Delhi's Gurudwara Bangla Sahib is reportedly one of the biggest Sikh shrines in the country. The Gurudwara is not just a revered shrine but also the capital's biggest tourist attraction. It is visited by thousands of devotees everyday.
Do you know the Gurudwara was built back in the 17th century? Here we have some interesting, lesser-known facts about the shrine that you might not be aware of. Read on.
The Gurudwara Was Originally A Bungalow
Gurudwara Bangla Sahib was once a bungalow that belonged to Raja Jai Singh. He was a ruler back in the 17th century. The bungalow was called Jaisinghpura Palace. It was not Connaught place back then but Jaisingh Pura.
The Eighth Sikh Guru
In the year 1664, Guru Har Krishan, who was the eighth Sikh Guru resided in this bungalow. In that year, people suffered from smallpox and cholera epidemic. The eighth Sikh Guru then helped people who were suffering from the diseases by giving them first aid and freshwater from a well at the bungalow.
Later, he also got infected by the disease and died. That's when Raja Jai Singh constructed a small tank over the well. The water is believed to have healing properties.
Raja Jai Singh then dedicated this bungalow to the eighth Sikh Guru.
If you have visited the Gurudwara, you know that the sarovar is one of the most peaceful places to be. There is a strange peace of mind one achieves when you visit the huge water pond at the center of the Gurudwara. The water here is believed to have miraculous properties to heal diseases. Sikhs from different parts of the world visit here and take the water from the pond, which they also call 'Amrit' back to their homes.
The Kitchen That Feeds 24/7, 365 Days
Every Sikh shrine serves free meals throughout the day which is also known as langar to all the people who visit the Gurudwara. The dining or langar hall at the Bangla Sahib Gurudwara can accommodate about 800-900 people at once. Reportedly, 35 to 75 thousand people consume langar at the Gurudwara on a daily basis.
The langar starts at 5 am everyday and continues till late at night. No one is sent back hungry from the langar hall. Anyone can visit the kitchen and help make the langar. From rolling chapatis to cooking dal, there is a lot of work to do. While some volunteers do 'seva' at the kitchen, others work in the langar hall and serve hot meals to the visitors.
Cheapest Diagnostic Centre
The Gurudwara has been feeding thousands of people for years now recently inaugurated another initiative with an aim to provide cheap healthcare to the poor. Patients can get an MRI scan at the Gurudwara for Rs. 50. The diagnostics center at the Gurudwara also inaugurated its kidney dialysis hospital recently. The complex doesn't have cash or billing counter and patients are admitted here for free. People travelling from outside Delhi can stay in rooms in the Gurudwara and have meals at the langar hall.
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