Gurudwara Rakab Ganj Sahib, one of the most revered Sikh shrines, stands as a homage to the ninth guru of the Sikhs, Guru Tegh Bahadur. It is at this place where the headless body of Guru Tegh Bahadur was incinerated after he was brutally slaughtered by the Mughal executioner Jalauddin on the orders of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. Aurangzeb put Guru Tegh Bahadur to tremendous torture since he refused to abandon his religion and accept Islam. His remains were redeemed by two of his courageous pupils - Bhai Lakhi Shah Vanjara and his son Bhai Naghaiya, who performed his last rites. This beautiful Gurudwara that stands on the Pant Road of Delhi was apparently the place where Lakhi Shah Vanjara cremated his Guru. Gurudwara Rakab Ganj Sahib was constructed over a whopping cost of twenty-five lakh rupees and it took around twelve years to complete this edifice. It has entrances in all the four directions, indicating that the Gurudwara is open for every person irrespective of any caste or creed.
The construction of this Gurudwara began in the year 1732 and was completed over a period of almost 12 years. Erected by Bhai Lakhi Shah Vanjara, one of the ardent disciples of Guru Tegh Bahadur, this revered shrine holds great spiritual significance. According to the legend, Bhai Lakhi stealthily redeemed the headless body of the Guru and took it back home. There, he cremated the body of his Guru by setting his house on fire to avoid suspicion of the Mughals. This incident happened on 11 November 1675 in Chandni Chowk, Delhi, which was a part of Shahjahanbad then. Bhai Lakhi rolled up the ashes and buried it on the same ground where he cremated the Guru. Gurudwara Rakab Ganj Sahib was constructed on this ground to commemorate this sorrowful incident. In those days, this place housed a market of stirrups (rakab) and thus, it was named as Gurudwara Rakab Ganj Sahib.
This imposing Gurudwara is made of gleaming white marble that adds to the beauty and serenity of the place. There are large domes adorned with complex floral motifs and holy mantras engraved on the walls of the Gurudwara. The sanctum that houses the Guru Granth Sahib is ornamented with carved gold-plated vault. Apart from this, the Gurudwara premises boast of sprawling garden and well-laid lawns. During the evenings, the Gurudwara gleams with thousands lights that adds to the grandeur of this shrine.
The ideal time to visit this shrine is anytime between October to March, as the weather is agreeable during this time of the year and one can enjoy exploring this holy place to the fullest.
How To Reach
Delhi, being the capital of India is well connected to the rest of the country by air, road, and rail.
Indira Gandhi International Airport is the main airport here that operates both national and international flights. Once you reach the airport, hire a taxi or an auto-rickshaw to reach the shrine.
There are three main railway stations in Delhi - New Delhi Railway Station, Old Delhi Railway Station and Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station. After reaching any of these three stations, you can either take a taxi or hire an auto-rickshaw. You can also avail the bus services if you want.
The capital city of India is linked to the rest of the country with a good network of roads and national highways. The main bus terminus is the Inter State Bus Terminus (ISBT) at Kashmiri Gate. Apart from this, there are two other bus depots namely, Sarai Kale Khan and Anand Vihar Bus Terminus. After reaching the bus stand, one can take a public or private bus to reach the Gurudwara.
Delhi boasts of efficient metro train service. After getting down on the railway station or the airport, you can take a metro to the Central Secretariat Metro Station to reach the Gurudwara.
Gurudwara Rakab Ganj Sahib is an ancient sanctified place, which provides its visitors with calm and serene atmosphere. People from all over the country come here to take the blessings and to pay homage to Guru Tegh Bahadur.