Mehraj is a town in the Bathinda district of Punjab. Mehraj was founded in 1627 by Bhai Mohan (d. 1630), a Jatt of the Siddhu clan, with the help of Sri Guru Hargobind Ji.
According to Sikh tradition, Bhai Mohan and his family wanted to settle down in this area but the Bhullars, the local dominating tribe, resisted.
Mohan sought Guru Hargobind's blessing and succeeded in founding a village which he called Mehraj after the name of his great-grandfather.
The Bhullars tried to dislodge him, but were driven away with Guru Hargobind's help.
The Battle of Gurusar was the third battle fought by Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji near Mehraj with Lala Beg and Qamar Beg in 1631. Despite overwhelming odds, the mughals were completely crushed in this battle.
The mughals had a 35,000 strong army while Guru Hargobind's side only numbered 4,000. The battle was fought during winter season and Guru Ji had pre-planned everything. Because the mughals were not fully acquainted to the conditions of the area they had not planned well for the battle.
Mehraj has 4 Historic Sikh Gurdwaras.
Gurdwara Sri Chota Gurusar Sahib is also known as Gurdwara Sri Chota Gurusar Tambu Sahib. This Gurdwara is one kilometre southwest of the village and marks the site where Guru Hargobind had his Tambu (tent) set up at the time of his first visit to Mehraj.
It is a modest looking Gurdwara built on a low mound and managed by the village Sangat.
When Guru Hargobind arrived in the village Marhi (3 km's away from Mehraj) the Bhullar families were responsible for bullying the other families in the village. They refused to let others settle and would tease the women when they fetched water from the village well. Bhai Mohan and his family approached Guru Hargobind and requested help. Guru Hargobind asked what they wanted and Bhai Mohan said they wanted to settle in their own village as the Bhullar families would not let them live in peace.
In trying to mediaite, Guru Hargobind spoke with the Bhullar families who refused to listen. As a result Guru Hargobind told Bhai Mohan to walk until the sun set and at the location he stopped he could establish his own village. Bhai Mohan started to walk and after sun set he stopped and sat under a tree. This is where Gurdwara Sri Ramsar Sahib Mehraj is located.
Bhai Mohan created a boundary with the help of his family. When the Bhullar families discovered what had happened they tried to attack Bhai Mohan and the 40 members of his family. Guru Hargobind heard what was going on and arrived with his Sikhs, they removed the Bhullars. Thereafter, Mehraj flourished as a town while Marhi stayed as a small village.
When Bhai Bidhi Chand returned Guru Hargobind's horses, Guru Ji was at the village Kangar with Rai Jodh. When Bidhi Chand explained that the mughal army would be in pursuit, Guru Hargobind relocated to the location of this Gurdwara and prepared a defence.
Gurdwara Sri Gurusar Sahib Mehraj marks the site of Guru Hargobind's camp. Guru Hargobind himself named this place Gurusar and appointed a Sikh to look after it. The old building constructed by Maharaja Hira Singh of Nabha (1843-1911) was replaced during the 1980's by the successors of Bhai Gurmukh Singh Sewavale.
The new building, inside a walled compound, has a high ceiling assembly hall, with the sanctum in the middle marked off by massive square columns and wide arches. Above the sanctum is a domed pavilion lined with glazed tiles and topped by a gold plated pinnacle and an umbrella shaped finial with a Khanda at the apex. Domed kiosks adorn the Gurdwaras corners.
The Gurdwara, endowed with 250 acres of land, is affiliated to the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee. People from the surrounding villages gather for a dip in the holy sarovar on every Monday.
Though they were vastly outnumbered, the Sikhs defeated the attacking force. Lalla Beg and several of his officers were killed. Guru Hargobind had a well dug and had the mughals buried according to muslim rites while he had the Sikhs, that fell, cremated. A tower was subsequently raised that indicates the sites where cremation and burial took place.
A Beri tree marks the place where Guru Hargobind tied his horse.
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