ROHTAS (30Â° 55`N, 73Â° 48`E), town in Jehlum district of Pakistan had a historical Sikh shrine, Gurdwara Choha Sahib, commemorating the visit of Guru Nanak (1469-1539) during his western uddsi or preaching tour. Later in 1542, Sher Shah Suri raised around the habitation a strong fort which he named Rohtas after one of his important citadels in Bihar. Rohtas is the name which the town now celebrates. Gurdwara Choha Sahib on the bank of a seasonal stream, Ghan, stood outside the Fort to the north of it.
A legend similar to the one connected with Gurdwara Panja Sahib, Hasan Abdal, grew up here. It is said that the nearest source of water for the people of this place during dry season was a spring controlled byjogis at Tilla Bal Gudai about 14 km west of it. Guru Nanak, who is also said to have visited the Tilla, caused another spring of sweet water to flow into Rohtas which came to be called Choha Sahib or Choa Sahib, i.e. the holy stream. A gurudwara was later raised here and the springwater pool was lined to form a sarovar or holy tank.
The Gurdwara Choha Sahib was managed by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee before it was abandoned consequent upon the partition of India in 1947. Rohtas is also notable in Sikh history as the native place of Mata Sahib Devari, a spouse of Guru Gobind Singh, and commonly designated as the Mother of the Khalsa. Rohtas was conquered by a combined force of Gujjar Singh Bharigi and Charhat Singh Sukkarchakkia in 1767.
Shah Zaman, grandson of the Afghan invader Ahmad Shah Durrani, reconquered it in January 1787, but it was seized a few years later by Maharaja Ranjit Singh under whom it remained an important military post and halting station during his northwestern campaigns.
1. Narotam, Tara Singh, Sri Guru Tirath Sangrahi. Amritsar n.d.
2. Khan Muhammad Waliullah Khan, Sikh Shrines in West Pakistan. Karachi, 1962