ANANDPUR: THE LAND OF JOY
The city of Anandpur, now all white as part of the celebrations of the tercentenary of Khalsa- 300 years of Sikhism, was the prime focus of all these celebarations. Marches from all over the country headed for this land of joy in early April, 1999. An estimated 2-3 million pilgrims visited Anandpur Sahib for the mega-event, and large scale arrangements were made.
The Baisakhi of 1999 was especially significant as it marked the completion of 300 years of the Birth of the Khalsa. It was on Baisakhi day in 1699 that Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji baptised the "Panj Pyaras" or the five loved ones. In 1699, on the occasion of the festival of Baisakhi, Guru Nanak Dev Ji's mission was fulfilled by the 10th Guru, Sahib Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji, when the Sikh was consummated as the Khalsa- Saint Soldier - in direct commune with the Guru and God. Still more remarkable is the fact that the Guru had got himself baptised by the Panj-Pyaras, the five beloved ones, who had even offered him their heads to uphold Dharma. And so, it was an ocassion for Sikhs the world over to rejoice and take part in, as the Khalsa faith completed 300 eventful years of its existence.
How did Anandpur acquire its present form? The story dates back to the 17th Century, when, having purchased the dune of Makhowal from dowager Rani Champa, wife of late Raja Deep Chand of Kahlur- Bilaspur State, the 9th Guru of the Sikhs, Sahib Sri Guru Teg Bahadur had laid the foundation of a new city on the 19th June, 1665. He called it Chak Nanki after the name of his mother. Quietly, the Chak had grown into a poverty free, self sufficient and a progressive State within the Mughal ruled India. Run on the basis of divine principles of love and liberty, it became a haven for the people oppressed by the fanaticism of Emperor Aurangzeb.
On 25th May, 1675, tyrannized Kashmiri Brahmins under the leadership of Pt. Kirpa Ram came here to seek solace and salvation and the greatest Arabic and Persian Hindu scholar of the time Bhai Nand Lal Goya, who had also served as a tutor to the sons of Emperor Aurangzeb, sought shelter at Sri Anandpur Sahib when threatened with forcible conversion. It is widely believed that the name of Chak Nanki was changed into Anandpur Sahib by Sahib Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji. The miseries of the Kashmiri Brahmins and others had prompted the 9th Guru to offer a unique martyrdom in the annals of the world for upholding the humanity's right to freedom of conscience. His martyrdom bears testimony to the fact that it was the miseries of Kashmiri Brahmins for which Guru Teg Bahadur ji sacrificed his life. It has been this spirit of sacrifice and respect for humanity that has guided Sikhism all through its history.
And that history has now crossed another milestone- the tricentenary!!! 300 years of Khalsa, and we joined our brethern the world over as we celebrated this occasion. This page is developed as part of the "Sikhs at Indore" website, please do not miss to see that!! Sikhs at Indore can be accessed at our address http://hello.to/sikh.com
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