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SIRSA, pronounced Sarsa (29"33`N, 75°04 E), in Haryana, once famous as a seat of Muslim Sufis and anchorites has two historical Sikh shrines : GURDWARA CHILHA SAHIB PATSHAHI 1. Guru Nanak once visited Sirsa and held discourse with the holy men, stressing the futility of withdrawal from the world and of undergoing austerities. A small shrine commemorating the visit of the Guru stands near the Khanaqah of Pahj PIrs in the northwestern corner of the town. Two engraved stones in the shrine carry the inscription Chilha Bava Sahib Nanak Dervish.

The shrine used to be looked after by Muslim priests of the Khanaqah. When they left after Partititon in 1947, the premises were taken over by the Waqf Board. The place has since been acquired by the Sikhs, and a new complex known as Gurdwara Chilha Sahib Patshahi 1 has been developed, 200 metres west of the bigger Gurdwara in memory of Guru Gobind Singh. GURDWARA SRI GURU GOBIND SItMGH Jl. Guru Gobind Singh stayed at Sirsa on his way from Damdama Sahib (Talvandi Sabo) to the South in 1706.

He encamped near a pond known as Lakkhi Talao. It was here that Dalla Singh deserted the Guru. From here the Guru went to Khudal to rescue one Gulab Singh, goldsmith, held in captivity by the local Muslim chief. A gurdwara was later raised on the bank of Lakkhi Talao by Maharaja Hira Singh of Nabha. The possession of the gurdwara passed to the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee in 1928. In 1958 Sant Baghel Singh, on a request from some leading Siklis of the area, took up reclamation of the tank and reconstruction of the Gurdwara.

The Gurdwara now consists of a hall standing on marbled platform, with a ribbed lotus dome on top. The entire exterior as well as the interior including the dome is covered with white marble. In front of the platform there is a large pavilion with vaulted roof for holding larger assemblies. Within the walled compound are the holy tank, a high school, a serai, and a plain flatroofed room which is Baba Baghel Singh`s samadh. Guru ka Langar is in a separate old building.

References :

1. Narotam, Tara Singh, Sri" Guru Tirath Sangrahi. Kankhal, 1975
2. Gian Singh, Giani, Twarikh Gurduanan. Amrilsar, n.d
3. Harbans Singh, Guru Nanak and Origins of the Sikh Faith. Bombay, 1969
4. Kohli, Surindar Singh, Travels of Guru Nanak. Chandigarh, 1969

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