Along the banks of Godavari in Nanded, Maharashtra, is situated the Takhat Sachkhand Sri Hazur Abchalnagar Sahib where Guru Gobind Singh died. The inner chamber of the temple is called Angitha Sahib. It marks the site where the Guru set his camp holding his court and congregation in 1708 AD.
Video - In and Around Takht Sri Hazur Sahib
Significance of the Gurudwara
It marks the site where Guru Gobind Singh had installed his camp in 1708, after the exodus of the emperor Bahadur Shah. The 10th Guru had held his court and congregation here. It is the place of his own tent where he was recuperating after the attack of the assassins. It is also the place from where the Guru rose to heaven along with his horse Dilbag.
This site is one of the five Takhats that denotes the primary places of importance to the Sikhs. The other four takhats are: Akal Takht at Amritsar, Takhat Keshgarh Sahib at Anandpur, Takhat Patna Sahib in Bihar and Takhat Damdama Sahib in Talwandi Sabo, Bhatinda, Punjab.
In 1708 being clairvoyant of the end of his earthly role, the Guru had dispatched Banda Singh with five of his Sikhs to Punjab and Mata Sahib Devan under a separate escort to Delhi before the scandalous stabbing incident occurred. He asked the rest of his entourage to retire to their homes, but forbade one Bhai Santokh Singh to stay on there and keep `Guru ka Langar` going.
Seeing Bhai Santokh many chose to stay back. Mutually they built a room over the platform where Guru Gobind Singh would sit while holding his court and installed the Guru Granth Sahib (holy scripture of the Sikhs) on it. They called it Takhat Sahib. Guru Gobind Singh, while conferring Guruship on the holy book, had named Nanded himself as Abchalnagar (literal meaning `steadfast city`) after the first word of a hymn read indiscriminately on the occasion.
Sachkhand (literal meaning `region of truth`) had been used by Guru Nanak Dev to mean the dwelling of God. Maharaja Ranjit Singh had constructed the present building with money, manpower and labour sent in from Punjab during the 1830's. Simultaneously during this, the Nizam of Hyderabad raised a deputation of Northern Sikhs as part of his army.
Most of these men settled permanently in Hyderabad. Many militant and honorable Hindus embraced Sikhism in the 18th century. The control of Takhat Sachkhand Sri Hazoor Sahib, which had formerly shifted to the hands of Udasi priests, was regained by the Sikhs under the authority of the Singh Sabha Movement in the late 19th century. The territorial area of the Takhat Sahib is spread over several hectares.
Besides the main Takhat Sahib shrine, there are also two additional shrines of Bunga Mai Bhagoji comprising an enormous room where Guru Granth Sahib is placed with historical weapons, like steel quoits, steel shield studded with precious stones, a matchlock gun, a sword, a steel bow and an arrow, a gilded dagger-shaped sword, an archer with 35 arrows, a few more swords and a mace in display.
The building is two-storeyed. The architectural plan resembles the Golden Temple of Amritsar. The Gurudwara`s interior is intrinsically bejeweled in the lines of Harmandir Sahib, Amritsar. The walls of the inner sanctum called Angitha Sahib are covered with golden plates. On the first floor chanting from Guru Granth Sahib go on night and day.
The dome is highly polished, giving it a shiny look, and on the apex is the `kalash` (jar) made of gold plated copper. The second floor bears a small square room with a gilded ribbed dome topped with the tall pinnacle and umbrella-shaped finial. There are rooms in the basement too, proving that the construction is technically four-storeyed.
Corners of the roof of the first floor are bedecked with domed kiosks on octagonal pedestals. Other accompaniments on the exterior include oriel windows and a wide coping on the sides and a fancy fencing on the rooftop. Inside, the sanctum has marble lining ornamented with inset work in floral patterns on lower parts of the walls and stucco and tukari work on the upper parts. The ceiling displays similar work too.
Shrines of Angitha Bhai Daya Singh and Dharam Singh are also showcased here. These two are survivors of the battle of Chamkur, who were among the Panj Piare -five beloved ones who had offered their heads at the Guru`s call when the Khalsa was created in Kesgarh Fort of Anandpur Sahib on the Baisakhi Day, 1699.
How to reach the Temple
By Airways: Nanded is connected with three flights in a week for Mumbai. The nearest international airport is Hyderabad(284km). Nanded had the distinction of having Marathwada regions first airport. Now it has been renovated and named as 'Shri Guru Gobind Singh ji Airport'. It was inaugurated on 4 October 2008.
By Railways: Direct trains are available to Nanded from Mumbai, Aurangabad, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Nagpur, Patna, Delhi, Pune, Sriganganagar, Rajasthan and Amritsar. Roads.Nanded is 650km east of Mumbai by road and about six-hour drive from Aurangabad and Hyderabad and 11-hour drive from Pune.
By Roadways: Several passenger bus services operate from Nanded providing easy overnight connectivity with almost every major city in Maharashtra. These buses are reasonably priced and fairly punctual.