Shri Keshgarh Sahib
Gurdwara Shri Keshgarh Sahib (31.235169°n 76.499128°e) is located in the center of the city of Anandpur Sahib, Punjab, India. It is also known as “Takht Shri Keshgarh Sahib” and is one of five highest Sikh institutions in India; it is the city’s main Sikh shrine. The city began as Chakk Nanaki, which was founded by Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji in 1665. His son, Guru Gobind Singh ji, who spent 25 years of his life in the city, added greatly to the city’s size, giving it the new name, “City of Bliss (Anandpur).”
Its foundation stone was laid on March 30, 1689. In fact, it was here that the Khalsa Panth was born with the first initiation of Khande Di Pahul, when the young Guru called for a special congregation on the Baisakhi day of 1699 with thousands of Sikhs in attendance. One can only imagine how large the area was around Sri Keshgarh Sahib then to accommodate the many thousands of Sikhs in attendance on that historic day.
Kesgarh Sahib is the home of many historical relics (Pictures in Photo Gallery) which belonged to Shri Guru Gobind Singh ji. These include the actual Khanda (double edged sword) that the Guru used to prepare amrit on the revelation of Khalsa Day, a Kataar, Guru Gobind Singh’s personal dagger (which he always carried), a saif (a double edged weapon presented to the Guru by Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah) and a beautiful gun that was presented to Guru Sahib by one of his sikhs from Lahore.
After 1820 regular Granthis began serving at Kesgarh Sahib. Historical sources mention the names of Bhai Karam Singh, Bhai Kharak Singh, Bhai Budh Singh, Bhai Puran Singh, Bhai Amar Singh etc as the Granthis of Kesgarh Sahib. For about a century (1820 to 1925) Kesgarh Sahib had only one Granthi, but after Gurdwara reform movement (1920-25) a “Jathedar” was appointed here too. This designation was given to Giani Resham Singh, Giani Partap Singh Mallewal, Jathedar Bir Singh, Master Ajit Singh Ambalvi, Giani Fauja Singh, Giani Bachitar Singh, Jathedar Gurdial Singh Ajnoha, Jathedar Harcharan Singh Mahalon, Bhai Shawinder Singh, Bhai Balbir Singh, Bahi Manjit Singh (Prof.) etc.