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Anandpur Sahib

It is believed that many thousands of years ago, the zone of Anandpur was inhabited by wild animals as the place where there was nothing but miles and miles of bushes and forests. It is only by the late 15th century that the animals disappeared and people started making homes here. Anandpur town was established by the ninth guru of the Sikhs, Guru Tegh Bahadur, in 1665. The efforts of the Guru and his followers helped turn the no-man’s land into a place ideal for human habitation. Guru Tegh Bahadur also helped in establishing the Chakk Nanaki, named after his mother, on the top of the Makhowal hillock. Chakk Nanaki soon developed into a center for learning spiritualism and arts. The place later came to be known as Anandpur Sahib.

The foundation stone of Anandpur Sahib was laid in the year 1689 and it took ten years to complete the construction of the town. Five forts were constructed to protect the town and they were connected by underground tunnels to keep an eye on the enemies. However, Chakk Nanaki was a peaceful area and one of the most fertile places in the region, which yielded two crops every year.

Today, Anandpur Sahib is a popular city in Punjab. It is a municipal council in Rupnagar district and known as the holy ‘City of Bliss’. It is one of the most central places of religious activity for the Sikhs.

Attractions of Anandpur Sahib

Kesar Sahib

Located atop a hill, Kesar Sahib is a gurudwara of high religious significance in Anandpur Sahib and also the biggest, in terms of size and significance. Also called the Takth Kesar Sahib, it is an important seat of authority of the Sikh religion. The imposing white structure qualifies as a key landmark of this region. The huge religious significance of the place comes from the fact that it was here that Guru Gobind Singh first talked about the tenets of Khalsa and the initiation of the Panch Pyares took place.

The place houses the Holy book of the Sikhs, the Guru Granth Sahib, placed in main hall of the gurdwara. In the center of the hall is a small rectangular glass structure, which houses 12 relics associated with Guru Gobind Singh and the Sikh martyrs. Out of these, six of these relics were brought from Nanded where Guru Gobind Singh breathed his last. Five others were brought from England in 1966, including a double-edged sword called the Khanda, which was used by Guru Gobind Singh to prepare Amrit or Holy Nectar on the day of revelation of Khalsa.

Gurudwara Guru-Ka-Mahal

Known as Bhora Sahib, this was the residence of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur and was later inherited by Sri Guru Gobind Singh. The Sahibzadas or the sons of the 10th Guru were born here. There is an underground room cut off from the main area where the 9th Guru of the Sikhs meditated.

Gurdwara Sis Ganj

Guru Tegh Bahadur Singh was martyred by the Moguls in Delhi. The Gurudwara Sis Ganj is a tribute to his memory. His sacred head was cremated here in 1675 with full rituals.

Gurdwara Shahidi Bagh

This is an important religious place in Anandpur Sahib. The garden of this place was witness to some conflicts between the Bilaspur army and the Sikhs in 1705, in which many Sikhs lost their lives. The place was named Shahidi Bagh in honor of those martyred. The only Gurdwara not under the control of the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) is located on the road between Kesar Sahib and Anandgarh fort.

Lohagarh Sahib Fort

Situated just two kilometers from Kesar Sahib, this fort is regarded as one of the most fortified structures, and a good part of the secure measures are still in place. The fort was used to manufacture arms during the times of Guru Gobind Singh. The serenity of the place and the bountiful patches of greenery all around is a far cry from the turbulent past of the region.

Gurdwara Baba Guruditta

Situated on a hill one kilometer on the Manali road, this gurdwara is dedicated to the memory of Baba Guruditta, son of Guru Hargobind Singh. This is the place where Baba Guruditta took Samadhi. The beautiful Keeratpur town can be seen from this fort, which also houses a langar for devotees.

Gurdwara Patalpuri

Situated on the banks of the Sutlej, the Gurudwara Patalpuri is a pious place for Sikhs, as Guru Hargobind and Guru Har Rai were cremated here. There are rows of stalls selling items, such as swords, staffs, and uniquely shaped daggers and staffs that can be good souvenir.

Bhakra Dam

The second highest dam in India, the Bhakra Dam situated across the Sutlej is a concrete gravity dam. The huge reservoir called the Gobind Sagar reservoir is a must-see for tourists visiting the place. There is a beautiful garden near the dam.

Culture of Anandpur Sahib

Anandpur Sahib is synonymous with peace and tranquility. The ‘City of Divine Bliss’ is from where the expression of praise for their Gurus, ‘Wahe Guru’ originated. Anandpur Sahib is one of the four seats of power of the Sikh religion. It was here that the Khalsa Panth was founded. The place attracts thousands of devotees during the Holla Mohalla and Baisakhi Festivals.

Accommodation in Anandpur Sahib

The place being a place of spiritual attraction for Sikhs and others, one can find tourists round the year at Anandpur Sahib. There are many hotels and private lodges in Rupnagar. Tourists can also book rooms in budget hotels at affordable rates. Most of the hotels and lodges are well-maintained, clean, and offer both food and accommodation. AC accommodations and luxury rooms are available for those with a flexible budget.

What to Buy in Anandpur Sahib

Tourists can buy religious supplies associated with Sikh spirituality and religion, such as khandas, karas, swords, and uniquely-shaped daggers.

What to Eat and Drink in Anandpur Sahib

There are many restaurants and hotels that serve the local delicacies, but tourists prefer eating at one of the many road side dhabas that Punjab is famous for. You can get authentic, tasty Punjab cuisine prepared mostly in mustard oil.

Climatic Conditions and Best Time to Visit

The climate in Anandpur Sahib is dry in summer and extremely cold during the winter season. Temperature ranges from 4°C to 45°C, while the average rainfall is around 750 mm. October to June is the best time to visit Anandpur Sahib.

How to Reach

By Air

The nearest airport is Chandigarh, which is 97 km away. Regular flights operate from and to Chandigarh from major capitals of the country.

By Train

Ambala Cantonment is the main rail head about 125 km away. Many trains stop at Anandpur Sahib Railway station.

By Road

There are many buses operating from Delhi and Chandigarh to Anandpur Sahib. Distance from New Delhi to Anandpur is 320 km.

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