Nankana Sahib

Published on by KHAWAJA UMER FAROOQ

English: Gurdwara Nankana Sahib, in Nankana Sa...
  Gurdwara Nankana Sahib, in Nankana Sahib, Pakistan.  

Nankana Sahib (Urdu: ننكانہ صاحِب‎), (Punjabi: ਨਨਕਾਣਾ ਸਾਹਿਬ ), is a city and capital of Nankana Sahib District in the Punjab province of Pakistan. It is named after the first guru of the Sikhs, Nanak, the other figure in Sikhism apart from Kabir who was born here, so it is a city of high historic and religious value and is a popular pilgrimage site for Sikhs from all over the world.[1] It is located about 80 kilometers south west of Lahore and about 75 kilometres east of Faisalabad,[2]

 History

Previously the township was known as Rai-Bhoi-Di-Talwandi and was renamed after the birth of Nanak Dev. The Janam Asthan Gurdwara Nankana Sahib, originally constructed in around 1600 CE was renovated in the years 1819–20 CE by Gian-Punjab Maharaja Jassa Singh Ramgarhia The Sikh Conference of Panjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Peshawar, Kangra and Hazara.

During the Akali movement, on 20 February 1921, Narain Das, the Udasi mahant (clergy) of the gurdwara at Nankana Sahib, ordered his men to fire on Akali protesters, leading to the Nankana massacre. The firing was widely condemned, and an agitation was launched until the control of this historic Janam Asthan Gurdwara was restored to the Sikhs.[3] Again in the 1930s and 40's the Sikhs added more buildings and more architectural design.
The area around Nankana Sahib was formerly a tehsil of Sheikhupura District. In May 2005, the provincial government decided to raise the status of Nankana Sahib to that of a district [4] as a way of promoting development in the area.

The development of Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of Guru Nanak Dev in Pakistan is one of the numerous projects by Punjab Government. The work of development of Nankana Sahib Resort to host and entertain local and international visitors is almost complete. According to reports, there are plans to construct a 100 Acre University as well as hospitals and health care facilities by the descendents of Rai Bular. [5]
In 2007, the Pakistan government announced a plan to set up a university on Sikh religion and culture at Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of Guru Nanak. "The international Guru Nanak University planned at Nankana Sahib would have the best architecture, curricula and research centre on Sikh religion and culture", Chairman of Pakistan's Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB), Gen (Retd) Zulfikar Ali Khan, said.[6]

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