MANI MAJRA is an old town, 2 km east of Chandigarh (30°44`N, 76°47`E). After the death of Baba Ram Rai at Dehra Dun in 1687, one of his wives, Mata Raj Kaur, settled in Mani Majra. The following year, Guru Gobind Singh returning from Paonta Sahib to Anandpur Sahib, came here on Maghar vadi 10, 1745 Bk/November 1688, to call on her. What is now known as Gurdwara Manji Sahib was the residence of Mata Raj Kaur, expanded later by the members of the Ram Raia sect who were maintaining it until the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee took it over. Mata Raj Kaur was a pious lady credited with spiritual powers.

It is said that, once during the rains, a rafter in the roof of her house gave way. She requested one Bhar Mall, a wealthy man of the village, to provide timber of suitable length, but he refused. Gharibu, a poor peasant, at once felled a tree and brought the log to support the roof. Mata Raj Kaur said that he would be a raja. It so happened that whereas Bhar Mall`s fortunes declined, Gharibu prospered. He lived to be an old man and, after the fall of Sirhind to the Sikhs in 1764, he became master of Mani Majra and 48 other villages.

His son and successor, Gopal Singh, was given the title of Raja by the British government.Gurdwara Manjl Sahib is in the interior of the town, near the fort. The sanctum, where the Guru Granth Sahib is now seated has a lotus dome on top with a pavilion in front. A narrow lane leads to the samadh of Mata Raj Kaur near by.

References :

1. Gian Singh, Giani, Twarikh Guru Khalsa [Reprint]. Patiala, 1970

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The etymology of the term 'gurdwara' is from the words 'Gur (ਗੁਰ)' (a reference to the Sikh Gurus) and 'Dwara (ਦੁਆਰਾ)' (gateway in Gurmukhi), together meaning 'the gateway through which the Guru could be reached'. Thereafter, all Sikh places of worship came to be known as gurdwaras.

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