaras were enjoined to embrace the five symbols of the new Sikh faith, Kes (unshorn hair), Kangha (comb), Kara (steel bracelet), Kachha (short drawer) and Kirpan (sword). The ceremony gave followers of Guru, a new identity which was to prepare the Sikhs for their struggle against the Mughal State and influence the future of the country.
Gurudwara Parivar Vichhora Sahib
Gurudwara Parivar Vichhora Sahib is situated adjacent to the canal near village Nangal Sirsa, at a distance of about 14 Km from Rupnagar. It has a lofty flight of 84 steps leading upto the top. Guru Gobind Singh along with his family and followers came to this place leaving the Fort of Anandpur Sahib, He had not yet reached the bank of the Sirsa River, 15 Km to the east when he was attacked by a strong contingent under Wazir Khan, the Governer of Sirhind. When the Guru was heavily engaged, another detachment of the Mughals delivered an assault on the first batch halting on the river bank. A fierce battle took place here in which most of Guru's followers lost their lives. It is the place where Guru was separated from his family and then proceeded towards Kotla Nihang along with his two elder sons and 40 followers. The Guru's mother and his two younger sons were taken by Gangu, an old domestic servant of the family to his native village, Saheri near Morinda. Mata Sunderi and Mata Sahib Devi, the wives of the Guru were taken to Delhi in the guise of rustic women. A gurudwara called Parivar Vichhora Sahib marks the site where the family of the Guru was separated. The construction of the gurudwara was started in 1963 and completed in 1975. A big fair lasting for three days is held here annually in the month of December.
Gurudwara Bhatta Sahib
Gurudwara Bhatta Sahib is situated in the village Kotla Nihang, at the outskirts of Rupnagar town. It was built in the memory of Guru Gobind Singh. After leaving Anandpur Sahib, the Guru pursued by the enemy reached Kotla Nihang and asked the Pathans there to give him shelter. The latter, jestingly pointed out to a lime-kiln as the only fit place for him to stay. The story goes that the Guru led his horse straight to the kiln and on his approach, the fire miraculously went out. The Pathans hearing of this miracle invited the Guru to their house. The Guru gave them certain gifts (weapons) and left for Chamkaur Sahib the next day unknown to his pursuers. The Gurudwara was built at the site of the kiln by Baba Jiwan Singh in 1914.
A silver sword, a kitar and a dhal gifted by the Guru to the Pathans are preserved in the Gurudwara. A fair is held here on 11 Bhadon (August) on the death anniversary of Baba Jiwan Singh. Besides, afair is held here on 2-4 Poh (December) when large number of people visit the place.
Gurdwara Sadabarat is situated on Nangal Road. It is said to have been built in 1930 . The place where now Gurudwara Sada Barat stands was an important halting place for the merchants and other travellers coming from and going to hilly areas. It is said that even Guru nanak Dev stayed at this place while returning from Kiratpur Sahib after meeting Baba Buddan Shah there. Later on Guru Hargobind halted at this place while proceeding from Kartarpur to Kiratpur Sahib.. Thereafter, Guru Har Rai and Guru Har Kishan, Guru Tegh Bahadur and Guru Gobind Singh also frequently visited the place.
Keeping in view the importance of the place, Raja Bhup Singh, the ruler of Ropar started LANGAR (Community Kitchen) which was server day and night to the visitors., and as such this place came to be known as Gurudwara Sada Barat.. The raised platform from where Raja Bhup Singh himself used to serve food to the people still exists. A big festival is held here annually on the occasion of Lohri-Maghi in the month of January.
Jateshwar Mahadev Temple, Jatwahar
Popularly known as Shiv Mandir, the ancient temple of Jateshwar Mahadev is situated in the village Jatwahr which is about 6 kms from village Bains on the Rupnagar-Nurpur Bedi road.The antiquity of the temple according to local tradition goes back to the remote past. But the present building does not seem to be more than 100 years old. It was built by one Jai Dayal Sharma, a resident of the village Takhatgarh. There is clear evidence of an earlier temple at the site, in the remains four carved pillars of sandstone can be attributed to about 10th-11th century. There is also a mound near the temple which seems to belong to the medieval period.
The temple is held in great reverence and is visited by devotees from various parts of Punjab and also from the adjoining states of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. During the month of Sawan (July-August), people visit the temple in large number every Monday. Besides a fair is held every year on Shivratri in the month of Februray.
Bhakra Nangal Dam
Bhakra Dam which is situated at about 10 kms from Nangal, is one of the highest straight gravity concrete dams in the world. The construction of the dam started in November, 1955.In its rear is formed a beautiful lake 'Gobind Sagar' named after Guru Gobind Singh. It is 96 km in length with a gross storage capacity of 7.8 million acre feet of water. On the downstream, the dam, is flanked by two power houses, one on either side of the river satluj, each fitted with 5 generators, capable of producing a total of 1050 MW of electricity.
Cafeteria has been provided at the top of the dam and also about 1 km upstream of the dam. Water sports in Gobind Sagar have been added to make it a good tourist resort. A motorable roda to link Bhakra with Shimla and Kulu valley via Naina Devi temple and Bilaspur has been constructed and this has opened the interior of Himachal Pradesh to tourism.
There is a subsidiary dam known as Nangal Dam which is 1000 feet long and 95 feet high and is meant for diverting water into the Nangal Hydel Channel. In this way, the Nangal Dam holds up the water of Satluj River coming from Bhakra Dam and forms an artificial lake of 6 km length. The Nangal Hydel Channel including Nangal Dam were constructed prior to 1954.
Place of Treaty Between Maharaja Ranjit Singh and Lord William-Bentick
A Historic meeting between Maharaja Ranjit Singh and Lord Willam Bentinck, the Governor General of India took place at Ropar on the Bank of Satluj under a PIPAL TREE on 26th October, 1831. Ostnsibly, the Governer General met the Maharaja to show to the world that he and the Maharaja were friendly. Various boundary issues were settled between Maharaja Ranjit Singh and the British.