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Patiala Dukhniwaran Sahib

Patiala, the fourth largest city of the state Punjab, is famously known for five things: the Patiala salwar – a type of pants traditionally worn by women, parandi – a tussled accessory worn by women in their plaits, turbans worn by men – particularly those belonging to the Sikh religion, juttis or leather footwear and the “Patiala peg” - a popular measure for alcohol. However, there is more to the city that meets the eye at first glance. Over the past few decades, Patiala has emerged as one of the major education centres in the state of Punjab, boasting of numerous schools and colleges, some of them among the best all over the nation. The patronage of Maharajas here gave rise to a style of Hindustani classical music known as the Patiala gharana which is now famous for its singers all over the world. Culturally rich, this city houses numerous tourist locations of historical and religious significance. Architectural influences of the city blends the Rajput style with local aesthetics and this can be seen equally in tourist attractions like the Qila Mubarak complex and Baradari Kothi heritage hotels as well as local buildings spread throughout the city.

Gurudwara Dukh Niwaran Sahib

Gurudwara Dukh Niwaran Sahib is located in the village of Lehal, a part of this sprawling city. It is a massive building complex that stretches over several acres. Its two storey gateway is paved with black and white marble floor and is protected by a collapsible iron gate. The central building comprises of two floors built on top of a raised base. Each corner of the complex is marked by a chamber with an octagonal dome on top. The top part of the building sports a similarly domed pavilion and a golden lotus shaped dome arches over the center.

This topmost dome has round sun-windows on every side, built with a curved coping that projects horizontally at the ends. Decorative domed pavilions stretch out at the corners of this structure and the roof is adorned with lotuses blossoming among the leaves.

The interior of the gurudwara has a grey and white marble floor, a more subtle contrast against the black and white exterior. Walls and pillars of the building are done in white marble slab. The floral designs on the ceiling are spectacular examples of stucco work. The inner sanctum, where the holy book Shri Guru Granth Sahib is kept, is situated at the far end of room marked by an elevated square canopy.

The sarovar, originally 75 metres in length has now been extended considerably and lies at the right as one enters the gurudwara. On the other end is the Guru ka Langar, where all devotees are served food.

On the left of the pathway that leads to the main building is a small marble shrine. This shrine marks the spot where Guru Tegh Bahadur is believed to have sat and meditated under a banyan tree to alleviate disease from the village.

Historical Significance

Locals believe that a jhivar from the village Lehal by the name Bhag Ram had waited upon Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth guru of the Sikhs, during his stay at Bahadurgarh. He requested the saint to visit and bless his village to rid the villagers of a serious and mysterious illness that had been plaguing them for a long time. In keeping with his request, Guru Tegh Bahadur visited Lehal and stayed under a Banyan tree beside a pond in the village. Miraculously, the sickness in the village was alleviated.

Guru Tegh Bahadur was given the name “Dukh Niwaran” which means “the destroyer of sorrows” after this incident and the gurudwara is known as Dukh Niwaran in his honour. An old handwritten document that supports the authenticity of this story is preserved inside the gurudwara. The water in the sarovar within the gurudwara is said to have healing qualities and is visited by devotees in large numbers.

Best Time for Visit

Winter is the ideal season to visit Patiala – lasting roughly from October to February. The climate stays pleasantly cool during this season and the temperature ranges from 5-25 degrees Celsius. It is the ideal time for sightseeing.

How to Reach The City

Patiala is well connected to most of the major cities within the state as well as outside Punjab. The roads are well maintained and connected to the National Highway 1 as well as National Highway 4. While it has a railway station of its own, the airport is unfortunately not functional. However, the nearest domestic airport is at Chandigarh, easily accessible by road, at a distance of roughly 70 km. The distance from the national capital, Delhi is about 233 km.

Tips for Visiting The Site

Gurudwara Dukh Niwaran Sahib is about 28 km from the Patiala Railway station and can easily be accessed by public transport.

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 don’t forget to carry a scarf. The sarovar adjacent to the gurudwara is considered holy and believed to have healing properties, so do visit the sarovar at least once. A big gathering is held on the fifth day of the light half of each lunar month and the entire building is lit up beautifully. It is a sight you don’t want to miss. The best time to visit the gurudwara is during Basant Panchami, a yearly festival that coincides with the day of Guru Tegh Bahadur’s visit to the village. This day is celebrated with special gusto in the gurudwara every year in February.

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