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Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib, Amritsar

Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib Overview

The two youngest sons of Guru Gobind Singh, Baba Zorawar Singh and Baba Fateh Singh were martyred at this spot on December 27, 1704. They along with the Gurus mother Mata Gujri had been captured by the governor of Sirhind Wazir Khan. Even though Islamic law does not allow for the killing of children, Wazir Khan gave the two young brothers a choice of either converting to Islam or being put to death. Both sons were bricked up in a wall and had their heads cut off but they steadfastly refused to convert to Islam. Guru Gobind Singhs mother Mata Gujri who had also been captured died from the shock of the murder of her beloved grandchildren. Five years later Banda Singh Bahadur and the Sikh army would take their revenge by destroying the town of Sirhind and killing Wazir Khan in battle. On 11 December, they, under the orders of Waxir Khan began to be paved with bricks standing on the ground. However, as the masonry reached above chest height, it crumbled. The next day, 12 December 1705, the Sahibzadas were once again offered the choice of conversion or death. They chose the latter and fearlessly faced the executioner's sword. The cruelty of their murder and their fearlcssness of death which they preferred to giving up their faith finds a touching narration in "GarijiShahTdari" an Urdu poem by a Muslim poet, Allahyar Khan Jogi, who used to recite it from Sikh platforms during the second and third decades of the twentieth century. The aged Mata Gujari who had all along been confined in the Cold Tower, only a little distance away, breathed her last as the news reached her ears. The dead bodies were kept for the night at a spot now called Bimangarh, just outside the fort wall, and were cremated the following day by Seth Todar Mall, a wealthy merchant of Sirhind. Sirhind suffered the full fury of Sikh ire when Banda Singh Bahadur marched upon it with his daring host. Wazir Khan was killed and the city was occupied on 14 May 1710. Diwan Suchchanand, who had explicitly championed the penalty laid upon the captives by the faujddr, was captured and tortured to death. The town, including the Fort, was razed to the ground. A memorial was raised marking the spot where the Sahibzadas were martyred and named Fatehgarh. Sirhind, however, soon fell back into the hands of the Mughals and was later conquered by Ahmad Shah Durrani who appointed Zain Khan faujddr in 1761. As Zain Khan was finally defeated and killed in battle on January 1764 by the Dal Khalsa and as the Sikhs occupied the country around Sirhind, no Sikh Sardar was willing to keep the accursed town. It was consequently conferred upon Bhai Buddha Singh, a pious and humble Sikh. He later sold it to Baba Ala Singh, founder of the Patiala dynasty. To honour the memory of the young martyrs, a gurdwara was constructed on the site of the old memorial and named Fatehgarh Sahib. Maharaja Karam Singh (1798-1845) of Paliala had the gurudwara rebuilt.

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