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Takhat Sri Keshgarh Sahib

The birthplace of Khalsa is Takhat Sri Keshgarh Sahib. It is situated amid the hills of Shivalik and the banks of the Sutlej.  This place commemorates the prodigy of ‘celebrating the scum of humanity’ and the admiration of mystical and supernatural guru-disciple matrix. After buying the land of Makhowal Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur termed it Chak Nanki which later became popularly known as Anandapur Sahib.  The foundation stone of this Gurudwara was laid on March 30th 1689. Around this time the hill surrounding Keshgarh Sahib was about 10-15 ft taller. The Gurudwara is situated in the centre of the city of Anandapur Sahib. This is one of the city’s main shrines.


Gurudwara Sri Keshgarh Sahib is a historical gurudwara with major significance. Keshgarh Qilla is the fort constructed by the 10th master in Anandapur Sahib. This fort is presently the Takhat called Keshgarh Sahib. This fort happens to be one of the 5 forts that Guru Gobind Singh constructed for the protection of the Sikhs. The Guru spent 25 years of his life in Anandapur Sahib and to protect the Sikhs from the Mughals, hence started construction of these forts or Qillas all around the place. The birth of Khalsa took place at this very juncture on 30th march 1689 by Guru Gobind Singh. During the years of 1700-1705, the hill army besieged Anandapur Sahib several times but could never capture this Fort.


The zone which is known as Anandapur Sahib comprises of Chak Nanaki, Anandapur Sahib and some adjoining villages. It is popularly believed that the town of Anandapur was founded by Guru Tegh Bahadur on June 19th 1665. As a matter of fact it was Chak Nanaki which was established in 1665. The foundation stone of Anandapur Sahib was settled on 30th march 1689. The area of Chak Nanaki extended from the village of Agamgarh and between Keshgarh Sahib and the town’s bus stand. The site picked by the Guru around Makhowal was strategically brilliant. It was surrounded by the river Sutlej on one side and hills on the other, a place perfect for meditation as well as intellectual activities and also free from attacks by neighbouring armies. The foundation stone of this new town was laid down by Bhai Gurditta on June 19th 1665 at the current site of the Guru De Mahal. Guru Gobind Singh returned to Chak Nanaki in 1688 and in 1689 founded the town of Anandapur Sahib.


This heritage building draws inspiration from the rich natural and architectural history of Anandapur Sahib. It also draws heavily from regional and Sikh architecture. In contrast to the domes that adorn traditional Sikh sites, the roofs of this museum are concave shaped receptors that face the sky. Encased in stainless steel they reflect the light of the sun towards the fort and gurudwara. Being one of the five takhts, this Gurudwara is indeed a beauty. Inside, the Guru Granth Sahib is situated in the main hall. In the middle and guarded by a glass are 12 relics associated with Sikh martyrs, especially Guru Gobind Singh. The gurudwara is very clean and shines in sunlight as it is constructed from white marble. Gurudwaras usually have domes on top probably for better acoustics which make them unique from other structures. However, such architecture has been derived from Mughals and the Middle East. This particular Gurudwara has a dome or palki (palanquin) type of roof. Food is served to all in Langar.

Visitor Information

  • When one enters a Gurudwara he or she is expected to remove their shoes and cover their bare heads as a sign of respect towards the integrity of the Guru Granth Sahib.
  • Washing of hands is necessary and in some cases feet can be washed too
  • As one approaches the Guru Granth Sahib they are expected to bow down and touch the floor as a sign of further respect
  • Voluntary offerings of cash are made for the prosperity of the Gurudwara and its future endeavours.
  • Everyone heedless of their status is to sit on the floor as a mark of equality.
  • People can arrive and leave the congregation as and when they will
  • Men and women usually sit separately.
  • Gurudwaras are open to everyone irrespective of caste or creed and are usually open 24 hours a day.


Anandapur Sahib comes alive every year on the occasion of Hola Mohalla. Guru Gobind Singh wanted the festival of Holi to be symbolic of the martial spirit of his people and hence gave it the masculine name of Hola Mohalla. Each year this festival witnesses the congregation of lakhs of devotees from all over the world united by the spirit of festivity and colour.

Another festival celebrated here is Guru Gobind Singh’s birthday in January.

The auspicious festival of Baisakhi in April marks the founding of Khalsa in 1699. Those eager to join the Khalsa are baptised on this day and the Sikh flag is hoisted.

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