SIKANDARA is a township along the Grand Trunk Road, about 8 km north of Agra (27″10`N, 78″ E). Gurdwara Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Dukh Nivaran Guru Ka Tal, commonly known as Gurdwara Guru Ka Tal, is about 2 km from Sikandara towards Agra. Sikh chronicles have preserved the tradition that there lived a poor old shepherd named Hasan `All, in the village of Kanakareta, near Sikandara. He had two daughters of marriageable age, but did not possess the means to get them married.
This worried him constantly. One day he heard about the reward proclaimed under the Emperor`s order for Guru Tegh Bahadur`s arrest and the thought flashed across his mind that if he could claim the money he would be enabled to arrange for his daughters` nuptials. He knelt down in prayer. It is said that Guru Tegh Bahadur who then happened to be in Agra, rode on to Sikandara and alighted where Hasan `Alt was grazing his herd.
The Guru told Hasan `Alt that he was hungry and gave him a bejewelled ring and a costly shawl and asked him to buy some sweets for him from the city in exchange for the ring. When Hasan `Ali presented the ring at the confectionary and spread the shawl to receive the ordered provisions, the owner, noticing the contrast between his humble dress and the valuables in his possession, got suspicious and made a report to the city police. This led to the arrest of Guru Tegh Bahadur, but, before parting from Hasan `Ali, he reminded him to claim his reward and spend it for the marriage of his daughters.
A memorial platform was constructed on the spot where the Guru was arrested, but it remained shrouded in obscurity until rediscovered in 1956 by the Sikhs of Agra who raised a small gurdwara. In 1970 Sant Sadhu Singh Mauni started reconstructing the building. Since then an entirely new and imposing building has arisen. A square hall has a conopied marble throne in the centre on which two volumes of the Guru Granth Sahib are placed side by side. Above the hall there is a lotus dome in the centre and four smaller domes, one at each corner, also with gold finials.
1. Gian Singh, Giani, Twarikh Guru Khalsa [Reprint]. Padala, 1970
2. Santokh Singh, Bhai, Sri Gur Pratap Suraj Granth. Amritsar, 1927-35
3. Harbans Singh, Guru Tegh Bahadur, Delhi, 1994