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Chilla Baba Sheikh Farid

Nestled in the south west corner of the state of Punjab is the small, peaceful city of Faridkot. Carved out of the erstwhile Bhatinda district as an independent district for the first time in August, 1972, Faridkot got its name from Baba Sheikh Fariduddin Ganjshakar, a great Sufi saint whose verses can be found in the Sikh religious text Shri Guru Granth Sahib. Gurudwara Chilla Baba Sheikh Farid commemorates this saint.

Gurudwara Chilla Baba Sheikh Farid

Gurudwara Chilla Baba Sheikh Farid, also known as Tilla Baba Sheikh Farid is an important religious site for Sikhs all over the world. Situated near Qila Mubarak, another interesting site in the city of Faridkot, the gurudwara sees a large number of tourists every day. Vegetarian food or langar is served at the gurudwara every day – open to tourists, pilgrims and the poor alike. Followers of the Sikh religion are seen offering their prayers at the gurudwara every Thursday. Shabad-keertan or the singing of sacred songs is conducted every day in this gurudwara for the benefit of its devotees. This place is a must see for those trying to reconnect with their spiritual side.

Historical Significance

It is said that the gurudwara is as old as the town itself. Raja Mokalsi, the grandson of raja Manj, founded the town Faridkot in thirteenth century and built a fort here.  Baba Sheikh Farid, the great Sufi saint passing through the city at the time, then known as Mokalharwas captured by the soldiers of king Raja Mokalsi and were put to bonded labour for the construction of this fort, Qila Mubarak. He was observed by many to have miraculous powers which manifested themselves regularly. Once, it is said that the basket of earth that Baba Farid was supposed to be carrying was seen floating above his head. At the sight of this miracle, the king Mokalsi fell at the saint’s feet asking for forgiveness and setting him free from the task. Baba Farid forgave the king and meditated at a place near the fort for forty days.

Gurudwara Chilla Baba Sheikh Farid was constructed at this holy spot and the name of the city was changed from Mokulhar to Faridkot in his honour. A piece of wood on which Baba Farid had supposedly wiped his dirty hands has still been preserved here and can be seen on a visit to the place. Baba Farid, many of whose hymns have been incorporated in the Holy Shri Guru Granth Sahib, travelled to Pakpattan, a place in Pakistan from Faridkot.

Best Time for Visit

The best time to visit Faridkot is in autumn, during the months of October and November when the average temperature hovers around a pleasant 25 degrees Celsius.

How to Reach The City

The city is well connected by trains to major cities in north India like Delhi and Jaipur. By road, one can reach Faridkot by various state tourism as well as private operator busses, and the area is safe to drive in, connected to main cities through National Highway 15. The nearest airport is Sahnewal Airport in Ludhiana, about 105 km by road. The state capital, Chandigarh is only 218 km away from this city.

Tips for Visiting the Site

Once in the city, Gurudwara Chilla Baba Sheikh Farid can be easily reached. Not only is it a prominent site in the city, it is merely 3 km away from the Faridkot railway station.

Remember, that the gurudwara is a sacred place for the Sikhs. While both men and women are allowed inside the gurudwara, it is important to cover your heads. So do not forget to carry a scarf with you. The langar here is delicious and the Shahbad Kirtan is extremely spiritual, so do attend both to make the most of your visit.

For those interested in the history of the city, Qila Mubarak, the fort where Baba Farid was forced to work for is only a short walk from the gurudwara.

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