NABHA, in Patiala district. 15 km south of Chandigarh (30° 44`N. 76° 46`E), has a historical gurudwara dedicated to Guru Tegh Bahadur and Guru Gobind Singh. The shrine, called Gurdwara Sis Asthan Patshahi IX ate Puja Asthan Patshahi X or simply, Gurdwara Nabha Sahib, is situated 200 metres south of the habitation. During the seventeenth century Nabha did not exist and the area was covered by a dense forest. In November 1675, Bhai Jaita, carrying the severed head of Guru Tegh Bahadur from Delhi to Anandpur spent a night here in the solitary hut of an old Muslim recluse, Dargahi Shah, who on hearing an account of the tragic happenings from the former, kept watch over BhaiJaita`s sacred charge, enabling him to take a few hours` undisturbed sleep.

As Bhai Jaita prepared to depart the next morning, Dargahi Shah asked him to convey to Guru Gobind Singh how anxious he was to see him and yet how disappointed he felt at his inability to travel to Anandpur owing to his old age. Thirteen years later. Guru Gobind Singh travelling back from Paonta to Anandpur in November 1688 alighted at the faquir`s hut one evening, thus granting him his heart`s wish. A small mud platform marked this site until a gurudwara was constructed and endowed by Maharaja Karam Singh (1798-1845) of Patiala.

The shrine, as built by the Maharaja, was a square sanctum, with a covered circumambulatory passage. An assembly hall and some ancillary buildings were added in 1956. The Gurdwara is now man aged by a local committee, under the auspices of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee. Special divans are held on the first of every Bikrami month. An annual festival takes place on 2122 Assu, corresponding to 67 or 78 October, in the local belief that it was on one of these dates, and not in November, that Guru Gobind Singh visited the place in 1688.

NABHA (30°22`N, 76°9`E), a subdivisional town of Patiala district, was the capital of a princely state until it ceded to the Union of India and formed part of the Patiala and East Punjab States Union in 1948. The town was founded by Raja Hamir Singh (d. 1783) in 1755. Although his grandfather, Chaudhri Gurdit Singh (d. 1754), the founder of the Nabha House, had already shifted his headquarters here from his ancestral village, Badrukkhari, the place was simply called “Chaudhari da Ghar”, lit. the chieftain`s house.

The town developed slowly along with the territorial fortunes of the state under its successive rulers, RajaJasvant Singh (1775-1840), Raja Devinder Singh (1822-1865), Raja Bharpur Singh (1840-1863), Raja Bhagvan Singh (1842-1871), Maharaja Sir Hira Singh (1843-1911), Maharaja Ripudaman Singh (b. 1883, deposed 1923) and Maharaja Pratap Singh (1919-1995). There are two gurudwaras of historical importance in Nabha. GURDWARA SIROPAO SAHIB is located in a tower in the western part of the Fort. It holds a number of relics coming down from the days of the Gurus. 1. Guru Gobind Singh`s hukamndmd issued in 1706 to the brothers, Tilok Singh (ancestor of the rulers of Nabha and Jind states) and Ram Singh (ancestor of the Patiala rulers) .

The original is preserved in Burj Baba Ala Singh at Patiala. 2. A turban, a comb with some hair stuck in it, a kirpdn 3.5inch long, and a hukamndmd. These articles were given by Guru Gobind Singh to Pir Buddhu Shah at Paonta after the battle of Bhangani. Raja Bharpur Singh of Nabha acquired these from the Pir`s descendants. 3. A whip and a sword believed to have once belonged to Guru Hargobind. 4. Three swords, a dagger, two studs of a shield, a tip of an arrow and a manuscript of 300 folios, all commemorating Guru Gobind Singh.

GURDWARA BABA AJAPAL SINGH, popularly known as Ghorianvala Gurdwara, is outside the Lahauri Gate. It commemorates a Sikh divine who is said to have settled here in a forest at the beginning of the eighteenth century. During his stay here he seems to have won repute for his sanctity. He trained many in the soldierly arts as well. A few articles are still preserved in the Gurdwara as mementos of the holy saint. BIBLIOGRAPHY 1. Gian Singh, Giani, Twarikh Guru Khalsd [Reprint]. Patiala, 1970 2. Kahn Singh, Gurushabad Ratndkar Mahdn Kosh [Reprint]. Patiala, 1981 3. Ganda Singh, The Patiala and East Punjab States Union: Historical Background. Patiala, 1951 4. Gursharan Singh, History of Pepsu. Delhi, 1991

References :

1. Tara Singh, Sri Gur Tirath Sangrahi. Amritsar, n.d.
2. Gian Singh, Giani, Twarikh Guru Khalsa [Reprint]. Patiala, 1970