There rarely can be a place more significant, and even holier, than where a great philosopher has lived and breathed his last, spending years together in the service of mankind. This is true of the Sachkhand Shri Hazur Abchalnagar Sahib in Nanded where Guru Gobind Singhji, the tenth of the 11 Sikh gurus, held his final congregation.
Nanded has often found a mention on tourism itineraries for being home to many Sufi shrines. The faithful flock here regularly to seek blessings and one of the frequently visited shrines is that of Sachkhand Shri Hazur Abchalnagar Sahib. This is one of the most important gurudwaras of the Sikhs where the ‘Takhat’ is located and where the tenth guru of the Sikhs, Shri Guru Gobind Singhji, breathed his last on October 7, 1708.
It is said that Guru Gobind Singh arrived in Nanded with Bahadur Shah towards the end of August 1708 and while the latter went on to Golconda after a few days’ rest, Guru Gobind Singh decided to stay on here. According to the legend, Guru Gobind Singh had wanted Bahadur Shah to do justice in the case of the murder of his sons and many other Sikhs but finally decided to part ways when Shah showed no inclination to punish the guilty. And it was in Nanded where Guru Gobind Singh was stabbed by two men who had been commissioned by Wazir Khan, the ‘faujdar’ of Sirhind, to assassinate him.
Foreseeing that his earthly stay was near its end, the Guru asked for the Guru Granth Sahib to be installed there and this came to be known as the ‘Takhat Sahib.’ The present building of the Takhat Sahib was constructed by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. He decorated the gurudwara with marble and gold plating during his regime. The complex of the Takhat Sahib is spread over several hectares. Besides the Takhat Sahib proper it also includes two other shrines. The Bunga Mai Bhago Ji is a large room where the Guru Granth Sahib is seated and some historical weapons are put on display. The other is of Angitha Bhai Daya Singh and Dharam Singh, two survivors of the battle of Chamkaur who were among the ‘Panj Piare’.
The inner room of the gurudwara is called the Angitha Sahib and is built over the place where Guru Gobind Singh was cremated in 1708. This site is now one of the five Takhat Sahibs which are places of primary importance to the Sikhs, the other four being the Akal Takhat at Amritsar, Takhat Keshgarh Sahib at Anandpur, Takhat Patna Sahib in Bihar district and Takhat Damdama Sahib in Talwandi Sabo, Bhatinda, Punjab.
In the two-storey building, the interiors are artistically ornamented in the style of Harmandir Sahib, Amritsar. The walls of Angitha Sahib have been covered with golden plates. The dome is polished and on the pinnacle is a ‘kalash’ made of gold-plated copper. Some of the sacred relics of Guru Gobind Singh are also preserved here. These include a golden dagger, a matchlock gun, an archer with 35 arrows, two bows, a steel shield studded with precious stones, and five golden swords.
A laser show has been started at Gobind Bagh near the main gurudwara. In this show the lives of the ten gurus are briefly but very beautifully described. The show has been conceived and directed by Jasbir Singh Dham while the music and commentary is by ghazal singer Jagjit Singh. The show timings are 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm daily
Distance from Mumbai: 575 kms