GWALIOR (26Â°10`N, 78Â°8`E), formerly the capital of a princely state, is now a district town in Madhya Pradcsh. It is a railway junction on the Central Railway, 120 km south of Agra, and an important road junction along the AgraBombay national highway. Gurdwara Data Band! Chhor Patshahl VI, dedicated to Guru Hargobind, is situated inside the historic rockfort of Gwalior, about 3 km from the railway station. Guru Hargobind was detained in this fort for some time under the orders of the Mughal Emperor Jaharigir.
Historians have differed widely as regards the exact period of the Guru`s detention, but it appears he remained confined to the fort for a few months sometime between 1617 and 1619. Sikh tradition is, however, unanimous in asserting that, when the Emperor ordered the release of Guru Hargobind, he refused to come out alone. There were in the fort fifty-two other captives, chiefs and princes, seized from different parts of the country.
Guru Hargobind insisted that they should be set free, too. The Emperor ordered that as many prisoners as could hold on to the Guru`s robe could come out with him. It is said that Guru Hargobind had a special cloak made with 52 strings attached to it. All the fiftytwo captives each caught a string and came out of the fort with the Guru. From that day, Guru Hargobind came to be known as Data BandiChhor, `the Munificent Deliverer.` A shrine bearing this name was established to mark the place where Guru Hargobind had lived in captivity.
The shrine was looked after by Muslim faqirs till after 1947 when the site was acquired by the Sikhs and a Gurdwara was built. The original shrine is also maintained in the form of a rectangular marbled platform, on a base 7metre square and onemetre high. It is shaded by a handsomely carved marble canopy and is guarded by two marble lions in sitting posture in the front.
The construction of the new building started on Poh sudi 7, 2024 Bk/6 January 1968, under the supervision of SantJhanda Singh and Uttam Singh Mauni of Khadur Sahib. The central building of stone and concrete has six storeys, including the basement, with a central dome on top arid smaller domed pavilions at the corners. The main assembly hall, supported on massive square pillars in the middle, is fairly large, with a raised platform for the Guru Granth Sahib. . In a separate compound is the Guru ka Larigar, with a kitchen, a refectory.
1. Tara Singh, Sri Gur Tirath Sangrahi. Amritsar, n.d.
2. Thakar Singh, Giani, Sri Gurduare Darshan. Amritsar, 1923
3. Gurbilas Chhevin Patshahi. Patiala, 1970
4. Macauliffe, Max Arthur, The Sikh Religion. Oxford, 1909