About the Shrine
Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, one of the prominent and holiest Sikh shrines in Delhi, has been an important place of worship. The ambiance of the Gurudwara Bangla Sahib is so mesmerizing that positivity comes from within.
It is situated at an intersection of the 2 roads, namely – Baba Kharak Singh Marg and Ashoka Road, in the heart of Connaught Place area in New Delhi. Though, it is located in the busy city, yet it is a different World altogether – so calm and serene! It draws thousands of visitors on daily basis and if you happen to be in Delhi; I suggest you must visit this holy place.
Let’s connect to its History!
It was originally the bungalow, (Residence/ Bangla) of Mirza Raja Jai Singh (a Ruler of the kingdom of Amber and the General of the Mughal Empire), who was an admirer of the Sikh gurus, The eighth Guru ‘Shri Guru Harkrishan’ had stayed here for a few months as guest of Raja Jai Singh. An epidemic was then raging in Delhi and Guru Harkrishan helped to heal many sick people, served the ill and is said to have taken smallpox upon him and since he did not opt for treatment; he did not live anymore. It was after his demise, that Raja Jai Singh dedicated his residence to him. Since then, it is being known as Gurudwara Bangla Sahib. It was then restructured in 1783 under the supervision of Sardar Bhagel Singh, a Sikh General.
Gurudwara Bangla Sahib Entrance and Entry Fee
There is no fee to be paid to visit the Gurudwara. It has a broad entrance towards the main hall, facilitating in both ways – elevated platform and stair case.
Passage to the Main Hall at Gurudwara Bangla Sahib
There are stair cases and elevated platform at the entrances and recently ‘chair lift’ has also been installed for whom it’s difficult to climb stairs to reach the Gurudwara hall.
Chair Life for Old Age Devotees at Gurudwara Bangla Sahib
How to Reach
Via Delhi Metro: – For fast and easy connectivity, one can take metro till Patel Chowk Metro Station or Rajiv Chowk Metro Station ad walk till the Gurudwara. One can also take ‘Airport Express metro’ service and get down at Shivaji Stadium Station, which is also very nearby to the Gurudwara almost at a walking distance.
Via Indian National Railways: – The nearest railway station is New Delhi railway station at a distance of approximately 3 kilometers (about 10- 15 minutes).
Local Transport: – One may opt for auto/ taxi; if coming from areas; where there is no direct ‘Delhi Metro’ connectivity.
Entrance from Ashoka Road, Nearby Patel Chowk Metro Station
Prominent areas at the Gurudwara Bangla Sahib
This is a tall flagpole which signifies the presence of a Gurudwara and is hoisted at almost all the big / small Gurudwaras. Devotees pay homage to the same by doing Parikrama / Circumambulation.
The beautiful pond, maintained within the Gurudwara Bangla Sahib premises. You get to witness goldfishes playing in the Sarovar. The devotees take a dip in the holy pond and does Parikrama. Please note, the water is considered pure and pious, thus cleaning, washing of stale hands / feet is not appreciated. As it is an open set up, one simply gets soaked in sheer spirituality and religious bliss.
Way to the Sarovar at Gurudwara Bangla Sahib
Sarovar at Gurudwara Bangla Sahib
Baba Baghel Singh Sikh Heritage Museum
Named after the Sikh warrior who supervised the construction of the Gurudwara. It displays various paintings made by artisans from across India, which narrates the stories of the lives of Sikh gurus, and their teachings through sensors, headphones and videos.
It also has an auditorium that screen films and can accommodate more than 100 viewers. Upon request the staff would also arrange a wheel chair. for the needy so they can have a comfortable experience.
Baba Baghel Singh Sikh Heritage Museum
The Gurudwara has a hospital and a library, offering dedicated services to one and all. It is best to visit the Gurudwara at night or early morning as it is quiet and peaceful and you can also capture mesmerizing images. The place also wears a festive look on Gurupurab (B’day of Guru Nanak Dev Ji – the first guru of the Sikhs), Diwali and Guru Harkrishan’s birth anniversary. These occasions are marked very special by people and candles are lit at night and early morning.
Some practices deeply followed on daily basis
Every religion follows its own way of feeding the hungry but, ‘Langar’ – a free community kitchen – this idea remains special to my heart.
The distinct Sikh ritual is pursued at all popular and heritage Gurudwaras and is followed dedicatedly at this holy place too, serving food to nearly 10,000 people every day, irrespective of caste, color, creed, sex or religion. The Langar hall is located within the Gurudwara premises. The experience of savoring delicious Langar at the holy place, with Kirtan (devotional music) in the background, is certainly a memory that one would cherish forever. The Langar is purely vegetarian, freshly cooked and served in batches to the devotees. Usually it’s a combination of Parshada (roti), Daal (lentils), Sabzi (veggies), and Kheer (sweet rice pudding) served at a sit-down meal held at regular intervals.
Volunteers preparing the Rotis for Langar
People from various age groups (old and young/ Sikhs – Non-Sikhs) make rotis nd serve the devotees across with faith who fall in queues. After relishing the fine meal, the devotees then return their steel plates at a counter for cleaning. Various volunteers sweep the floor and welcome people in. This experience is to be cherished. You are happily served even if you wish to take some Langar for your near and dear ones, who could not accompany you to the Gurudwara. But Langar must be consumed within a day or two.
11:00 AM – 04:30 PM & 07:00 PM – 11:30 PM
Karah Parshad (an offering to the god and later consumed by devotees)
A visit to any Gurudwara, remains incomplete without having the mouthwatering, Karah Parshad – (made of wheat flour + sugar + clarified butter +water). Karah Parshad is offered to the god and later consumed by self.
Counters to take Karah Parshad
As you move towards the main hall of the Gurudwara, on your left; are the counters, to buy the coupons. Coupons can be purchased starting from Rs 10 to whatever amount you wish to offer, move to the next counter to pick the bowl of the Karah Parshad (a volunteer manages the distribution as per the coupon amount) and walk up to the counter to offer some (stamp the coupon and put it in the box placed nearby the counter) and relish your share of the Karah Parshad.
Amrit (The Holy Water)
The Amrit being served at the Gurudwaras is believed to have a divine power of healing ailments and is consumed with the same faith to keep the ill effects/ negativities at bay. The Amrit is served by volunteers to everyone.
Jal Sewa nearby the Sarovar
- Being a religious shrine, it is advised to dress modestly.
- Cover your head with a scarf or a dupatta as soon as you enter the premises of the Gurudwara, as it is strictly followed in Sikhisim. Head scarves are available in a basket placed just outside the main hall before entering and no charges are to be paid for the same but it is expected to return the same after use. Cleanliness is maintained to a greater extent and the scarves are washed from time to time but still if you wish to use distinct scarf; you can buy a head scarf (INR 20 – 30) from the shops outside the Gurudwara.
Head scarves available in a basket
- Keep your shoes at the shoe-keeping area before entering the Gurudwara and wash your feet and hands (at the entrance, wash-basins along with soaps are maintained and a small water arrangement (to wash feet) is also there which is very refreshing in itself).
Water arrangement to wash feet before entering the main hall
- Cleanliness is maintained to a great extent and thus it is expected not to litter within the Gurudwara premises.
- As Langar is a free service for all and so everyone is expected not to waste any bit. Either consume or ask take it back with you. The volunteers serving the Langar in the hall, assist you in packing the same for you.
- One has to fall in queue for almost everything – Be it to enter the hall, get the coupon for the Parshad, take the holy water, keeping the shoes etc.
- Do not create any chaos and keep the sanctity of the Gurudwara Bangla Sahib intact.
Experience the divine bliss and religious revival at this holy place, it is unbelievably fascinating, the visual existence is way too hard to replicate in photographs and even harder to contemplate in words – it is one such experience that can only be registered on an emotional and spiritual level by self.
Millions of people have deep faith in it and so do I!