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Gurdwara Thumb Sahib Maghi

Gurudwara Thumb Sahib was built in the memory of Guru Nanak Dev. The Gurudwara stands on the place where Guru Nanak Dev breathed his last. It is among the most important places in Sikh history. After the death of Guru Nanak Dev, there was an argument over his dead body. The Muslims regarded him as a saint and wanted to bury him whereas Hindus considered him as a guru and wanted to cremate him. There is a grave built by the Muslims in Kartarpur and a Tomb built by the Hindus on the other side of the Ravi River. A Gurudwara was built in Kartarpur known as the Gurudwara Thumb Sahib of Maghi. At the time of partition, a line divided Kartarpur and the tomb fell in the Pakistani side and the grave fell in India.

The Maghi Mela is celebrated with full pomp and show in the month of January. It is one of the most important festivals of Punjab. Maghi is also popular as Makar Sankranti and is celebrated on the first day of the Hindu month of Magh. The eve of Maghi is celebrated as Lohri wherein bonfires are lit to celebrate the festivities and people dance around the bonfire singing traditional songs. The celebration of the Maghi Mela continues over several days. Sri Muktsar Sahib is known as the last battleground of Guru Gobind Singh which holds a lot of importance in the history of Sikhs.

Significance of Gurudwara Thumb Sahib, Maghi

The Maghi Mela is conducted in the memory of forty Sikhs who sacrificed their lives in the battle of Muktsar. The forty Sikhs were headed by Mahan Singh who had previously deceived Guru Gobind Singh and signed a memo. A brave lady Mai Bhago learned about is deceit and scolded him while lecturing the forty men on the essence of Sikhism and the bravery that has been shown by former Sikhs. This inspired the forty men and they headed back to the service of Guru Gobind Singh and were later martyred in the battle. The dead bodies of the forty Sikhs were cremated on the 1st day of the month of Magh. Since then this day is observed as the Maghi Mela. The Maghi Mela also holds important political significance wherein prominent political figures attend the main day of the mela.

Date of Gurudwara Thumb Sahib, Maghi

The Maghi Mela is usually observed on 13th January. The festival is celebrated on the first day of the month of Magh. The mela is organized according to the Nanakshahi calendar. It is among the most important fairs organized in Punjab and is attended by people from all over the state and country. As any other celebration of Gurupurab, Maghi is also celebrated with full fervour with complete recitation of the Guru Granth and kirtans and langars.

Celebrations at Gurudwara Thumb Sahib, Maghi

The celebrations of the Maghi Mela include recitation of the Guru Granth Sahib and traditional divans. Martial art performances and performance of other traditional and local art forms can be commonly seen during the mela. Several stalls are set up by merchants who display their goods. From stalls selling traditional household items to stalls offering high-tech electronic gadgets there is a wide range of items sold at the mela. There are also several rides like merry-go-rounds and giant wheels and stalls selling edible items are also a part of the mela. Circuses like Gemini and Apollo are seen organizing various shows during the mela. Brave hearts can be seen performing motorcycle tricks in the ‘Well of Death’.

Customs & Traditions

Early in the morning of Maghi people take a dip in the tank close to the houses. Recitation of the spiritual book, singing hymns and praises and taking out processions and martial art performances are main customs and traditions seen during the Maghi Mela.

Maghi Rituals at Gurudwaras

At the Gurudwaras, recitation of the Guru Granth Sahib is a tradition. Religious divans and hymns are also read at the gurudwaras.  The Gurudwara also conducts langars and special programs narrating the incident and praises of the guru. Celebrations start from early morning and continue for several days.

Maghi Processions

Processions are taken out during the Maghi Mela wherein people can be seen dressed in traditional costumes and perform local martial art. Display of weapons especially Nihangs are common during the celebrations.

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