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Gurdwara Bangla Sahib

Location: ½ Kilometer from Connaught Place or Circus, near Gol Dak Khana, New Delhi, south of Baba Kharak Singh Marg.
Dedicated to: The 8th Sikh Guru, Guru Hari Krishan Sahib
Famous as: Sikh pilgrimage center
Time to Visit: Open on all days
Preferred Timings: 2.30 pm-9.30 pm.
Admission Fee: Free and open to all.

How to Reach: Tourists can either take local buses from various points within the city to reach this sacred monument, which is located near the Connaught Place (CP), the heart of the city, or they can hire auto-rickshaws and taxis or metro rail. From CP one can take a stroll to this sacred site.
Photography charges: nil, permission required from the Gurdwara authorities
Nearest Railway Station: New Delhi Railway Station
Nearest Metro Station: Central Secretariat
Functional Metro Station: Central Secretariat
Nearest International Airport: Indira Gandhi International Airport
Time required for sightseeing: 1 hour
(All data as of August 2005)

One of the most important historical and sacred pilgrimage destinations of the Sikh comunity, Gurdwara Bangla Sahib is the ‘Haveli’ or palace, where Guru Hari Krishan, the eighth Sikh Guru stayed during his tour to Delhi in 1664. The Guru was entertained as a royal guest by Mirza Raja Jai Singh in this ‘bangla’ (palace), which was built on the model of the existing palace of Raja Jai Singh in Jaipur. Later the architecturally impressive palace was dedicated to the memory of the Guru and has been a place of worship since then. Every day more than seven thousand devotees and visitors come to worship in this Sikh holy shrine.

Legend says that Raja Jai Singh’s chief queen was greatly impressed by the spiritual powers of the child prophet, Guru Hari Krishan. It is said that during his stay in Delhi, diseases like small pox and cholera had broken out in the city. The Guru served the poor and the needy, irrespective of caste, creed and religion. With his spiritual powers he distributed sanctified water to the ailing people, which had a miraculous healing affect on their bodies. To this day water sanctified by the Word of God, sung all day in this temple, is distributed from the holy tank known as Chaubacha Sahib. The Guru died at a young age because according to his followers he took all the diseases in the city upon himself to stop the endemic.

Gurdwara Complex
The large main hall has an open central shrine, where a sculpted bronze cupola hangs over a smaller golden dome under which silk sheets are spread out and covered with flowers. This is where the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of the Sikhs, is placed. Devotional music is played continuously and relayed through the complex. The Gurdwara complex has a higher secondary school, a museum, a bookstall, a library and a hospital. There is also a holy pond in the complex where people take holy dips and pray to the Guru. The birth of Guru Hari Krishan Sahib and the death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjit Singh are celebrated here with great reverence.

The two important features of this temple are Sangat congregations and Pangat or community kitchen also known as Guru-ka-langar. Located in the east of the main complex, the community kitchen provides food to all devotees, pilgrims and visitors. More than seven thousand people are served free food by this community kitchen every day.

Precautions:
Visitors need to take off their shoes, cover their head with a scarf and wear clothes that cover the legs and shoulders to enter the main complex. Upon entering the shrine where the holy book is placed, Sikh devotees bow before the Guru Granth Sahib, before finding a place to sit within the prayer hall. Visitors are expected to display their respect to this sacred text. Information regarding the Gurdwara Bangla Sahib can be is offered at the visitors information office.

Management
The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee manages the Gurdwara and has over 250 employees who look after the functioning of this place of worship in different shifts. Hundreds of people volunteer and work out of devotion in the gurdwara, every day. The gurdwara has a very good parking facility and a multi-level parking lot is also under construction, which can accommodate more than thousand cars at a time. The complex has all the basic facilities for visitors.

All in all, a visit to this sacred place is very enriching experience. You can feel the devotion, faith, belief and hospitality of the Sikh community as well as receive the blessings of the priests when you visit the Gurdwara Bangla Sahib.


Special Event / Annual Event: Music and song are considered to be one of the special ways in Sikhism to gain union with God. The singing of ‘gurbani’, holy songs and reading from their holy book marks the festivals of Sikhs. The best time to experience the festivity is during the birthdays of all their 10 gurus (religious teachers) and especially that of Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind Singh. Baisakhi and Bandi Chhor Divas (Diwali) are other festivals when the celebration is at its peak among the community.


Nearby Tourist Attractions: Rashtrapati Bhawan, India Gate, Jantar Mantar, Lakshmi Narayan temple and Hanuman Mandir


Nearby Places to Eat: Hotel Le Meridien, Imperial Hotel, Hotel Inter-Continental, Parikrama Revolving restaurant, Gaylord, El Rodeo, Bercos, Zen restaurant, Delhi Darbar, Nizam’s Kathi Kebabs and Standard Restaurant. For snacks and fast foods: Bengali Market (sweets and chat), Kake da hotel (Indian food), Wengers, Mc Donalds, Pizza Hut, Domino’s Pizza, Nirula’s, Ruby Tuesday, Sona Rupa, Starbeans, Barista, Café Coffee Day and innumerable roadside foodstalls.


Nearby Shopping Venues: Connaught Place offers everything from jewelry, books, art, leather goods and a wide choice of Indian and international clothes stores. Central Cottage Industries Emporium has Indian handicrafts and curios. Baba Kharak Singh Marg houses the emporia of all the states of India, dedicated to each state's unique art and craft created by traditional and skilled artisans. Janpath offers clothes, low priced gifts and souvenirs and Palika Bazaar offers a wide range of electronic items.

Last Updated On: 2011/07/04

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