Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib, is one of the nine historical gurdwaras in Delhi. First constructed in 1783 by Baghel Singh to commemorate the martyrdom site the ninth Sikh Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur. Situated in Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi, it marks the site where the ninth Sikh Guru was beheaded on the orders of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb on 11 November 1675 for refusing to convert to Islam. The twin city of Delhi and New Delhi is not only the capital of India, but also has become the central place and the pivot of all political activities. It has gained importance since Independence as the seat of the biggest democracy of the world.
There are nine historic Gurdwaras, associated with important events, which had a great bearing on the history of Punjab and changed its course and direction. Consequently it became a renowned place of pilgrimage, being the sacred city, as the five Gurus visited the capital. Various Gurdwaras have been constructed to commemorate their visits. Thousands of pilgrims throng these holy Shrines everyday to listen to kirtan (Devotional music) from Granth Sahib. Of the ten Sikh Gurus, at least five, namely Nanak Dev, HarGobind, HarKishan, Tegh Bahadur and Gobind Singh visited Delhi.
Guru Tegh Bahadur the ninth Guru was beheaded in Chandni Chowk by the. order of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. Earlier the eighth Guru HarKishan died of smallpox during his visit to Delhi.
Two wives of Guru Gobind Singh, Mata Sundri and Mata Sahib Kaur lived in Delhi for 35 years after his death and they issued directions to the Sikh forces from Gurdwara Mata Sundari, Delhi. This Gurdwara near the Turkman Gate was built to perpetuate their memory. After the death of the last Guru, Gobind Singh at Nanded (Hazur Sahib) in Maharashtra, his disciple Baba Banda Bahadur camped in the neighbourhood of Delhi and chalked out his programme to attack the Mughal forces,in Punjab. The Village Budhkhalsa where he stayed, is situated along the Grand Trunk Road (Shershah Suri Marg). This great Sikh hero shook the Mughal Empire in Punjab, gave crushing blows to the Imperial Army and captured the tract of land, lying between Yamuna and Sutlej. After his defeat in 1716, Banda Bahadur was brought to Delhi as a prisoner along with 1,000 followers, who were beheaded in Gandhi ground opposite Old Delhi Railway Station at a site known as, Qaza1-Gahe Sikhan. Harding Library now renamed as HarDyal Library stands on this site today. Over 100 Sikhs were killed daily for about 100 days. Banda Bahadur too was tortured to death near Qutab Minar situated in Mehrauli, a suburb of Delhi. Two stone pillars of a gateway overlooking the Dargah of Khwaja Bakhtiar Kakistill stand as a witness to the martyrdom of Baba Banda Bahadur, the army commander of Guru Gobind Singh. The 50 ft high pillar made of stone with a steep stains, now houses a Gurdwara in memory of the supreme sacrifice made by the valiant Sikh hero. Many a people visit this historical Shrine to pay their respect to the great martyr.
Sardar Bhagel Singh, commander of the KironSinghia Misal, who held Delhi under his sway for some months in 1783,during the time of Shah Alam ll took special pains to locate the sites of historical Shrines. He made great contribution to the Sikh religion by constructing buildings, over all the historic sites in Delhi.
In March 1783, a large Sikh Army commanded by Jassa Singh Ahluwalia, Bhagel Singh KironSinghia, Rai Singh Bhangi and Gurdit Singh, Raja of Ladwa, advanced to the imperial capital and attacked the Red Fort. Tis Hazari was so named by Bhagel Singh, because he had used the site as’ stable for 30,000 horses of his cavalry.
The Mughal King opened negotiations. The Sikhs received Rs. three lakhs in cash as Nazrana and the permission to build their Shrines on the historic sites, where mosques had been built. Bhagel Singh remained in Delhi as the head of 4,000 strong Sikh troops to build the Gurdwaras.
The ninth Guru Sri Tegh Bahadur, was beheaded in the heart of the city in 1675 A.D. by the order of Mughal King Aurangzeb, for espousing the cause off reedom of worship of the Hindus, against whom the Emperor had unleashed a war of extermination. Guru Tegh Bahadur opposed it and paid heavy price by sacrificing his life. At the place of his martyrdom, stands Gurdwara SisGanj,as a symbol of unique sacrifice made by the sage Prophet.
Adjoining the Gurdwara Sis Ganj is the Kotwali (police station), where the faithful disciples of the Great Guru Bhai Mati Das, Bhai Dyala and Bhai Sati Das were tortured to death.
It is important to mention that when the Sikhs came into power in Punjab,after pushing out Afghans, they fought pitched battles with the Mughal forces on the sandy beds of Yamuna river, where now stands Indraprastha Indoor Stadium. A small Gurdwara indicates the spot near the Indraprastha power station, where two forces clashed for supremacy.
The first construction of Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib dates back to 1783 when Sardar Baghel Singh invaded Delhi. This Sikh military leader marched into the Mughal Capital and attacked the Red Fort with an army of 30,000 horses and men — the name of the area Tis Hazari (30,000) would refer to this episode, as it is said that the troops of Bagel Singh camped at this place before attacking the Red Fort. Surrounded by the Sikh army, then Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II set a compromise with Baghel Singh: the Sikh military leader received an important share of the city’s taxes and was authorised to build gurdwaras at Sikh’s holy sites in Delhi. From this episode stem the origins of Delhi’s 10 historical gurdwaras, including Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib in Chandni Chowk.
However, the Sikhs didn’t plan to settle in Delhi, and the entire army left shortly after the construction of the gurdwara was completed. Once the Sikhs returned to Punjab, the Muslims took back control over Old Delhi, destroyed Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib and established a mosque instead.
After the revolt of 1857, the Sikh King of Jind (Haryana) took up the matter and tried to influence the British to allow them to rebuild the gurdwara in Chandni Chowk. After several disputes between Muslims and Sikhs, the case finally went to the court of London, which ruled in favour of the King of Jind in the late 19th century. The present structure of Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib was built in 1930.
Best Time to Visit : –
The ideal time to visit Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib is on the birth anniversaries of all 10 Gurus, particularly those of Guru Gobind Singh and Guru Nanak. The entire place is soaked in celebrations, music, and song at this time. Diwali and Baisakhi are also great times to come here.
How to Reach :-
Delhi, the capital of India, is well connected by air, rail, and road to major cities of India. Chandni Chowk metro station is near the gurudwara. It is at walking distance, which takes just a few minutes to reach the holy place.