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Gurudwara Ber Sahib, Punjab Overview

Located in the city of Sultanpur Lodhi in Punjab is Gurudwara Ber Sahib where Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji spent a good part of his life. Sultanpur Lodhi is where Guru Nanak Dev Ji got married to Bibi Sulakhani and gave birth to their 2 sons, Sri Chand and Lakshmi Das in 1494 AD and 1497 AD respectively.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji was situated at Sultanpur Lodhi for 14 years before he ventured out to spread Sikhism and its teachings to the world. The city is estimated to be one of the most ancient ones, having been established in the 1st century AD. Gurudwara Ber Sahib is the biggest Gurudwara located in Sultanpur Lodhi and is situated on the banks of the streamlet Kali Bein. It is located near a ‘ber’ tree, which is known to have been where Guru Ji meditated every day for 14 years, 9 months and 13 years. He used to take a bath in the River Bein and then sit under the tree to meditate, and during one such meditation, it is believed he had a communion directly with the Divine. As per the Janam Sakhis, he saw a peculiar light and followed it into the stream. People thought that he had drowned as no one could find him and he had disappeared in the stream for 2/3 days. He reappeared at a spot 2 kms away, which is now called Sant Ghat, and he said, “No one is Hindu, no one is Musalman. We are all human beings.”

People gathered around him to listen to him, the Qazi of the town, who was a learned man amongst the Muslims, asked Guru Ji to offer Namaz with him in the mosque if Guru Ji truly believed that there was no Hindu or Muslim, and Guru Ji agreed. While everyone was praying, Guru Ji stood there watching. Upon being asked as to why he did not participate in offering Namaz, he said the Qazi was himself pre-occupied with thoughts of the birth of his new born colt who may fall into the well, so who was he to pray with? This made people believe in Guru Ji being a Divine being and a messenger of God himself as he could read people’s innermost thoughts.

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Architecture

The current structure of the Gurdwara is known to be built by Maharaja Jagatjit Singh of Kapurthala. The foundation stone was laid by Bhai Arjan Singh on 25 February 1937 and on completion on 26 January 1941, was dedicated by Lt. Gen. Maharaja Yadavinder Singh. Gurdwara has a marbled floor and high ceilings. Guru Granth Sahib Ji is kept on a white marble palaki (canopied throne) and the archway leading to the palaki has floral designs. Essentially, the entire structure is made in mosaic and marble.

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