Sri Keshgarh Sahib
The most important of the complex of shrines at Sri 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.
How to Reach:
Nearest airport is at Chandigarh at a distance of approximately 100 KMs.
Nearest Railway Station is at Sri Anandpur Sahib.
Sri Anandpur Sahib is at 60 KMs from district headquarters and 102 KMs from Chandigarh.