BAHADURGARH, Fort, 9 km northeast of Patiala (30° 20\’N, 76° 26\’E), marks the site of the old Saifabad Fort, the residence of Nawab Saif ud-Din Mahmud or Saif Khan. The Fort was acquired by Raja Amar Singh (1748-82) of Patiala in 1774 and was reconstructed by Maharaja Karam Singh (1798-1845) in 1837. The latter renamed it Bahadurgarh after Guru Tegh Bahadur who had visited the place more than once. Maharaja Karam Singh also raised two gurdwaras, one outside the Fort and the other inside it, both honouring the memory of Guru Tegh Bahadur.

GURDWARA SRI GURU TEGH BAHADUR,BAHADURGARH, is about 200 metres north of the Fort. According to tradition. Guru Tegh Bahadur, during one of his travels through the Malva region, stayed here at the request of Nawab Saif Khan. The latter, a pious Muslim and an ardent admirer of Guru Tegh Bahadur, had met the Guru earlier also. Guru Tegh Bahadur arrived here on 16 Har 1732 Bk / 14 June 1675 and stayed in the Nawab\’s garden, no longer extant but for a few banyan trees around a tank. Saif Khan requested him to prolong his sojourn here.

The latter stayed on during the rainy season. On several occasions, the Nawab took him inside his fort so that the ladies of his house could also benefit from the Guru\’s darshan and discourse. The Guru left on 17 Assu 1732 Bk/17 September 1675 to continue his travels. The Gurdwara is in the shape of a large haveli or fortress with an imposing three storeyed gateway. The heavy wooden gate is set in a red stone frame under an ogeeshaped trefoil arch. The gate is flanked on either side by doorsized niches. The first floor has projecting windows, and at the top there are decorative pavilions.

Octagonal turrets are built all along the outer wall at regular intervals. Inside the haveli there is a cemented courtyard with rooms all around it. The sanctum where the Guru Granth Sahib is seated stands on a high square base in the middle. It consists of a small room crowned with a pinnacled lotusdome and surrounded by a marble floored verandah. The interior walls and the ceiling are set in with reflecting glass pieces and have decorative filigree work in delicate designs.

Painted in miniature fresco are the portraits of the Gurus. The divan hall is at the back of the sanctum. To the north of the Gurdwara is the 90 metre square sarovar. This Gurdwara is managed by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee. GURDWARA SRI GURU TEGH BAHADUR, BAHADURGARH FORT, is a modern construction enclosing the historical shrine built by Maharaja Karam Singh of Patiala. The original building, still intact, consists of a small room with a door on each of the four sides, radiating arches and a lotus dome.

The entire interior surface is richly decorated with coloured motifs. The outer surface of the walls, however, has since been plastered and colour washed to match the colour scheme of the enclosing hall. The hall has a flat roof supported by four square shaped pillars. In front of it is a spacious platform with a small pool within it. The Gurdwara is maintained by the police contingent housed in the Fort.

References :

1. Malva Desh Ratan di Sakhi Pothi. Amritsar, 1968
2. Thakar Singh, Giani, Sri Gurduare Darshan. Amritsar, 1923
3. Trilochan Singh, Guru Tegh Bahadur: Prophet and Martyr. Delhi, 1967