Gurdwara Nanak Mata Sahib


Gurdwara Nanak Mata is a historical Sikh shrine and associated with Guru Nanak Dev ji. Guru Nanak Dev ji went there during his third Udasi in 1514.

Guru Nanak Dev ji sat near the present location of the Gurdwara meditating under a pipal tree. The yogis were surprised to see him there as this place was quite inaccessible. The weather being cold, Bhai Mardana ji asked the yogis for some fire. However, they refused to help Bhai Mardana. The yogis, instead, taunted him and told him that he should go and ask his Guru who was with him.

At this, Guru Nanak Dev ji looked at a pile of firewood nearby and it instantly ignited. Suddenly, the weather changed for the worse and it began to rain. As a result, the fires lit by the yogis were extinguished but the one lit by Guru ji was not affected at all. The yogis realized their mistake and fell at the feet of the Guru. The next morning, they all gathered together and came to Guru ji for a religious discussion. They again used their occult powers and tried to lift the pipal tree under which Guru ji was sitting out of the ground. When the tree had risen by a few feet, Guru ji simply placed his hand on it and it stopped rising. Guru ji explained to the yogis the path of true meditation and salvation. The yogis learnt from the Guru and gained valuable knowledge ("Matt"). This place then came to be known as "Nanak Mata" and became a major centre of the Udasi sect.

This place used to be retreat of Gorakhpanthi Nath Yogis and was called Gorakh Mata before Guru Nanak Dev came here.

A century later, when Bhai Almast came to preach the message of the Gurus in the eastern provinces, he found Nanak Mata again occupied by Nath Yogis. Finding himself unable to evict them, he sent word for help to Guru Hargobind. The Guru at once reached Nanak Mata, chastised the Yogis and revived the Sikh shrine. Bhai Almast made Nanak Mata his principal preaching centre for the rest of his life, and it continued to be served by Udasi priests after his death.

Before 1937, this gurdwara was maintained by mahants. A small gurdwara was constructed by the local people. The land for the Gurdwara was donated by Nawab Mehndi Ali Khan. Karsewa began in 1975. The Gurdwara building is magnificent and has marble all over. The complex consists of the main hall, the langar hall, the parikarama, the sarai, offices, etc.

A second gurdwara, Gurdwara Patshahi Sixth, is also present here. The pipal tree under which Guru Nanak Dev ji sat can also be seen between the main building and Gurdwara Patshahi Sixth.

A 100 room sarai, Guru Hargobind Niwas, has been constructed within the Gurdwara premises.

A number of educational institutions are run here, including the Guru Nanak Balika Degree College and the Guru Nanak Inter College, both affiliated with the Uttar Pradesh Education Board. Guru Nanak Primary School is run for boys and girls up to the fifth class.

The Gurdwara is located 15 kilometres west of Khatima Railway Station on the Pilibhit-Tanakpur of North-Eastern Railway. The holy shrine is near the town of Sitarganj. It is situated on the bank of Deoha stream, which has since been dammed into a reservoir named Nanak Sagar.

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