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Takat Sachkhand Sri Hazur Sahib ,Nanded

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                                      The Eternal Father willed and I raised the Panth. All my Sikhs are hereby ordered to accept the Granth as their Preceptor. Have faith in the holy Granth, as your master and consider it the visible manifestation of the Gurus. He who hath a pure heart will seek guidance from its holy words."These are the words uttered by the the tenth Guru Sri Gobind Singh, before his death on October 7, 1708 at Nanded in Maharashtra.At the site where the Guru breathed his last, was built a Gurdwara between 1832 and 1837, under instructions from Maharaja Ranjit Singh. It is called "Sachkhand Sri Hazur Abchal Nagar Sahib".

It is a two-storey building. The architectural design resembles that of the Golden Temple. It's interior is artistically ornamented in the style of Harmandir Sahib, Amritsar. The walls of the inner room called Angitha Sahib have been covered with golden plates On the first floor, recitations from Sri Guru Granth Sahib, go on day and night. The dome is polished and on the pinnacle is the kalash made of gold plated copper.

Some of the sacred relics of Guru Gobind Singh are also preserved here. These are, a golden dagger, a matchlock gun, an archer with 35 arrows, two bows, a steel shield studded with precious stones and five golden swords.

This historical shrine is situated on the bank of the Godavari river and is visited by thousands of devotees throughout the year from all over India and abroad. It is one of the five Takhts (thrones) of the Sikhs and is much venerated by them. Here took place in the first week of September, 1708, the conversion to Sikhism of a Bairagi Sadhu Madho Dass, who under a new name of Banda Singh Bahadur, gave a sharp turn to the history of the Sikhs. It was this great hero who in the next seven years (1709-1715) shook the Mughal empire in the north-west to its very foundation and paved the way for the liberation of the Punjab in 1764-65.

Guru Gobind Singh's mission was not to consolidate his power. to achieve mundane glory, by pitting one community against another. His crusade was not directed against Islam either. He makes it clear in the' following words. "Men quarrel over food and dress, rituals and caste, community and creed and have thus torn man from man. My mission is to restore mankind to a single brotherhood"

He fully realised that human beings are perishable, but noble ideas live. For this reason he made the Granth Sahib a repository of sublime ideals, spiritual and secular Guru as it contains hymns of Muslim, Hindu and Harijan saints in addition to the compositions of Sikh Gurus. In this way he entrusted the destiny of the Khalsa not to a charismatic personality but to the collective wisdom of the community.

The objective he attempted, was great and laudable. The means which he adopted were such as acomprehensive mind alone could have suggested. None but a person of saintly disposition, highly spiritual and with a complete resignation to the will of God could have behaved as he did.

One of the greatest achievements of Guru Gobind Singh was the founding of the Khalsa (the pure) the Sikh brotherhood, on Baisakhi day in 1699 at Anandpur Sahib.

The initiation into the Khalsa brotherhood was through a baptismal ceremony, popularly known as Khande-Ki-Pahul. Henceforth they would all be called by the new name 'Singh' meaning Lion. The local affairs of the Sikhs were to be managed by a panchayat, a committee of five. The Sikhs believe where five of them meet, Guru is present in their midst.

The Guru enjoined upon the Sikhs some general duties which are defined in Rahitnamas and Rahit maryada. These may be called a code of conduct. The code defines a Sikh as one who believes in the Gurus, baptism prescribed by the tenth Guru and the Adi Granth. A Sikh should live according to the teachings of the Gurus and should have faith in one God. He should have no faith in castes and none should practise them. He should not believe in untouchability and miracles and should reject all superstitions and accept the unity of God as the supreme reality.

The Khalsa should seek the blessings of the Supreme Lord, in all the deeds. he performs. The daily prayer of Khalsa is meant to reinforce his will and put a healthy moral effect on his activities and conduct.

The code says that the Sikhs should not take intoxicants nor should they commit female infanticide and should refrain from social contact with those who commit such immoral acts. Adultery should not be practised. Extra marital relations are forbidden. Men are ordained to respect women and accord them equal status in society.

A Sikh should earn his livelihood through right and honest means. He should help the poor and needy and regard such help and assistance as an act of service to the Guru. Stealing, gambling and other such vices are prohibited.

The code specifically prohibits removal of hair, eating of meat prepared by the gradual and painful slaughter of the animal and use of tobacco. The code also lays down that in the case of violation of these imperatives,the defaulter himself appears before the sangat (congregation) to seek their award and be rebaptised.

A Sikh shall honour and revere Guru Nanak and his nine successors and follow their teachings as embodied in Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

The salutation among the Sikhs shall be Wahi Guru Ji Ka Kha/sa Sri Wahi Guru Ji Ki Fateh (Lord's is the Khalsa Lord's is the victory).

Besides Gurdwara Sachkhand Sahib, other Gurdwaras at Nanded are Sangat Sahib, Shikar Ghat, Nagina Ghat and Hira Ghat. These too were built in memory of visit of Sri Guru Gobind Singh to this place.

  Takhat Sachkhand Sri Hazur Abchalnagar Sahib is the principal shrine at Nanded. It marks the site where the Guru had his camp in 1708 A.D. after the departure of the emperor Bahadur Shah. The tenth Guru held his court and congregation here. It is the site of his own tent where he was convalescing after he was attacked by assasins. It is the place from where the tenth Guru rose to heaven alongwith his horse Dilbag.

In 1708 being prescient of the end of his earthly role, the Guru had despatched Banda Singh with five of his Sikhs to Punjab and Mata Sahib Devan under a separate escort to Delhi before the stabbing incident. He told the rest of his retinue to retire to their homes if they so wished, but he bade one Bhai Santokh Singh to stay on here and keep Guru ka langar going. many others also chose to remain. Together they built a room over the platform where the used to sit while holding his court and installed Guru Granth Sahib on it. They called it Takhat Sahib. Guru Gobind Singh, while conferring Guruship on the holy Book, had himself named Nanded as Abchalnagar (lit. steadfast city) after the first word of a hymn read at random on the occasion. Sachkhand (lit. region of Truth) had been used by Guru Nanak Dev to mean the abode of God. The present building of the Takhat Sahib was got constructed by Maharaja Ranjit Singh with money, artisans and labour sent from Punjab during early 1830s. Around the same time the Nizam of Hyderabad raised a contingent of Northern Sikhs as part of his army. Most of these men settled permanently in Hyderabad State. Many militant and righteous Hindus embraced Sikhism in the 18th century. The control of Takhat Sachkhand Sri Hazur Sahib, which had formerly passed into the hands of Udasi priests was regained by the Sikhs under the influence of the Singh Sabha Movement of the late nineteenth century. Some of the rituals and ceremonies connected with working are peculiar to this Takhat Sahib. In 1956 an Act was passed by the legislature of Hyderabad under which the management of Takhat Sahib and other histoorial Gurudwaras was legally placed under a 17 member Gurudwaras Board and a five member Managing Committee.

The building complex of the Takhat Sahib about half a Kilometer from the left bank of the river Godavari is spread over several hectares. Besides the Takhat Sahib proper it also includes two other shrines, Bunga Mai Bhago ji comprising a large room where Guru Granth Sahib is seated and some historical weapons are at display, and Angitha ( of cremation) Bhai Daya Singh and Dharam Singh. These two survivors of the battle of Chamkaur, who were among the Panj Piare (Five beloved Ones who had offered their heads at the Guru’s call when the Khalsa was created in Kesgarh Fort of Anandpur Sahib on the Baisakhi Day of 1699), had accompanied the Guru to Nanded and had died here subsequently. The complex also has a 300 room rest house for pilgrims, Guru ka langar, and office blocks of the Gurudwara Board besides a press and publishing house and a school for scripture-reading and kirtan.

The two-storey building of the Takhat Sahib proper standing on a high base has a small sqare room on the second floor bearing the gilded ribbed dome topped with a tall gilded pinnacle and umbrella shaped finial. There are some rooms in the basement too, so that the edifice is technically four-storeyed. Corners of the roof of the first floor are decorated with domed kiosks on octagonal pedestals. Other embellishments on the exterior included oriel windows and a wide coping on the sides and a fancy fencing on the roof top. Inside, the sanctum has marble lining decorated with inset work in floral patterns on lower parts of the walls and stucco and tukari work on the upper parts as well as on the ceiling. The sanctum is not occupied by Guru Granth Sahib during the day as is normally the case in all Gurudwaras. Here some old weapons and other relics are placed on a marbled platform. This include steel quoits, a broad sword, a steel bow and an arrow, a gilded dagger-sized sword, a few swords and a mace. Guru Granth Sahib is seated in the room in front of the sanctum from early morning to late evening and is placed in the sanctum only during the night.

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Sachkhand Sri Huzur Sahib Nanded India