The main accused in the recent incident of vandalism at Gurdwara Nankana Sahib in Pakistan has been arrested and charged with the anti-terrorism act
Gurdwara Nankana Sahib, also known as Gurdwara Janam Asthan, is a site near Lahore where the first Guru of Sikhs, Guru Nanak, was born.
Gurdwara Janam Asthan is built over the site where Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, was believed to be born in 1469.It is located in Pakistan’s Punjab province
The city was previously known as Talwandi, and was founded by Rai Bhoi, a wealthy landlord. Rai Bhoi’s grandson, Rai Bular Bhatti, renamed the town ‘Nankana Sahib’ in honour of the Guru. ‘Sahib’ is an Arabic-origin epithet of respect.
Nankana Sahib also has several important shrines, including Gurdwara Patti Sahib, Gurdwara Bal Leela, Gurdwara Mal Ji Sahib, Gurdwara Kiara Sahib, Gurdwara Tambu Sahib — all dedicated to stages in the life of the first Guru.
It also has a Gurdwara in memory of Guru Arjan (5th Guru) and Guru Hargobind (6th Guru). Guru Hargobind is believed to have paid homage to the town in 1621-22.
Who constructed Janam Asthan shrine?
It was constructed by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, after he visited Nankana Sahib in 1818-19 while returning from the Battle of Multan.
What was the status of Janam Asthan during British rule?
During British rule, Janam Asthan was the site of a violent episode when in 1921, over 130 Akali Sikhs were killed after they were attacked by the Mahant of the shrine.
The incident is regarded as one of the key milestones in the Gurdwara Reform Movement, which led to the passing of the Sikh Gurdwara Act in 1925 that ended the Mahant control of Gurdwaras.