Takht Sri Damdama Sahib (Talwandi Sabo) owes its importance to the literary work of Guru Gobind Singh Ji completed here, during his stay in 1705.
It was at Damdama Sahib that Guru Gobind Singh prepared the revised and authentic version of the Adi Granth into the final edition of Sri Guru Granth Sahib which is now being honored by the Sikhs as Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, the Eternal Guru or spiritual guide to all Sikhs.
Sri Guru Gobind Singh stayed at Damdama Sahib for approximately a year and added to the original Sikh scriptures prepared by Guru Arjan Sahib (which contained the teachings of all the previous Sikh Guru's) and the verses of Guru Tegh Bahadur.
The final edition of Sri Guru Granth Sahib written at Damdama Sahib is also known as the 'Damdama Sahib Bir'.
During Guru Gobind Singh's stay a large number of new converts embraced Sikhi and joined the fold of the Khalsa.
Literally, 'Damdama' means a place to have a break and rest. Guru Gobind Singh stayed here after fighting defensive battles against Mughal atrocities.
Before his arrival at Talwandi, two of the Guru's sons were bricked alive at Fatehgarh Sahib and two laid down their lives at Chamkaur Sahib.
After writing Zafarnama, Guru Gobind Singh fought a successful battle at Muktsar and then moved towards Talwandi Sabo.
After leaving the fort of Sri Anandpur Sahib and passing through Chamkur Sahib, Machiwara, Lakhi Jungle and a number of other locations including a battle in Muktsar.
Sri Guru Gobind Singh arrived in Talwandi Sabo on an elevated piece of land. At the place that Guru Ji rested, the location became famous as 'Damdama Sahib'.
From Damdama Sahib, Guru Ji issued orders (Hukamnama) for all Sikh's so was also known as a 'Takht'.
Takht Sri Damdama Sahib, adjoining the Darbar Sahib on the east, marks the site where Guru Gobind Singh held his daily assemblies during his stay.
The present building of the Takht Sri Damdama Sahib, constructed during the 1970s under the supervision of Sant Seva Singh of Sri Keshgarh, is a spacious high-ceilinged hall, with a pavilion, at either end.
The Takht (throne) proper is a 2 metre high square platform lined with white marble and marked off with numerous columns in the southern part of the hail. This is the sanctum sanctorum on which the Guru Granth Sahib is seated. After the evening service the Holy Granth is carried to the old Manji Sahib in a procession of hymn-singing Sikhs.
The interior of the sanctum is decorated with reflecting glass pieces of varying colours set in geometrical and floral designs. Over the sanctum, above the half roof, is a domed square room topped by a tall gold-plated pinnacle and an umbrella-shaped finial, with a khanda at the apex. Octagonal towers at the hall corners have also domed pavilions above them. All these domes are lined with glazed tiles in white, light yellow and light blue colours.
Guru Tegh Bahadur had called Talwandi Sabo 'Guru Ki Kashi', predicting that "many scholars, philosophers, theologians, copyists with elegant hand, students and Sikhs will adorn the place."
The prophecy came true when learned Sikhs poured in from far and near to be with Guru Gobind Singh. Among them was Bhai Mani Singh who came from Delhi escorting Mata Sundri and Mata Sahib Kaur. Guru Gobind Singh had Bhai Mani Singh prepare a fresh copy of the Guru Granth Sahib under his own supervision. The spot where this work was carried out is still shown to Sikhs.
The title 'Guru Ki Kashi' was also given because of the intense literary activities that Guru Gobind Singh engaged in during his stay here (the compilation of Sikh scriptures). It is said that one day Guru Gobind flung a handful of reed pens over the heads of the congregation ('Sangat'), to quote the Sakhi Pothi, the Guru said: "Thousands of Sikhs will hereafter study the holy texts in this place and then pens will come into use. This is our Kashi (seat of learning); those who study here will cast off their ignorance and rise to be authors, poets and commentators."
Copies of the Guru Granth Sahib continued to be prepared from Damdama Sahib. A great Shaheed (Martyr) of Sikhi, Baba Deep Singh Ji was installed as the first Jathedar (head) of Damdama Sahib. Baba Deep Singh made additional copies of Sri Granth Sahib Ji and sent them to the other four Takhts so the message of Sikhi could be spread far and wide. One such copy preserved here is believed to have been prepared by Baba Deep Singh himself and contains 707 leaves exduding the list of contents spread over 29 leaves.
It was from here that the Guru issued his commands and letters to far-flung Sikh sangats and the place became a centre of Sikh learning. It has maintained this character ever since as the home of Damdami Taksal, or the Damdama School of Learning.
Takht Sri Damdama Sahib was officially recognized as the fifth Takht on 18th November 1966.
On demand from Sikhs, a sub-committee was appointed by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Amritsar by a General Meeting Resolution No: 789 on July 30, 1960. A report of the sub-committee containing 183 pages was received to declare Damdama Sahib, Guru Ki Kashi as the fifth Takht of the Sikhs.
Kashi means a holiest of Gurdwaras and a learning centre. A general body meeting of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee Amritsar approved the recommendations through resolution number 32 on November 18, 1966. Takht Sri Damdama Sahib was declared as fifth Takht by the government of India in April 1999 during tercentennial celebrations of the advent of the Khalsa.
Sri Sahib (sword) of Guru Gobind Singh Ji
Khanda of Baba Deep Singh Ji
Rifle used by Guru Gobind Singh ji to test Bhai Bir Singh Ji and Dhir Singh Ji
Mirror of Guru Gobind Singh Ji
Old Adi Granth of Guru Granth Sahib Ji (copy by Baba Deep Singh Ji)
These historic items are exhibited in the Takht Sahib in front of Sikhs every morning and evening.
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