Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Guru Nanak's Ancestral Village...In India

This was the header that caught my interest in a random online search….
Visiting Guru Nanak's Ancestral Village. Yes! in India’….. It sounded interesting for sure, but more than that it was rather intriguing.
Now what is a reasonably common knowledge is that Mehta Kaalu and family lived and were well respected in the neighbourhood of Rai Bhoi Di Talwandi. Moreover as the Patwari of the revenue estates of Rai Bular Bhatti, Mehta Kaalu was held in high esteem. And Rai Bhoi di Talwandi is today ….Nanakana Sahib in Pakistan
So how does Guru Nanak’s ancestral village come to be in India?...


The birthplace of Mehta Kalu
I quite easily sourced the story from the article written by BS Goraya, Editor Punjab Monitor Magazine  , who wrote  about this on one of his sales trip to a village Dhotian…...and was keen to look around and see the places of historical interest. Two kilometers from village Jamarai, is Gurudwara Dera Sahib located in the revenue limits of Lohar village. This was the ancestral village of Guru Nanak Sahib's father……said to be his birthplace. Mehta Kalu was a resident of this village, but perhaps a job  opportunity came his way and he moved to Rai Bhoi Di Talwandi

Another antiquity mentioned was the existence of an old well with some inscription……this was  hidden below in the internal hollow of the dried up well.
Inscription at Dehra Sahib well:-

Ikonkar sri Guru Nanak ji ka khuh. tehal karai tara singh bhanewa tehal singh. varsh. samvat 1883
i.e the well of Guru Nanak it is renovated by Tara Singh nephew of Tehal Singh in the year 1883 samvat which means 1826 AD
This old dried up well  is within the Gurudwara compound,it is said to be the one near which Guru Nanak often stopped and talked with his devotee Ajita Randhawa. . …. Of the historic village of Pakhoke.
Though there is a brick kiln in the vicinity but many pieces of broken earthen vessels were strewn around,which meant that there existed some habitation……… archaeologists surveying the area marked a new site  as Patthewind, up till then a name unknown. This site was near Jamarai on the west banks of the Beas which according to him was the native village of Guru Nanak Dev hence his father Mehta Kallu belonged  to Pathewind near Sarhali…..and Lohar was Patthewind…. And then migration to Rai Bhoi di Talwandi  in Sheikhupura took place. It seems a large chunk of population around Pathewind had migrated to Sheikhupura side.
 It is said…. the ancestor of  Rai Bular was Jama ‘the big or elder’ who founded the village Jamarai near Pathewind.
 Is it possible that the Rai’s migrated as well to the place which is called Rai Bhoi di Talwandi?
As said by the author…. ‘These are the legends that you find at Jamarai.’
There is another interesting story…..The then Governor of the area, Duni Chand met Guru Nanak at Pakhoke and donated 100 acres of land to Guru Sahib. This land is on the right bank of river Ravi ,that would make it towards west of Ravi. On the Guru’s acceptance of the land he decided to settle there and a small building or hut was constructed. Kartarpur thus became the first Sikh centre.
There is a reference in the historical books that Guru formally laid the foundation of Kartarpur ,now in Pakistan,on Magh 13, 1572 Bikrmi year [1515AD]. Though the original abode established by GuruNanank was washed away by floods of the river Ravi.
 The Gurudwara at Kartarpur can be seen from another Gurudwara located across the border in India at the historical town of Dehra Baba Nanak …..It is not Dera, as so many people wrongly call it.Dehra is derived from the word Deh or body

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