Talwandi Sabo is a nagar panchayat city in the Bathinda district of the State of Punjab.
Talwandi Sabo is famous for having one of the Five Takhts of Sikhi, Takht Sri Damdama Sahib.
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.
Gurdwara Burj Baba Deep Singh, a 20-metre high tower with a dome at the top adjoining the north-east corner of the Takht Damdama Sahib, was constructed by Baba Deep Singh. Baba Deep Singh Ji had been summoned to Damdama Sahib to work with Bhai Mani Singh Ji preparing the final text of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Guru Gobind Singh Ji recited the entire Granth Sahib to them while they wrote out the text.
After the completion of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, Baba Deep Singh Ji continued, for several years, to hand write four additional copies of the holy scriptures. These four copies were dispersed, a copy each to: Sri Akal Takht Sahib, Takht Sri Harmandir Sahib (Patna), Takht Sri Hazur Sahib and Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib. Later the learned scholar inscribed another copy of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib in Arabic script which was sent to the middle east.
In 1706, before Guru Gobind Singh Ji traveled to the Deccan with Bahadur Shah, Guru Ji placed Baba Deep Singh in charge of Damdama Sahib. He sent Bhai Mani Singh to head the Sangat at Sri Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar. Baba Deep Singh spent many years at Damdama Sahib preaching Sikh values and teachings and doing service for the community. He was always ready to serve those in need and to fight for justice. Baba Ji also continued to write gutkas (books of hymns) distributing them to the Sikh community. Baba Deep Singh remained at Talwandi after Guru Gobind Singh had left to resume his travels. Baba Deep Singh is also credited with the sinking of the well which still supplies drinking water to the complex.
Gurdwara Sri Gurusar Sarovar Sahib is situated to the side rear of Takht Sri Damdama Sahib. Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji helped build the sarovar. Later, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji also performed sewa at this sarovar.
When there was disease of 'Dal', Guru Gobind Singh had Amrit prepared and had the Amrit placed in the sarovar. Guru Gobind Singh said that those who bathe in the sarovar with dedication and belief will be cured of the disease. During the course of time, Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji and Bhai Attar Singh performed repairs on the sarovar.
Gurdwara Sri Jandsar Sahib Talwandi Sabo is 600 meters to the north of Takht Sri Damdama Sahib. This Gurdwara marks the place referred to as 'Jandiana' in the old chronicles. Here Guru Gobind Singh used to disburse largesse (gifts) to his warriors who were fighting the war against the imperial mughals and hindu hill Rajas. The Gurdwara now comprises a domed sanctum, with a small sarovar adjacent to it.
Guru Gobind Singh tied his horse to the Jand tree and together with the adjacent sarovar, the place became known as 'Jandsar Sahib'. 'Jand' - name of tree species, 'Sar' - referring to the sarovar or water. This name was therefore chosen by Sikhs for this beautiful Gurdwara. According to local tradition, the Jand tree (Prosopis spicigera) and the old well in the Gurdwara compound have existed since before the time of the Guru Gobind Singh's visit. The present complex replaced the old Gurdwara in 1985. The Gurdwara is maintained by the local community.
Gurdwara Sri Likhansar Sahib is a Historic Gurdwara situated in Talwandi Sabo in the Bathinda district. The Gurdwara has been extended and is a square hall with a domed sanctum within it. Gurdwara Sri Likhansar Sahib is located at the southeastern corner of the sarovar. 'Likhansar' derives from two words 'Likhan' means writing and 'Sar' is sarovar or holy pond, together 'Likhansar' interprets as the 'The Pool Of Writing'.
In Talwandi Sabo (Damdama Sahib) under Guru Gobond Singh's supervision, Bhai Mani Singh and Baba Deep Singh made four copies of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. According to Bhai Koer Singh, Gurbilas Patshahi 10, there used to be a pool of water here in the days of Guru Gobind Singh, who sitting here, would have reed-pens for the writers made and then throw them into the pool.
It was here that Bhai Mani Singh Ji who used a kalam/s to pen the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji dictated by Guru Gobind Singh. Later the Guru Sahib threw all the ink and kalams (a reed carved into a pen) into the Gurdwara's Sarovar and gave a blessing saying, 'whomsoever shall write the thirty five words of the Gurmukhi here will be blessed with a sharp mind'. Once, Chaudhary Dal Singh, the local chief of Talwandi Sabo, who long before had converted to Sikhism, by taking charan Amrit but now took Amrit Pahul, entreated him to explain why he ordered thousands of pens to be cut and thrown away.
To quote the Sakhi Pothi, Guru Gobind Singh said, "Thousands of Sikhs will 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." Gurdwara Sri Likhansar Sahib is where Sikhs would write the Punjabi alphabet (Painti Gurmukhi). There used to be a sand pit in the Gurdwara in which mothers made their young children write their first letter. Now it seems there is marble all over.
The following lines are present in Gurbilas Patshahi 10 related to this place:
This is the Kashi of the Guru, the school of learning.
It always waits on its toes for the wise.
Pilgrims bow their heads to the 35 Gurmukhi alphabet.
The light wells up from each letter with rare meanings.
Miracles happen all the time they are never history.
And the myth is transformed into truth.
In the windstorm of falsehood, it's darkness at noon.
Out of dust clouds appear the friendly faces.
All happens in the present moment of time.
In a scratch three centuries shrink into a second.
The Kalghidhar (Guru Gobind Singh) sits by the pond of Likhansar.
He dips the reed-pen in the ink divine then puts the first letter.
He sharpens the reeds and throws them in the pond.
They have holy dip praising the Lord.
The Satguru answers to congregation's bewilderment:
The reeds are the seeds of knowledge and contemplation.
For the Sikhs I sharpen the reeds and offer them to the water.
To reach generations of my Sikhs to come.
Deep Singh and Mani Singh's calligraphy is like pearls stringed.
How fortunate they are they trace the first word.
This pen is like khanda the double edged sword.
It cuts many ways it's hard to fathom its essence.
Bhai Mani Singh laid down his life mangled bone by bone.
and Deep Singh, they say, died holding his severed head on his left hand and the khanda in the right.
In the congregation I stand with folded hands
With apprehension waiting for the gift of the pen.
A fire burns in my heart that I keep my promise.
I seek no deliverance save the love for the word.
With nervous hand I put the first letter on earth-paper.
I'll need many an incarnation to learn, unlearn and then learn again.
Gurdwara Sri Manji Sahib Talwandi Sabo is also known as Gurdwara Manji Sahib Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Patshahi Nauvin and Gurdwara Darbar Sahib. This Gurdwara located next to Takht Sri Damdama Sahib marks the site where Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji is believed to have stayed.
Gurdwara Sri Mata Sunder Kaur Talwandi Sabo is situated at Talwandi Sabo in the Bathinda district. Gurdwara Sri Mata Sunder Kaur Talwandi Sabo is located to the rear of Takht Sri Damdama Sahib. After the Battle of Muktsar Sahib, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji arrived in Talwandi Sabo via a number of villages in between. Afterwards, Mata Sunder Kaur Ji (Mata Sundri), Mata Sahib Kaur Ji, Baba Deep Singh Ji and Bhai Mani Singh Ji arrived in Talwandi Sabo from Delhi.
Mata Sundri asked where the Sahibzadey were. While looking at his Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh said:
In Putran Ke Sees Par, Vaar Diye Sut Char||
Char Muai Taan Kiya Bhaya, Jeewat Kayee Hazaar||
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Sri Guru Nanak Sahib Ji visited this place in 1510 during his second udasi. A pool of water named after Guru Nanak known as Nanaksar Sarovar exists here.
Gurdwara Sri Niwas Asthan is an octagonal tower where Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji resided during his stay at Talwandi Sabo. When Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji first arrived at Talwandi Sabo, Guru Sahib ackowledged the place where Sri Guru Nanak Sahib Ji had visited and pedicted that Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji would also visit here. The Guru Granth Sahib is now seated in a domed room at the top floor of the tower.
This Gurdwara is situated 100 meters from Takht Sri Damdama Sahib. According to Bhai Santokh Singh, in Sri Gur Pratap Suraj Granth, the following incident occured here.
Chaudhary Dalla boasted about the loyalty and courage of his Jat soldiers to Guru Gobind Singh. Guru Gobind Singh asked him to provide a couple of his men as targets so that he could test the range and striking power of a new muzzle loading weapon. The strange demand stunned Dalla and his men and none of them came forward.
Guru Gobind Singh called for any nearby Sikhs and the two Ranghreta Sikhs, who were at that moment busy tying their turbans, came running, dastars in hand. The Sikhs, father and son, were each trying to be in front of the other in order to be the first to face the bullet. Dalla, astonished at the Sikhs spirit of sacrifice, was humbled.
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