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MEHRAJ, also spoken as Mahiraj or Marhaj, is a village 6 km northwest of Rampura Phul (30°16`N, 75°14`E) in Bathinda district founded in 1627 by Bhai Mohan (d. 1630), aJatt of the Siddhu clan, with the blessings and help of Guru Hargobind. According to Sikh tradition, Mohan with his tribe wanted to settle down in this area but the Bhullars, the local dominating tribe, resisted. Mohan sought Guru Hargobind`s blessing and succeeded in founding a village which he called Mehraj after the name of his greatgrandfather. The Bhullars tried to dislodge him, but were driven away with Guru Hargobind`s help. In the battle Guru Hargobind had to fight here against an imperial force led by Lalla Beg on 16 December 1634, he took up position around a pool of water about 3 km south of Mehraj. Sikhs, though vastly outnumbered, defeated the attacking force. Lalla Beg and several of his officers and men were killed. Guru Hargobind had them buried according to Muslim rites while he had the Sikhs fallen in action cremated. A tower subsequently raised indicates the sites where cremation and burial took place. GURDWARA CHHOTA GURUSAR TAMBU SAHIB, one kilometre southwest of the village, marks the site where Guru Hargobind had his tent (tambu, in Punjabi) set up at the time of his first visit to this place. It is a modestlooking shrine built on a low mound and managed by the village sangat. GURDWARA GURUSAR MEHRAJ marks the site Of Guru Hargobind`s camp during the battle of Mehraj. According to Cur Bilds Chhevm Pdtshdhi, Guru Hargobind had himself named this place Gurusar and declared it a place of pilgrimage, appointing a Ravidasi Sikh to look after it. The old building constructed by Maharaja Hira Singh of Nabha (18431911) was replaced during the 1980`s by the successors of Sam Gurmukh Singh Scvavale. Tlie new building, inside a walled compound, comprises a highccilingcd assembly hall, with the sanctum in the middle marked off by massive square columns and wide arches. Above the sanctum is a domed pavilion lined with glazed tiles and topped by a goldplated pinnacle and an umbrellashaped finial with a khandd at the apex. Domed kiosks adorn the hall corners. The Gurdwara, endowed with 250 acres of land, is affiliated to the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee. People from the surrounding villages throng for a dip in the holy sarovar on every Monday.
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