Gurdwara Sri Damdama Sahib New Delhi is located near Humayun's Tomb on the Outer Ring Road, New Delhi. Gurdwara Sri Damdama Sahib commemorates Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji's meeting with Prince Muazzam in 1707.
Prince Muazzam became Bahadur Shah I, the seventh mughal emperor, and ruled from 1707 until his death in 1712. Born Mu'azzam, he was the third son of Aurangzeb with his muslim Rajput wife Nawab Bai and the grandson of Shah Jahan.
In his youth, Prince Muazzam conspired to overthrow his father and ascend to the throne a number of times.
Prince Muazzam's plans were intercepted by the emperor, who imprisoned him several times. From 1696 to 1707, he was governor of Akbarabad (later known as Agra), Kabul and Lahore.
Prince Muazzam asked Guru Gobind Singh for help in his battle for succession for the throne with his brother, after the death of Aurangzeb. Guru Sahib met the Prince at this place and together, they drew up their strategy.
As to why this place was selected in preference to Red Fort for the crucial meeting, no clue is available in official records. But keeping in view the importance and the high status of the personalities involved in the top level secret discussion a secluded place was selected amidst a thick jungle on the river bank.
Accordingly the Prince came all the way to Humayun's Tomb from the Lal Qila (Red Fort) and encamped there, whereas the Guru Gobind Singh moved from Gurdwara Sri Moti Bagh Sahib Nanakpura and encamped at a vacant place adjacent to the rear of the Tomb. On arrival at the site, Guru Gobind Singh was presented a guard of honour by a contingent of the mughal army. He was received with great respect and felicitations by the Prince Muazzam who presented many gifts to the Guru.
Credit must be given to the Guru, who forgetting all the persecutions to which his ancestors and he himself had been subjected by the previous Mughal Emperors - Aurangzeb in particular, who agreed to help Prince Muazzam in the war of succession as his cause was just. So good hearted was the Great Guru that he gladly visited Delhi to help the rightful heir apparent Prince Muazzam. For an astute politician the chaos and confusion after Aurangzeb's death would have been a rare opportunity. But Guru Gobind Singh refused to exploit the situation and harass the prince for the sins of his father and forefathers.
While Prince Muazzam and the Guru were planning for the capture of Agra, Prince Azam reached Gwalior on 2nd June. The two armies met at Jajau on 8th June. According to a Punjab historical document Guru Gobind Singh first sent his regiment commander Kuldip Singh with an army unit and when the battle was raging fiercely, he himself entered the fray and the fighting became stormy and reached a decisive phase. Bider Bakhat the brave son of Azam was killed. Prince Azam himself also got a fatal blow and died in the battlefield. Muazzam won a great victory that made him the undisputed Emperor of India.
Bahadur Shah personally thanked Guru Gobind Singh in many ways and also offered a khilat (robe of honour) to Kuldip Singh who covered himself with great distinction in battle of Jajau, According to historian Dr Trilochan Singh, the Emperor sent jewels worth Rs. 5 lakh to Mata Sundri as a present. Bahadur Shah was indeed impressed by the heroic deeds and the dexterity of the Sikh warriors. Thus the agreement effected between the Mughal Emperor and Guru Gobind Singh proved fruitful and the throne of Delhi was won over by the rightful claimant.
Gurdwara Sri Damdama Sahib (which means 'place of rest') was first built by Sardar Bhagel Singh in 1783, when a huge Sikh army under his command conquered Delhi. At first it was a small Gurdwara. Later Maharaja Ranjit Singh deputed his officials to renovate it. Consequently a deorhi was constructed. Besides, some other buildings for priests and pilgrims were also added. In 1984 a new building was constructed. Every year thousands of Sikhs assemble here to celebrate the festival called Hola Mohalla.
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