Gurdwara Bandi Chorh Sahib


The word 'Bandi' means 'imprisoned', 'Chorh' means 'release'.

Gurdwara Data Bandi Chorh Sahib is associated with the imprisonment of Guru Har Gobind ji in Gwalior Fort and his celebrated release of 52 Rajas who had long suffered imprisonment in the Fort.

Guru Hargobind ji has raised army of Sant Soldiers to fight against cruelty, this is the first step He took after announcing by Baba Budha Him as sixth Guru. This led a serious concern to Jahangir, who summoned Guru ji to Delhi. Guru ji and Jahangir met several times and were having good understanding with each other.

After sometime Jahangir fell sick and called Kazis and Hakims to consult. They suggest Jahangir that his health will be improved only if some holy person prayed for him at Gwalior Fort. Jahangir asked Guru ji to stay at Gwalior Fort and pray for him. Guru ji agreed and stay there for 2 years and 3 months.

As per the orders of Jahangir Guru ji got daily good royal food to eat and get some money for their own expenses. But Guru ji refused to eat that food and share the money with other prisoners. All other prisoners on daily basis listening Banis from Guru ji and forgot all cruelties given by Jahangir.

On the other side Jahangir health was declining day by day. Then Jahangir's wife met Sain Mian Mir ji and asked about Jahangirs health. Sain ji told her that they had taken a holy man into their custody if they will not release Him then there whole empire will be destroyed.

Jahangir sent orders to release Guru ji. But Guru ji put a condition that He will only go from there if all the 52 rulers will also be released. These 52 rulers are also in the custody of Jahangir and were tied to different pillars with chains and were leading miserable life.

After some confusion Jahangir agreed and sent a message that whosoever will hold Guru ji Palla can leave the fort. The Rajputs never hold any one Palla that's why Jahangir took this decision.

But next day it was miracle that 52 rulers were holding Guru ji's Chola's and all were released.

This earned for the Guru the epithet Data Bandi Chorh, the munificent liberator. Chroniclers differ about the dates and duration of the Guru' detention. But it appears that it was sometime between 1617 and 1619.

A shrine bearing the name was established inside the fort. The original shrine in the form of a marbled platform is still maintained near the entrance to Gurdwara Data Bandi Chhor Guru Hargobind Ji.

The present building complex spread over six acres was constructed under the supervision of Sant Jhanda Singh and Utam Singh Mauni of Khadur Sahib during the 1970s and 1980s. The principal building is a six-storey edifice near the old shrine. The sanctum is on one side of a high-ceilinged, almost square hall on the ground floor. There is a basement below of the same size as the hall and four storeys of room above the sanctum. Guru ka Langar with its vast dining hall and residential rooms for staff and pilgrims are in a separate, adjoining compound. It is a peculiarity of this Gurdwara to have two sarovars, one for women the other for men.

Pilgrims from all over the country visit this Gurdwara to pay homage to Guru Hargobind.

During October/November, the worldwide Sikh Sangat celebrates the safe return of the sixth Nanak, Guru Hargobind from detention from Gwalior Fort. The day coincides with the Hindu festival of Diwali. This concurrence has resulted in a similarity of celebrations amongst Sikhs and Hindus.

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