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''Legend has it Guru Gobind Singh stayed here for a few years and wrote many religious books''

LOCATION : It is located in Sirmour district of Himachal Pradesh.

WHY GO THE DISTANCE : Surrounded by Sal forest, this revered site draws devotees in huge flocks every year. The Gurudwara has linkages to the tenth Sikh Guru - Guru Gobind Singh, and is a sacred place for the entire Sikh community.

Situated on the banks of river Yamuna, the place was earlier called Paontika Sahib - ”Paon” meaning Foot and “Tika” meaning placed. Thus, the place acquired its name when Guruji dismounted from his horse and placed his feet for the first time on this soil. The other story says that the place got its name from the lost ornament that Guru Gobind singh used to wear on his foot, called Paonta. Yamuna here is the boundary between the states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

It is believed that after spend a few years at Paonta, Guru Gobind Singh headed to Anandpur Sahib to establish the Khalsa Panth. The Gurudwara also houses a museum that displays weapons used at those times and the pens of Guruji. It is at this place Guru Gobind Singh penned down the 'Dasham Granth'.

Also in the premises are the Sri Talab Asthan, the Sri Dastar Asthan and the Kavi Darbar Asthan. Attached to the Gurdwara is the historic temple dedicated to Goddess Yamuna. Guru ka Langar at the meal-serving place is on the entire day. Devotees take this as an opportunity to render social service by either preparing food or wiping the floor.

Paonta Sahib is coming up as an industrial town with many companies in the fray to set up a factory in this fertile piece of land. Some have already set their footprint in the areas of cement, power, pharmaceuticals, textiles and chemicals & food.

OTHER ATTRACTIONS : Asan Barrage: Close to the Gurudwara is the beautiful Assan Lake, where one can indulge in regular boating and other water sports.

Gurudwara Bhangani Sahib: It is at a distance of about 23 kms from the town and commemorates Guru Gobind Singh's first battle when he defeated Raja Fateh Sahib and his allies.

Ram Temple: Built in 1889 in the memory of Raja Partap Chand of Kangra by his wife, visit this to see some exquisite marble work.

Shiva Temple, Patlian: The linga in this temple is supposed to be steadily growing in size.

GETTING THERE : If going from Delhi, the nearest railheads would be Dehradun (45kms) and Yamunanagar (54kms). The airport at Jolly Grant is the nearest airport, located about 70 kms from Paonta Sahib. Situated on NH-72, the town is well connected by road with Dehradun and Chandigarh. State-run buses do ply regularly from several cities of Himachal Pradesh.

Source / Review By : Pramugdha Mamgain Nautiyal


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