BURHANPUR (21Â°18`N, 76Â°14`E), a medieval walled town on the banks of the River Tapti, is in East Nimar (Khandwa) district of Madhya Pradesh. It is a railway station, on the main DelhiItarsiBombay section of the Central Railway. There are two historical Sikh shrines in the town. GURDWARA SANGAT RAJGHAT PATSHAHI PAHILI, situated on the bank of the Tapti, perpetuates the memory of the sangat established in the wake of Guru Nanak`s visit in the early sixteenth century.
The Guru is said to have stayed at Burhanpur with one Bhai Bhagvan Das, who became a Sikh and who lived up to the time of Guru Hargobind. Bhai Gurdas who, in his Varan, XI. 30, mentions the name of Bhai Bhagvan Das, also testifies to the existence of the flourishing Sikh sangat at Burhanpur. In later times, with the coming into prominence of Bari Sangat where Guru Gobind Singh stayed en route to Nanded, the Rajghat site was neglected and became almost extinct.
It was reestablished by one Bhai Sadhu Singh in 1938. The present building, a modest single room, was opened for pilgrims on Kartik Purnima 2014 Bk/7 November 1957. GURDWARA BARI SANGAT. Guru Gobind Singh, while travelling to the Deccan in company with Emperor Bahadur Shah I, arrived at Burhanpur on 13 May 1708 and stayed there till the crossing of the Tapti between 11 and 14 June 1708 into the Deccan. He encamped outside the town, and the local Sikhs attended on him daily, and continued to assemble on the spot even after his departure.
The site became the venue of the Burhanpur sangat or fellowship, and came to be designated Ban Sangat. After the sack of Mathura by Ahmad Shah Durrani in 1757, Hathi Singh, son of Ajit Singh, adopted son of Mata Sundari, settled at Burhanpur. Hathi Singh died leaving no male heir, but the sangat continued under the guidance of Nirmala and Udasi priests. Some Sikh immigrants came to Burhanpur from the Punjab in the 1947 upheavel and they rebuilt the shrine. The present building complex consists of a divan hall, rooms for pilgrims, the Guru ka Langar and some farm houses.
Two old samadhis, or tombs, one of Hathi Singh and the other of his spouse still exist at the back of the divan hall. A small room behind these samadhis, called Nivas Asthan Patshahi 10, is inscribed to Guru Gobind Singh, who is believed to have stayed there at the time of his visit to Burhanpur. In the Gurdwara is kept an old handwritten copy of the Guru Granth Sahib with an inscription which is believed to be Guru Gobind Singh`s autograph. Each page is decorated with exquisitelywrought border in gold, red, green and blue colours and with floral designs.
1. Tara Singh, Sri Gur Tfrath Sangrahi. Amritsar, n.d.
2. Thakar Singh, Giani, Sri Gurduare Darshan. Amritsar, 1923