Gurdwara Yahiyaganj – Where 350 yrs ago, 9th Guru meditated for 3 days

As devotees around the world gear up to pay obeisance to Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth among 10 Sikh gurus, on his 398th birth anniversary on Wednesday, the celebrations will be exceptional at Gurdwara Yahiyaganj — the historical shrine constructed in the fond memory of the Guru’s visit to the city.

The over 300-year-old Gurdwara Yahiyaganj, located in one of the busiest markets of the city is among the holiest of Sikh shrines in Lucknow. It is just walking ditance from the mausoleum Nadan Mahal. Though most of the shrine has been reconstructed, the Guru Granth Sahib is kept at the same place where the Guru Tegh Bahadur reportedly stayed for three days and spent meditating.

Every year, large number of devotees from around the globe pay a visit to the holy shrine on Guru Tegh Bahadur Jayanti and remember him by chanting the first stanza of ‘Chandi di var’, a holy composition written by Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Sikh guru and son of Tegh Bahadur.

“Kirtans and community feasts are part of the celebrations. Priests will come from Gurdwara Paonta Sahib, Himachal Pradesh. Five quintals of flowers will be offered on the palanquin where the holy book is kept at half-past seven, the time of Guru Tegh Bahadur’s birth,” said Manmohan Singh, secretary of Gurdwara Yahiyaganj.

During his life, Guru Tegh Bahadur took several pilgrimages around the country to strengthen the roots of the religion by establishing new preaching centers and renewing old ones. On one such journey, he visited Lucknow while returning to Anandpur Sahib in Punjab in 1670. According to gurdwara officials, in the

17th century, Yahiyaganj was inhabited by many Kayasthas and Udaasis, an ascetic sect that focused on the teachings of Sri Chand, the son of Guru Nanak.

“Since the area was mostly occupied by the Udaasis, the place where the gurdwara is constructed was originally a small room where people of the community hosted bhajans and kirtans. After Guruji’s visit, the founding stone of the gurdwara was laid by Baba Guruditta, the superintendent of Udaasi community and also the brother of Guru Tegh Bahadur. Later, the charge was taken over by Bhai Bala, a saint residing in the city,” said secretary Singh.