Sultanpur Lodhi , is an old town in Kapurthala district of the Punjab. It is located about 35 kms south-east of Amritsar and covers an area of about 10 square km. It is situated on the south bank of a rivulet, called Kali Bein about 10 kms above the confluence of Beas and Sutlej.
Guru Nanak Dev Ji lived in Sultanpur Lodhi for several years before setting out on his famous travels (Udasis) to deliver his message around the world. In this town lived his sister, Bebe Nanaki Ji, and her husband, Bhai Jai Ram Ji. He was an official in the service of Nawab Daulat Khan Lodhi, a feudatory chief, who became governor of the Province of Lahore during the first quarter of the sixteenth century.
At the insistance of Jai Ram , Guru Nanak Dev Ji took the job of Modi (manager) of the Nawab’s provision stores. During that time there grew up a sangat ( holy fellowship of disciples ), which so prospered that Bhai Gurdas in his Varan (XI.21), called Sultanpur the “treasure of God’s adoration.”
Today Sultanpur Lodhi has several gurdwaras commemorating events connected with the life of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.
Gurdwara Ber Sahib Ji
As the Janam Sakhis narrate the details, Guru Nanak Dev Ji one morning disappeared into the stream and was not seen for two days. When he reappeared at a spot 2 km upstream, now known as Sant Ghat. The first words he uttered were, “No one is Hindu, no one is Musalman (Muslim).”
Guru Nanak Dev Ji was now ready to embark on his long journeys. Gurdwara Ber Sahib Ji is built by the side of an old ber tree which is believed to be the one under which Guru Nanak Dev Ji would sit in meditation. The present building of Gurdwara Ber Sahib Ji was built by Maharaja Jagatjit Singh of Kapurthala. The cornerstone was laid by Bhai Arjan Singh of Bagarian on 25 February 1937, and the Gurdwara Sahib was on completion dedicated by Lieutenant General Maharaja Yadavinder Singh of Patiala on 26 January 1941. Standing on a high plinth and entered through a portico, supported by octagonal columns, and a small entrance gallery is the high ceilinged, marble floored hall.
At the far end, marked off by a high archway decorated with floral designs in stucco, is the sanctum sanctorum, where the Guru Granth Sahib Ji is seated on a whitemarble palak sahib or canopied throne. Besides the daily services and observance of important Sikh anniversaries, a largely attended fair takes place each November to mark the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji .
Gurdwara Hatt Sahib JI
In the south of the old fortresslike serai, marks the spot where Guru Nanak Dev ji worked as the custodian of Nawab Daulat Khan’s provision stores. The building comprises a hall, with a square sanctum in its middle. Above the sanctum is a square room with wide arched coping and a lotus dome topped by a goldplated finial. Thirteen polished stones of different sizes, believed to be the weights used by Guru Nanak Dev Ji , are on display in a glass cabinet.
Gurdwara Antaryatma Sahib
A flatroofed rectangular room marks the site of a mosque to which Nawab Daulat Khan had invited Guru Nanak Dev Ji to participate in namaz or Muslim prayer. Divining how the Nawab and the Kadi were only outwardly going through the ritual with their minds engrossed in worldly thoughts, Guru Nanak stood aside. When the Nawab asked him why he did not join the prayer, he told them exactly what he and the Kadi had been thinking of as they prayed. Both, as say the Janam Sakhis, fell at the Guru’s feet. Nothing remains of the mosque now except the entrance gate to the compound.
Gurdwara Guru Ka Bagh
A flatroofed hall in the interior of the town marks the premises where Guru Nanak Dev Ji resided with his wife and children during his stay at Sultanpur. The Guru Granth Sahib JI is seated in the hall on a rectangular platform. A narrow well, now covered, is a relic of the days of yore.
A narrow low roofed cell in a small house in Mohalla Vaddian, is where Guru Nanak Dev Ji was detained while his accounts were being checked following a false complaint lodged by his detractors. In one of the two small rooms close by is seated the Guru Granth Sahib Ji .
Gurdwara Sant Ghat, on the bank of the Bein, is where Guru Nanak Dev ji reemerged on the third day of his disappearance into the river near the site of Gurdwara Ber Sahib.
Gurdwara Bebe Nanaki Ji
It was constructed in 1970’s, honours the memory of Bebe Nanaki ,elder sister of Guru Nanak Dev Ji . The actual house, a threestoreyed old building where Bebe Nanaki is believed to have lived with her husband, Jai Ram, is inside the old town in Mohalla Chhimbian. But the premises being in private possession, a public monument (cornerstone, laid on 13 November 1970) . It was raised in the form of a gurdwara by Bebe Nanaki Istri Satsang Charitable Trust under the chairmanship of Bibi Balvant Kaur of Birmingham (United Kingdom).
The Gurdwara Bebe Nanaki JI comprises a central hall, with the Guru Granth Sahib Ji seated in a white marble palaki at the far end. The Guru Granth Sahib Ji is seated in a small sideroom symbolizing Bebe Nanaki’s own lodging. Over the sanctum, above the hall roof, is a square domed room with arched copings. Bulbous domes adorn the corners of the hall roof.
Gurdwara Sehra Sahib Ji
Gurudwara Sahib is dedicated to Guru Arjan Dev Ji who passed through Sultanpur in 1604 on his way to Dalla for the marriage of his son, Har Gobind, the future Guru Hargobind Sahib ji (revered for his concept of miri and piri). According to tradition, the marriage party stayed overnight at this place and the sehra, or ceremonial wreath was fastened round the bridegroom’s head here. The Gurdwara, within a brickpaved walled compound, is an octagonal domed room in which the Guru Granth Sahib is seated.
All these shrines at Sultanpur Lodhi with the exception of Gurdwara Bebe Nanaki JI, which is under the management of the Trust, are administered by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee through a local committee .
To mark the celebration of 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev ji Development of Sultanpur Lodhi is being done . The historic town of Sultanpur Lodhi, associated with the life of Shri Guru Nanak Devji, shall be developed as a heritage town and on the Smart City principles, including energy efficiency, to highlight Shri Guru Nanak Devji’s emphasis on sustainability and reverence for nature. As a major attraction for pilgrims and tourists, a heritage complex at Sultanpur Lodhi, “Pind Babe Nanak da” will be established to depict life in the times of Shri Guru Nanak Devji. Sultanpur Lodhi railway station will be upgraded and developed with all the modern amenities.9