Sikhism is a relatively newer religion in the bigger picture of India. Guru Nanak Dev Ji, whose 550th birthday we celebrate today, was the first Sikh Guru. His teachings and lessons were very different from what was prevalent at the time. He talked of inclusiveness and self-sufficiency. He believed that we all have a direct connection to God – A connection that does not need rituals or traditions.
Guru Nanak Ji was succeeded by nine more Sikh Gurus who, throughout that time, stood up and stood tall in the face of extreme adversity.
On the auspicious day of the 550th birth anniversary of this Illumined soul, we look at the magnificence of the Sikh faith through the place of their worship. Sikhism recognizes five Takhts-Gurudwaras that people from all over the world come to find serenity.
Shri Hari-mandir Sahib Ji, Akal Takth
Popularly known as the ‘Golden Temple’, this gold plated Gurudwara is the prime testament to the Sikh dedication and inclusivity taught to them by their Gurus. With literally open gates on all sides, it shows that no soul that reaches its doorstep ever goes back disappointed. The foundation of this Gurudwara was laid by Guru Arjan in 1588. And in 1604, he placed the holy scripture, “Adi Granth” inside Golden Temple.
Takht Keshgarh Sahib (Anandpur Sahib)
Situated on a hilltop off the main road in Anandpur, this place is held in very high regard by the Sikh community. It is the birthplace of ‘Khalsa’, where Guru Gobind Singh Ji baptized the initial 5 Sikh warriors in 1699.
The 5 warriors that volunteered to sacrifice their lives for the Sikh community were hereby given the title of the ‘Panj Payaras’. They were given the 5 Ks that have been followed by every Sikh, thereafter. Kesh(Hair), Kangha(comb), Kirpan(Dagger), Kaccha(Shorts) and Karha(Steel Bracelet).
Takth Patna Sahib, Bihar
The birthplace of the 10th Guru, Shri Guru Gobind Singh Ji, this serene holy place was erected in the 18th century by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Situated beside the flowing beautiful Ganges, it serves as a place of divine euphoria, that is hard to duplicate.
Takht Damdama Sahib (Talwandi Sabo)
A very special place for all the entire community, this Gurudwara is where Guru Gobind Singh Ji came to rest after a fierce battle. This also justifies the name of the place, “Damdama” which means a place to rest. It is also here that he tested the loyalty of the Singhs. But most importantly, this is the place where he wrote the Bir of the Guru Granth Sahib – The holy book that the Sikh community considers as the heir and perpetual Guru of their faith. This too was erected by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, who was the first Sikh Ruler.
Takht Hazur Sahib (Nanded, Maharashtra)
The final resting place of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, this Gurudwara is where he was cremated in 1708. There is a complex inside the Gurudwara called Sachkhand or The realm of truth. And it also has the resting place of the 10th Sikh Guru inside, called the Angitha Sahib.
Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!