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Gurdwara Sri Panjokhra Sahib

Location - Panjokhara, Ambala, Haryana, India

Associated with - Sri Guru Harkrishan Sahib Ji

Sikh Artifacts - None

Sarovar - Yes

Sarai - unknown

Gurdwara Sri Panjokhra Sahib marks the site where Sri Guru Harkrishan Sahib Ji stopped on his way to Delhi.

During his journey from Kiratpur to Panjokhra, Guru Harkrishan travelled through Ropar, Banur, Raipura and Ambala.

Along the way he gave the universal message of Guru Nanak, to Sikhs, who came to call on him.

As he neared Panjokhra, a Sikh spoke with humility, 'Respected Sangats are arriving from Peshawar, Kabul and Kashmir for your darshan. Please can you stay at Panjokhra for a few days so they can see you?' Guru Harkrishan agreed to extend his stay in this village.

There was a pandit by the name of Krishan Lal or Lal Chand that lived here. Lal Chand was proud of his brahman caste as well as his knowledge.

Lal Chand came to see Guru Harkrishan and sarcastically remarked that the boy who bore the name of Krishna could not even read Krishna's Bhagwad Gita.

He asked, 'It is said that you sit on the Gurgaddi of Guru Nanak, but what do you know of the religious scripture?'

By chance, Chhaju Ram, an illiterate dark-skinned village water carrier, happened to pass by at that moment. Guru Harkrishan asked a man named Dargah Mal to ask Chhaju Ram to join them.

As Chhaju Ram arrived, Guru Harkrishan asked him to bathe in the nearby pond. Once done, Guru Harkrishan asked him if he would explain the gist of bhagavad gita to the pandit. Saying so, Guru Harkrishan placed his stick over the head of the water carrier.

Chhaju Ram astonished everyone by giving a convincing commentary on the hindu scripture. Such was the erudition of Chhaju that Lal Chand bent his head in shame, his pride was overcome and he asked for the Guru's forgiveness.

Guru Harkrishan resumed his journey after three days at Panjokhara. Both Lal Chand and Chhaju Ram became the Sikhs of the great Guru and traveled with him up to Kurukshetra.

It is said that pandit Lal Chand entered the fold of Khalsa, during Guru Gobind Singh's time and took the name, Lal Singh. He met with a hero's death fighting in the Battle of Chamkaur, in December 1705.

A small memorial raised in honor of Guru Harkrishan was developed into a Gurdwara during era of the Sikh Empire. More recently, a vast complex has been developed including the double storey sanctum entered through a spacious hall, Guru ka Langar with a vast dining hall, and enclosed sarovar and ancillary buildings for staff and Sikhs.

Besides largely attended Sunday morning congregations, an annual fair is held on Magh Sudi 7 to 9 (January - February) commemorating the dates of the Guru Harkrishan's stay at Panjokhra.

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