Gurdwaras named after trees: The Tribune India


Of all the Sikh religious places, many are named after trees such as mulberry, jujube, shisham, and banyan, among others. Sikhism has a deep esteem and affinity for the environment where air, water, and soil have been equated with teacher, father, and mother, respectively. Likewise, gurdwaras named after trees are a place to find solace under the scorching sun of mundane affairs. At least three different gurdwaras within the Darbar Sahib are named after the jujube (ber) tree. correspondent of the Tribune Manmeet Singh Gill and photojournalist Vishal Kumar travel the region length and breadth to discover the trees deeply rooted in the Sikh religion


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Gurdwara Ber Sahib, Sultanpur Lodhi

Venerated for over five centuries, this huge berry (Ziziphus mauritiana) from Gurdwara Ber Sahib in Sultanpur Lodhi is still bearing fruit. Located on the banks of the Saint Bein, this is the tree under which Guru Nanak used to meditate and is therefore historically important. When the gurdwara was renovated, a platform was built around the tree, leaving huge spaces around it so that it had room to spread out further. Right next to the tree is the “Tap asthan” or place of meditation, where the first Sikh master would sit and recite hymns during his 14 year, nine month and 13 day stay in this holy city.


Gurdwara Palah Sahib (Gumtala)

Guru Hargobind Sahib came to this place to rest and hunt. The very first Sikh war in history was caused by an incident that happened there. The Sikhs caught a falcon, which belonged to Mughal Emperor Shahjahan. When the Mughal soldiers came to this place and asked for the falcon, the Sikhs replied, “You speak of the Baaj (hawk), we will soon get our hands on your taj (crown). As a result, an army under Mukhlis Khan was dismissed. The place is named after the ‘Palah’ tree which no longer exists.


Guru Ka Bagh

The Sikh gurus had planted an orchard near the Darbar Sahib. Recently, the SGPC initiated the rebirth of Guru Ka Bagh on 2.5 acres of land on the Darbar Sahib complex.


Gurdwara Bhai Salo di Beri (Pandori Waraich)

Bhai Salo ji, a prominent devotee, contemporary of the fifth Sikh guru and responsible for the construction of the new town, stood under a jujube tree in the village of Pandori Waraich and said that anyone who would donate fuel (dung cakes, wood) for firing bricks would be blessed with a son. A gurdwara has now been built there.


Gurdwara Lachi Ber Sahib

In 1577, when Amrit Sarovar’s excavation began, Guru Arjan Dev and Bhai Salo ji were sitting under this tree. In another historically significant incident, Bhai Mehtab Singh and Bhai Sukha Singh tied their horses with this tree before proceeding with the beheading of Massa Rangar to punish him for desecrating the holy place in 1797. Due to its small berries size (size of cardamom), it is called lachi ber.


Gurdwara Dukh Bhanjni Beri

The story of Bibi Rajni and the metamorphosis of her leper husband would have occurred under this jujube tree. Believers dive into the sarovar under this tree to this day to find comfort after their troubles.


Gurdwara Ber Sahib (Mattewal)

The place is associated with Guru Hargobind Sahib. It is believed that the Sikh master rested on the site under a jujube tree.


Ber Baba Buddha Sahib

Under this sacred tree, which exists to this day, Baba Buddha, who remained closely associated with the first six Sikh Gurus, camped to oversee the excavation of the holiest of ponds – the Amrit Sarovar.


Gurdwara Bohri Sahib (Kot Khalsa)

The place is on the old road from Amritsar to Guru Ki Wadali. Guru Arjan Dev used to stop under this tree whenever he traveled on this road.


Gurdwara Toot Sahib (Sultanwind)

The place in the village of Sultanwind is named after a mulberry tree associated with the sixth Sikh master. In an interesting incident, Bhai Manjh Ji fell into a well near the tree as he went to bring firewood for the langar. Guru Hargobind and the devotees found him standing in the well with the logs on his head, as he did not want them to get wet.


Gurdwara Pipli Sahib (Putlighar)

The place on the Amritsar-Lahore-Kabul road had a pipal tree under which Guru Arjan Dev welcomed devotees from Afghanistan and the north-western districts for the excavation of the holy sarovar in Darbar Sahib. This is where the 6th Sikh master – Guru Hargobind Singh – rested after killing Mukhlis Khan in the first battle with the Mughal army in Sikh history.


Gurdwara Tahli Sahib

The place on the Kathunangal-Mattewal road is associated with Baba Bir Singh Naurangabadi, a prominent 18th century Sikh figure. Several other Punjabi gurdwaras associated with it are known as Tahli Sahib.

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