On a fine February morning, Tah and I set out to experience something really extraordinary in northern India. Yes, we visited a Gurudwara! Read on to know what to do and what kind of experience you will attain in that divine destination
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What is Gurudwara?
Gurudwara is the worship place of Sikhs. People from any religion can assemble at this place and worship the Guru. A Darbar Sahib is present in each Gurudwara which is actually a sculpture of Guru Granth Sahib. The Raagis are people who sing about the Guru. They are also present in the main hall Gurudwara. The main Gurudwara or the most popular one is located in Amritsar, Punjab. However, the first of Gurudwaras were constructed in Kartarpur, Punjab in 1521. This is located on the banks of river Ravi. The famous shrine of Guru Nanak Dev is placed there.
Gurudwara in Delhi:
Delhi, being famous for so many historical places and cultural centers, is also well-known for Bangla Sahib Gurudwara. It was initially a bungalow that belonged to Raja Jai Singh and was called ‘Jai Singh Pura’. It was constructed in 1783. Guru Har Krishan Ji, the eighth Sikh Guru is said to have resided here in 1664 after which it was converted into the Bangla Sahib Gurudwara. People of any religion can visit this place to experience pure bliss.
What can you see in Bangla Sahib Gurudwara?
Below are the things you will find in this place:
- The main Gurudwara prayer hall
- The Yatri Niwas
- Baba Baghel Singh Museum
Rules inside the Gurudwara
- The cloth on the head- As you enter the main Gurudwara, you are supposed to tie a cloth on your head. The cloth is something like a bandana and everyone who visits any Gurudwara around the world is supposed to wear this. This is especially for the men folk. For women, they can cover their head with a dupatta, sari or some sort of cloth.
- No footwear- You are not allowed to wear your shoes or slippers. Drop it in the shoe counter and get the token with which you can take it back once you return.
- Clean Feet- Wash your feet in the taps of water kept before entering the Gurudwara
- No Photography- A big ‘no’ to cameras inside the Gurudwara. Nothing should be filmed at this place.
- Silence please- Everyone is expected to pray in silence in order to experience the divinity of the place.
The prayer hall of Gurudwara:
The main hall of Gurudwara has the shrine of Bangla Sahib. Recitals are sung regularly for the Guru. The whole structure is made of marble with beautiful architecture. There is a stairway to reach this hall. Wheelchair arrangements are made for people who cannot climb up.
Langar in Gurudwara:
The Langar in Gurudwara is basically a big kitchen that serves free food to whomsoever visits the place. Anyone can volunteer to work in the kitchen. You can assist in cutting vegetables, cooking, cleaning and serving in the kitchen. Langar is a food shelter for many needy in and around the city. Only vegetarian food is served here.
The noble concept of Langar was started by Guru Nanak Dev Ji to do away with the caste system that prevailed in the 13th and 14th centuries. Without any restrictions on caste, creed, and religion, anyone can come and take charge of the kitchen responsibilities and eat their hearts out. Rich or poor is all the same in Gurudwara. Everyone sits down in a row and share the food that is served. On average 25,000 people are served on a daily basis.
Our Langar Experience:
We were accompanied by our friend Pulkit to Bangla Sahib Gurudwara. Luckily we got permission to go experience the atmosphere inside the kitchen. We witnessed huge pots that they use to cook daily. Every day the menu is different. The daily basic menu consists of rotis, rice, lentils, and vegetables. The timing for Langar starts from 9 AM- 3 PM and 7 PM- 10 PM. Tah got an opportunity to make rotis. The lady next to her was so sweet to help her out and teach her how to do it. Serving food is yet another blissful experience in Gurudwara. After all, what’s that one thing people say ‘enough’ for and feel satisfied, except for food?
If you are visiting a Gurudwara next time, either you pray or not, do volunteer in the Langar. It gives great satisfaction and mindfulness.
Sarovar of Bangla Sahib Gurudwara
Sarovar, basically means, pond, lake or any water body build near around the Gurudwara. It is usually rectangle or square in shape. Devotees dip their hands into the waters and sprinkle the same on their heads. It is considered to be very holy. Big goldfishes swim to adore the waters of the Sarovar. It is strictly prohibited to wash your feet or clean your hands in the Sarovar.
Baghel Singh Sikh Museum:
The museum in the premises of the Gurudwara was named after the great Sikh warrior, Baghel Singh. You can find amazing paintings done by the best from all over India. These paintings detail the teachings and life history of great Sikh Gurus. Headphones are kept there in order to listen to the videos.
Yatri Niwas in Bangla Sahib Gurudwara:
This place is for the devotees to stay. Early booking can give you the assurance that the room is confirmed. Devotees can rest at Yatri Niwas and visit the Gurudwara and help out in Langar at leisure if there are willing to spend a longer time in this place.
The next time you are planning to stay in Delhi, don’t miss this awe-inspiring Gurudwara. We would recommend you to spend some time and involve in Langar. There is no better experience than helping out in the langar of Gurudwara. Are you eager to know what else you can do in Delhi and the best way to get around in Delhi? Check out our latest blogs on Delhi to get detailed before you make a plan!