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MACHHIVARA (30°-55'N, 76°-12'E), now a small town in Ludhiana district, figures prominently in the last phase of Guru Gobind Singh's life. As the Guru arrived here after leaving Chamkaur on the night of 7 December 1705, he stopped first in a garden outside the village. Here Bhai Man Singh, Bhai Daya Singh and Bhai Dharam Singh, who had been separated from him when he was leaving Chamkaur, rejoined him. He later moved to the house of Gulaba, the masand, inside the village.

From here the brothers Ghani Khan and Nabi Khan, two Ruhila Pathans, who as horse dealers had previously visited Guru Gobind Singh at Anandpur, assisted him to travel further west disguised as Muslim divines. There are three gurdwaras to commemorate these events. GURUDWARA CHARAN KAVAL SAHIB marks the site of the garden where Guru Gobind Singh stopped first and where Bhai Man Singh, Bhai Daya Singh and Bhai Dharam Singh found him asleep after an arduous journey through the thorny forest.

The central building of this shrine has a square hall on the ground floor with a square sanctum in the centre where Guru Granth Sahib is seated. The domed pavilion over the sanctum on the second floor contains a large portrait of Guru Gobind Singh in a sleeping posture. There are also decorative domed pavilions on this floor, square at the corners and rectangular at midpoints of the walls. A rectangular sarovar, west of the Gurdwara, was constructed during the 1970's. It receives its water supply from an old well believed to be the same as watered the garden at the beginning of the eighteenth century.

The Gurdwara is controlled by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee through a local committee which also manages Gurdwara Chubara Sahib inside the town. A big fair is held in the third week of December every year to commemorate Guru Gobind Singh's stay in Machhivara. GURUDWARA CHUBARA SAHIB is inside the town on the site where the house of Gulaba Masand once stood. Chubara means a room on the first floor. It was in a first floor room in Gulaba's house that Guru Gobind Singh had put up. The present building comprises a square hall with the sanctum in the centre.

The hall is in a square walled compound. For administration, the shrine is affiliated to Gurdwara Charan Kaval. GURUDWARA UCHCH DA PIR. Guru Gobind Singh had left Machhivara disguised as a Muslim divine, carried in a palanquin and declared by Ghani Khan and Nabi Khan to be the Pir of Uchch, an old seat of Muslim saints in southwest Punjab. Gurdwara Uchch da Pir was established after 1947 in the private house formerly belonging to the descendants of Ghani Khan and Nabi Khan. The Guru Granth Sahib is seated in a small rectangular room. A double-storeyed cell in this house is also being maintained in memory of Guru Gobind Singh. It is believed that lie stayed here for a short while after shifting from Gulaba's house.

References :

1. Gian Singh, Giani, Twarikh Gurduarian. Amritsar, n.d.
2. Narotam, Tara Sihgh, Sri Guru Tirath Sangrahi. Kankhal, 1975



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