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Amy's Travel Blog Welcome to "Tour de Dan", a heritage trip to celebrate my Dad's 75th year by visiting sites from his life

Gurdwara Guru Ka Taal

INDIA | Thursday, 13 November 2008 | Views [3066]

On the way back from the Taj Mahal in the dark, my driver pointed out a building in the distance brilliantly lit by colored flashing lights.  Did I want to visit?  Having checked the Indian holiday schedule before the trip, I had been on the lookout for signs of Guru Nanak’s birthday, the first of the ten Sikh Gurus.  Here was my chance to join in the celebration! 

We were met by a kind young volunteer tour guide, a mechanical engineering student named Iqbal Singh.  He showed us all around the Gurdwara Guru Ka Taal temple complex, a holy place of worship for the Sikhs, where four of the Sikh Gurus have visited.  It retains elaborate stone carvings and 8 of its 12 original towers.  Originally a reservoir for rainwater built in 1620, the current temple was built in the 1970s over the place where the Guru Tegh Bahadur was arrested for protesting religious persecution perpetrated by the Mughal King Aurangazeb, who eventually beheaded him in Delhi.  Guru Tegh Bahadur was the ninth Sikh Guru and is also remembered for his religious poetry.  Iqbal Singh showed us  the Guru’s tomb, a display of his weapons, an equestrian statue of the Guru, the place where he was imprisoned, the altar where his writings were being read, the mechanical relay controlling the flashing lights, the beautifully landscaped garden, and people lighting candles at the base of a pole called nishan sahib.  Speakers broadcast the sound of reading / chanting and drumming.


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