Nankana Sahib's History
Nankana Sahib is a city in the Pakistani province of Punjab, Earlier known as "Rai Bhao di Talwandi". It is names after the first Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Nanak Dev, the first guru of the Sikhs and the founder of Sikhism who was born here in 1469, so Nankana Sahib is a city of high historical and religious value and is a popular pilgrimage site for Sikhs from all over the world. Nankana Sahib is located about 80 kilometers south west of Lahore and about 75 kilometers east of Faisalabad, with a population of approximately 70,000. Nankana Sahib City is also the capital of Nankana Sahib District and Tehsil.
Nankana Sahib is a town of Gurdwaras (Sikh temples), the most important of these being the 'Nanak's Ayan' called Janam Asthan or Birth place of Nanak. Guru Nanak passed his whole childhood and young age in Nankana Sahib.
The Janam Asthan Gurdwara Nankana Sahib, originally constructed in around 1600 A.D. was renovated in the year 1819–20 A.D. by Gian-Punjab Maharaja Jassa Singh Ramgarhia The Sikh Conference of Panjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Peshawar, Kangra and Hazara.
During the Akali movement, on 20 February 1921, Narain Das, the Udasi mahant (clergy) of the gurdwara at Nankana Sahib, ordered his men to fire on Akali protesters, leading to the Nankana massacre. The firing was widely condemned, and an agitation was launched until the control of this historic Janam Asthan Gurdwara was restored to the Sikhs. Again in the 1930s and 40's the Sikhs added more buildings and more architectural design.
The area around Nankana Sahib was formerly a tehsil of Sheikhupura District. In May 2005, the provincial government decided to raise the status of Nankana Sahib to that of a district as a way of promoting development in the area.
The development of Nankana Sahib, the birth place of Guru Nanak Dev in Pakistan is one of the numerous projects by Punjab Government. The work of development of Nankana Sahib Resort to host and entertain local and international visitors is almost complete. According to reports, there are plans to construct a 100 Acre University as well as hospitals and health care facilities by the descendents of Rai Bular.
In 2007, Government of Pakistan announced a plan to set up a university on Sikh religion and culture at Nankana Sahib, the birth place of Guru Nanak. "The international Guru Nanak University planned at Nankana Sahib would have the best architecture, curricula and research centre on Sikh religion and culture", Chairman of Pakistan's Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB), Gen (Retd) Zulfikar Ali Khan, said.
Mahatama Gandhi in Nankana Sahib
Mahatama Gandhi visited Nankana Sahib on March 3, 1921. Addressing the gathering, Mahatama said: "I have come to share your anguish and grief. It is interesting indeed to note that the Sikhs in this drama remained peaceful and non-violent from the start to the end. This (the behaviour of the Sikhs) has greatly added to the glory and prestige of India…" "All indications point to the fact that the cruel and barbaric action is the second edition of Jallianwala Bagh massacre; rather more evil and more invidious than even Jallianwala". The Mahatama further spoke: "the action of these dimensions could not be perpetrated by Mahant alone. The government officers are also involved in this heinous crime. Where had the authorities gone when the Mahant was making preparations
for murderous plans?"
Gurudwara Janam Asthan
This shrine representing the home of Baba Kalo and Mata Tripta, father and mother respectively of Guru Nanak Dev, where the Guru was born, was established by Baba Dharam Chand (1523-1618) son of Baba Lakhmi Das and grandson of Guru Nanak Dev. The shrine must have been established before the end of the sixteenth century because Guru Arjan Dev (1563-1606) is believed to have visited it. Its present building comprising a square, domed sanctum with a rectangular pavilion attached to it within a vast walled compound was built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1780-1839).