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Gurdwara Sri Janam Asthan Mata Sahib Kaur

Location - (precise location unknown) Rohtas, Jhelum, Punjab, Pakistan


Associated with - Mata Sahib Kaur Ji


Sikh Artifacts - None


Sarovar - None


Sarai - None


Rohtas is a village located inside Rohtas Fort. Rohtas Fort is a historical garrison fort located near the city of Jhelum in Punjab, Pakistan.

It was built under Afghan King Sher Shah Suri, to subdue the rebellious tribes of the northern Punjab region, in the 16th century.

This fort is about 4 km in circumference. The Rohtas fort was built to crush the local tribes of Potohar, who rebelled against the Sur dynasty after the Mughal emperor Humayun was ousted by the former.

It took eight years to build the fort, it was captured by mughal emperor Humayun in 1555. Nadir Shah, the Turkic ruler of Persia, Afghan ruler Ahmed Shah Abdali and the Maratha army also camped here during their respective campaigns in the Punjab region.

Rohtas was also occasionally used for administrative purposes by the Sikh Ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh after he captured it in 1825. Qila Rohtas was designated a World Heritage Site in 1997.

Construction

Qila Rohtas is a garrison fort and could hold a force of up to 30,000 men. Due to its location, massive walls, trap gates and 3 Baolis (stepped wells) it could withstand a major siege although it was never besieged.

Most of the fort was built with ashlar stones collected from its surrounding villages such as Tarraki village. Some parts of the fort were built with bricks.

The fort is irregular in shape and follows the contours of the hill it was constructed on. The fort is exactly 5.2 km in circumfereance. A 533 metre long wall divides the citadel (for the Chieftain) from other parts of the fort.

The fortification has 68 bastions (towers) at irregular intervals. Out of the 3 Baolis, one of them is in the citadel and the rest are in the other parts of the fort. One of the Gates (Langar Khani) opens into the citadel and is a trap gate because it is in the direct line of fire of the bastions.

The Khwas Khani gate is an example of double walling. A small enclave on the western side is a citadel within a citadel. It is accessible by only one gate and also had a very fine Baoli which suggests that it was meant for the Chief and his family. There are no palaces in the Fort except for a structure built by Raja Man Singh called the Haveli of Man Singh. It is built on the highest point of the citadel.

Legacy

Sher Shah Suri died before the completion of this magnificent structure. Ten years after Sher Shah's death and the end of the Suri dynasty, Emperor Humayun returned to rule India for another 15 years.

When Humayun returned the Governor of Rohtas, Tatar Khan Kasi fled. Ironically, Rohtas then became the capital of the Gakhars, the very people it was designed to crush. This fort was never popular with the Mughals because of its military character. Emperor Akbar stayed here for a single night. Emperor Jahangir rested here for a single night while going to Kashmir for a rest.

After the takeover of the Punjab by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Sardar General Gurmukh Singh Lamba captured the Rothas Fort from Ghakhar chief Nur Khan, father of Fazil Dad Khan in 1825. Due to enmity of main brothers Raja Gulab and Dahain Singh (Dogra Raja's) having influence over Maharaja, the fort was given to Mohar Singh. But when Mohor Singh retired to Banaras against the wishes of Maharaja, the fort and the contingent of seven hundred horses were placed under Sardar Gurmukh Singh Lamba. Thus making his command long (Lambi), he was popularly addressed by the Maharaja as Lamba Sardar.

It is also said that Sardar Gurmukh Singh, got surname of Lamba due to his height. The Maharaja Ranjit Singh gave the fort to Sardar Mohar Singh who was succeeded by Gurmukh Singh Lamba. It was subsequently leased to different people and the last people to manage Rohtas was Raja Fazal Din Khan who joined Sher Singh in rebellion.

There are 2 Historic Sikh Gurdwaras at Rohtas.

Gurdwara Sri Chowa Sahib

The sacred site of Gurdwara Sri Chowa Sahib is showing its splendour outside Kabuli Darwaza (gate) of Rohtas Fort on the bank of River Ghan. Jagat Guru Nanak Sahib Ji arrived here from Tila Jogian. At that time the place was unpopulated. Guru Nanak started a water spring using his stick.

A water spring is called 'Chowa' hence this place was called 'Chowa Sahib'. Later Sher Shah built a magnificent fort and the Gurdwara was the outside Kabuli gate.

Even today the residents of the Rohtas Fort use the water of this spring. The present building was constructed in 1834 at the command of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. It is a beautiful building with River Ghan on one side and the fort on the other, with forest around the remaining sides.

Access to the building is from inside the fort. The Gurdwara presents fascinating natural beauty surrounded by Ghan Nadi, fort, large trees and underbush. Maharaja Ranjit Singh assigned 27 ghumaon of land and Rs 260 to the Gurdwara. A fair is held on the 15th of Kattak Suddi.

Gurdwara Sri Janam Asthan Mata Sahib Kaur

The birth place of Mata is in a locality inside the main gate. The domed Janam Asthan is visible behind the houses from a distance of about 100 steps from the entrance to the locality. It always remains locked. It was repaired during the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The old building was demolished and a domed structure was built but that too is now withering away. In more recent times the building was renovated and repaired.

Mata Sahib Kaur Ji, whose name before taking Amrit was Mata Sahib Devan Ji, was born on the 1st November 1681 in Rohtas Village settled within Rohtas Fort, District Jehlum, in West Panjab, (now in Pakistan). Mata Sahib Kaur's name was Mata Jasdevi and father's name was Bhai Ramu Bassi. Her father, who was an ardent sewak (Sikh) of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji, influenced Mata Sahib Kaur to the extent that she wanted to devote her whole life in the service of the Guru Sahib.

From her childhood, Mata Sahib Kaur Ji was a sweet and quiet natured girl. Because of the religious atmosphere at home, she was deeply influenced by Gurbani during her formative years. It is possible that in her childhood she might have seen Guru Gobind Singh Ji at Sri Anandpur Sahib during the visit of her family. Mata Sahib Kaur inherited humility, love and sacrifice, humanity and devotion to Waheguru.

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