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WALI QANDHARl

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WALI QANDHARl (lit. Saint of Qandahar) was, according to a tradition popularized by Bhai Bala Janam Sakhi and Bhai Santokh Singh, Sri Gur Nanak Prakash, a Muslim recluse putting up on top of a hill near Hasan Abdal, now in Campbellpore (Attock) district of Pakistan Punjab. Accompanied by Bhai Mardana, Guru Nanak came to Hasan Abdal on his way back from Mecca and Baghdad and halted at the foot of the hill. Feeling fatigued and thirsty, but seeing no water in the vicinity, Mardana went up hill to Wall Qandhari.

The latter desired to know who he was and how he happened to wander in that direction.  When he heard Mardana tell him that he was in the company of no ordinary being, he refused to give him water and said that if his master was so accomplished he should not let his follower go thirsty. Mardana walked back and told the Guru what the Wall had said. Guru Nanak asked Mardana to go once again and supplicate the Wall with humility. Mardana obeyed, but returned only to report the failure of his mission.

The Guru thereupon touched the hillside with the stick he was holding. As he did this, water spouted forth. Mardana drank his fill, but simultaneously Wali Qandhari`s reservoir on the hilltop began to ebb and soon dried up. Blinded with rage, the Wali rolled a big boulder downhill towards the travellers. The Guru calmly raised his arm and the rocky mass, as says the story, stopped against his open palm (panja, in Punjabi) which made an impress upon it.

The boulder with the palmmark, i.e. panja, recessed into it, with the water rolling around it, still attracts visitors and pilgrims to the site. The Gurdwara built in the midst of a small pool in front of the stone, reverently called Panja Sahib (Holy Palm), is one of Sikhs` most magnificent and venerated shrines. Wali Qandhari`s grave on top of the adjacent oblong hill is also preserved.

References:

1. Santokh Singh, Bhai, Sri Gur Pratap Suraj Granth. Amritsar, 1927-35
2. Gian Singh, Giani, Twarikh Guru Khalsa [Reprint]. Patiala, 1970
3. Kirpal Singh, ed.,Janam Sakhi Sri Guru Nanak DevJi. Amritsar, 1962
4. Macauliffe, Max Arthur, The Sikh Religion : Its Gurus, Sacred Writings and Authors. Oxford, 1909

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