KHEM KARAN (31Â°8`N, 74Â°3`E), a small border town in Amritsar district of the Punjab, has two historical shrines dedicated one each to Guru Amar Das and Guru Tegh Bahadur. GURDWARA THAMM SAHIB, near the Kasur Gate, marks the site of a manjior preaching centre established by Guru Amar Das (1479-1574) through Bhai Kheda, a Brahman worshipper of goddess Durga converted to Sikhism. The Guru had given to Bhai Kheda a log pillar (thamm in Punjabi) which, preserved as a sacred relic, gave the shrine its name.
The old shrine and the holy lhamm`were destroyed during the IndoPakistan war in 1965. The present building, a small flat roofed hall, including the sanctum, was raised by the local sangat in 1966. A new log brought from Goindval, once the scat of Guru Amar Das, has replaced the old relic. An old well on the premises is believed to date from Bhai Khcda`s days. The Gurdwara is maintained by the local sangal. The death anniversary of Guru Amar Das falling in AugustSeptember is marked by special divans.
GURDWARA GURUSAR SAHIB marks the spot, 400 metres south of Khem Karan town, where Guru Tegh Bahadur (1621-75) once stayed during his visit to the town. The old shrine was reconstructed in 1903 by Lala Karishi Ram, a rich philanthropist of Firoxpur. This building was destroyed during the 1965 war with Pakistan. The present structure raised during 1966-67 comprises a small hall, adjoining a domed sanctum. The Gurdwara is maintained by the local sangat. Special gatherings take place on every full moon day and on all major anniversaries on the Sikh calendar.
1. Fauja Singh, Guru TegBahndur, Yfitrd Asthdn, Pramprtivdn te Yad Chinn. Patiala, 1976