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.
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.
In the ensuing confusion many Sikhs were killed and all of the Guru's baggage, including most of the precious manuscripts, were lost. Guru Gobind Singh was able to make his way to Chamkaur, 40 km southwest of Anandpur, with barely 40 Sikhs and his two elder sons. The imperial troops besieged the mud fortress at Chamkaur. There the imperial army, following closely on Guru Sahib's heels, surrounded the area.
Guru Gobind Singh's two sons, Sahibzada Baba Ajit Singh and Sahibzada Baba Jujhar Singh and all but five of the Sikhs fell in the action that took place on 22nd December 1704. The five surviving Sikhs commanded the Guru to save himself in order to reconsolidate the Khalsa.
From Chamkaur, Guru Gobind Singh travelled to the locations of where Gurdwara Sri Bir Guru Jand Sahib, Gurdwara Sri Imli Sahib Kirhi Afghana, Gurdwara Sri Kalgidhar Sahib, Gurdwara Sri Jhar Sahib and Gurdwara Sri Kanga Sahib are, before arriving in Machhiwara (which was then a small village surrounded by a jungle).
After travelling to the site of Gurdwara Sri Jhar Sahib, Guru Gobind Singh Ji continued his journey and briefly stopped for a few hours at the site of Gurdwara Sri Kanga Sahib, where Guru Ji combed his hair and changed his dastar, before travelling to Machhiwara.
Gurmat Gyan (Knowledge)
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