Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Gently Flows the Ravi in Land of Nanak







The area between the rivers Ravi and the Chenab is locally known as Sandal Bar, within which lies the legendary city of Nankana Sahib where our ‘Pehali Patshahi’ Guru Nanak Dev Ji was born.




Towards the south of Nankana Sahib lies a mound ,it is called Dhaular.  You would be surprised that Dhaular bears reference in the Guru Granth Sahib as well. It was the  royal palace and  is spread over hundreds of square yards and is  less than half a kilometre from the town of Nankana Sahib


What more, it is supposed that during pre- historic times, when Kurus and Pandvas fought the battle of Kurukshetra, there was one Raja Virat of Multan at a place by the name of Kotli. The mound with its two wells at its base seems to be the remains of the ruins of Kotli.

The well towards the north of the mound is an old drinking water well called Sitawala. This well with deep flight of steps built in heavy lime masonry leads to its underground spring ….the women of the palace maybe took these steep steps to reach the pure cold spring water. This well in fact, authenticates the antiquity of the site, it was called after one of the princesses and who was perhaps called Sita, it’s her name that the well bears to this day.

Another equally old well to the east of the mound is known as Bala wala well in the revenue records of the place.It appears to have derived its name from  Bhai Bala, a contemporary of Guru Nanak.

Any further excavation of the mound to trace its past history has not been possible so far, as almost the entire mound is covered with Muslim tombs and it would be considered as an extreme disrespect and blasphemy, to dig up the graves.

That was the distant past of this land on the banks of river Ravi …..




In the year 1469 AD , Guru Nanak was born in Rai Bhoi di Talwandi. This town some centuries later later came to be called Nankana sahib in Sheikhupura district near Lahore. Today it is a new district in Pakistan under its own aegis and called Nankana sahib.

 Guru Nanak travelled extensively for about 15 years. In the later days of his life, he settled down at Kartarpur in Sialkot district ……again on the banks of river Ravi .It is from here he  left for his heavenly abode at the age of 70.

All his life the all the messages he gave were simple…one of the most crucial one was…That there is no Hindu, there is no Muslim, all are equal in the eyes of God. Today, sadly  the land of  Baba Nanak, that is both his  his ‘Janam bhoomi   and Karam Bhoomi ‘ stands  separated  by manmade borders  created on Hindu Muslim  divides.

Nanakpura sahib from the Indo-Pak border
Bordering the international border,and on the left side of the river Ravi, that is on the India side is Dera Baba Nanak and adjacent to it is the historic village Pakhoke. It was here that Duni Chand, the then Governor of the area met Guru Nanak and offered 100 acres of land to Guru Sahib. ‘Kindly permit me to dedicate all this land to you’ he beseeched….. ‘Allow me to build here a village for you and your disciples’ to live in.’ Let us call the village Nanakpur’ he suggested,  as  it was in  sync with tradition of the time when the landowners name was used to name the village and the neighbourhood.
But the Guru smiled and said, “Let it be as you please, but as the land is of Kartar….. The God is the only  Creator, and you are blessed for dedicating it to divine service. We shall call the village Kartarpur, the seat of Kartar, the Creator.”
This land was on the right and left bank of river Ravi.

  Guru Nanak accepted the gift of land and decided to settle there and build a little community. Kartarpur thus became the first hub which founded many a sikhi traditions .Kartarpur was on the right bank of the river. There is a reference in the historical books that Guru formally laid the foundation of Kartarpur on Magh 13, 1572 Bikrmi year...that corresponds to 1515 AD.

Guru started this small farming commune, he cultivated and ploughed the fields himself, and of course, his devotees worked there as well. By example he showed that salvation could be obtained  honorably through dignity of labour  amidst jollity and laughter,caring and sharing the bounties.Many stories abound of his life and times at Kartarpur.



  •  Jamabandi of years variously
 1922, 23 and 1924..BS oraya

According to historical narrations, The Great Guru spent last  almost 18 years of life from 1522 AD till he left this material world on September 22, 1539 AD, at this village of Kartarpur on the bank of River Ravi in Narowal district of Pakistan cultivating land to earn living for his family and preaching.
It was here the ‘Sangat’ the congregation gathered here daily to listen to Kirtan the   Gurbani music and the Guru’s discourse.
It was for the first time in the history of Indian sub continent perception and conception of ‘Langar’ began.
It was here that the Guru wrote the Japji and made his living by farming.
It was here that Bhai Leha, later Guru Agad, came to receive instruction.
It was here that, after nominating Agad his spiritual successor, he passed away on Assū vādī 10, 1596 Bkirami - 7 September 1539 AD.


Even today Kartarpur is the symbol of international harmony where all the three prominent religion of the region converge, in spite of the religious divides.


KARTĀRPUR - literally meaning the 'Abode of the Creator' - a village on the right bank of the River Rāvī in the present Siālko district of West Punjab and usually called Kartārpur Rāvī to distinguish it from another town of the same name in Jalandhar district of East Punjab. 


This is the sacred 'Bhoomi'' to the Gurū of Gurūs.....

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