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Gurdwara Sri Kotwali Sahib

Location - Morinda, Ropar, Punjab, India


Associated with - Sahibzada Fateh Singh Ji, Sahibzada Zoravar Singh Ji, Mata Gujri Ji


Sikh Artifacts - None


Sarovar - None


Sarai - unknown


Morinda is a city and a municipal council in the Ropar district of the State of Punjab.

Morinda is also known as Baganwaala, 'the city of orchids'. This is because large orchids occupied it once which were eventually cleared for housing.

Under the pressure of a prolonged siege with food and ammunition exhausted, Guru Gobind Singh and 400 Sikhs left Sri Anandpur Sahib on the bitter cold and rainy night of December 1704.

The Mughals and Ajmer Chand's league of Rajput Hill Chieftains had offered Guru Sahib a safe passage to leave Anandpur Sahib on an oath sworn on the Quran, an oath that had been signed by emperor Aurangzeb, as well as, an oath sworn on the Gita and the cow (which hindus consider sacred) by the Rajput Chieftains.

However, their respective 'Holy' oaths proved to be meaningless as they lost little time betraying their promises to Guru Sahib, almost as soon as the Sikhs had left the safety of their impregnable fortress.

Separation of the Family (Parivar Vichora)

In the early hours of the morning at the River Sirsa, Guru Gobind Singh and his Sikhs were attacked by the mughal army under the command of Wazir Khan, breaking their oath of safe conduct.

In the confusion, which followed the attack in the cold and darkness, many Sikhs became Shaheed (martyrs).

A small group of courageous Singhs fought the combined might of the mughal and rajput armies and kept them back while the rest of the Sikhs, Guru Sahib and Guru Sahib's family crossed the river in the heat of the battle. Many Sikhs perished in crossing the cold river and were swept away by the current of the river.

During the confusion in crossing the River Sirsa, Guru Sahib was separated from his family. Guru Ji, his two eldest sons and 40 Sikhs were able to cross the river and were united on the other side. Gurdwara Sri Parivar Vichora Sahib is built on the spot where the battle occurred and the Gurus family were separated.

Betrayal

Sahibzada Fateh Singh Ji, Sahibzada Zoravar Singh Ji and Mata Gujri Ji where seperated from Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji at the Sirsa river after the mughals betrayed the Koran and attacked them. The Sahibzadey and Mata Gujri Ji were brought to Kheri by Gangu brahmin. Gangu brahmin was a part-time cook in Guru Gobind Singh's household.

Gangu's true intentions were made known when the Guru's mother went to sleep, he stole her money, which she carried in a saddlebag and buried it. The next day, Gangu came up with a plan to avoid suspicion of the theft. He mentioned to Mata Gujri that there were several thieves prowling about the neighbourhood, and she must be careful with her valuables. Gangu said he was giving her this information so that she should not suspect him of anything. He almost immediately informed her that her saddlebag was missing. As no one had entered the house overnight except for Gangu, Mata Gujri questioned Gangu about the theft.

Gangu pretended to be furious at the suspicion directed against him. Gangu tried to distract Mata Gujri by saying they were taking advantage of his hospitality by accusing him of being a thief when they were the ones that were outlaws. Worried at the turn of events, Gangu decided to turn Mata Gujri and the two young Sahibzadey over to the authorities, almost cetrtainly knowing they would meet their death, thereby hiding his crime.

By saying that he could not trust her and her children, Gangu ordered them to leave his house. The brahmin with loud cries proceeded to the Chaudhri of Kheri and informed him that Guru's mother and sons had just come to his house and both he and the Chaudhri would obtain a large reward for delivering them to the mughals.

Gurdwara Sri Rath Sahib Saheri is located just outside Kheri, on the main Morinda to Ropar Road, where the Sahibzadey and Mata Gujri Ji were arrested and placed in a Rath, a wooden prison cell on cart wheels.

Gurdwara Sri Kotwali Sahib

Sahibzada Fateh Singh Ji, Sahibzada Zoravar Singh Ji and Mata Gujri Ji were taken to the site of Gurdwara Sri Kotwali Sahib in Morinda city by Jani Khan and Mani Khan, the Rangher headmen. They were kept in a prison cell overnight and then taken to Sirhind (now Fatehgarh Sahib) to face trial and execution.

The Kotwali still exists at Gurdwara Sri Kotwali Sahib. The Gurdwara has been built around the original Kotwali. The Kotwali itself is now used as a room for Akhand Paths.

Gurdwara Sri Shaheed Ganj Sahib Morinda

After being kept prisoners at the site Gurdwara Sri Kotwali Sahib, Sahibzada Fateh Singh Ji, Sahibzada Zoravar Singh Ji and Mata Gujri Ji were made to continue their journey to Sirhind. However, before leaving Morinda, the rath the Sahibzade and Mata Gujri Ji were being carried in broke. One of the wheels was damaged. Gurdwara Sri Shaheed Ganj Sahib Morinda marks the site where the rath was damaged and repaired.

The young sons of Sri Guru Gobind Singh were aged 6 and 9 but this did not stop the muslims of Sirhind torturing and executing the children in cold blood. The mughals were trying to convert the sons of Guru Gobind Singh to make them muslims. Despite the duress, coercion and torture, the young sons of Guru Gobind Singh refused to abandon their faith as Sikhs and chose martyrdom.

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