Memorial Gates

 

Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Gate

Baba Moti Ram Mehra gate
Dewan Todar Mal Gate Nawab Sher Mohammad Khan Gate

 

Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Gate – The General who Conquered Sirhind

Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Gate

Baba Banda Singh Bahadur the Great warrior who raised his mighty sword against Moughal tyranny in the Eighteen Century was born at village Rajouri in district poonch of Kashmir on October 16, 1670. His childhood name was Lachhman Das. Just as he stepped into youth, he renounced his home and became an ascetic of the Bairagi sect. his spiritual mentor (Guru) rechristened him Madho Das. Madho Das established his seat (dera) at a quiet and beautiful place on the banks of the Godavari.

 

It was here that he came into contact with Guru Gobind Singh on September 3, 1708. In him, the Guru found the man who matched his concept of the man who could accomplish his mission.

The Guru administrated Amrit to (baptised) this peerless general selected to take on the Moughal forces in a direct clash and honoured him with the title Bahadur (the brave). The Guru then appointed him the leader (Jathedar) of the Khalsa (sikh) forces some time in October, 1708 and sent him to the Punjab. Five Singh’s (baptised Sikhs) as the Five Beloved ones and another contingent of twenty Singh’s were sent with him. The Guru also issued an edict to the Sikhs of the Punjab directing them to acknowledge him as their leader.

With the mission entrusted to him by Guru Gobind Singh, thirty eight year old Baba Banda Singh Bahadur began to advance from Nanded in the Deccan towards the Punjab like a whirlwind. The chain of his victories began as soon as he crossed Delhi. After subduing Sonepat, Kaithal, Samana, Ghuram, Thaska, Shahbad, Mustafabad , Kapoori, Sandhaura and Chhat-Banur, the sikhs at last set up their camp at the Governor of Sirhind, who was guilty of getting the Guru’s two younger sons bricked alive in the wall.

On May 12, 1710, a decisive battle was fought at Chappar Chiri, a distance of twelve miles from Sirhind. Wazir Khan was killed in the bloody battle and the sikhs carried the day. Thus Baba Banda Singh restored the honour of the sikhs.

On May 14, 1710, the triumphant Sikh forces entered Sirhind. Baba Banda Singh Bahadur appointed Baba Baaj Singh, a leading Sikh General, and the Governor of Sirhind. By and by, Baba Banda Singh Bahadur established a small kingdom and began to rule over it. He issued coins inscribed with name of Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind Singh and thus declared the establishment of a sovereign Sikh state. Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, therefore, enjoys the honour of being the first Sikh ruler.

To commemorate the tri-centenary of his sacrifice, the district Fatehgarh Sahib stands up collectively to pay obeisance, to this divine soul and attribute a ‘Baba Banda Darwaza’ here in his memory.

Baba Moti Ram Mehra – A great martyr of Sirhind

Baba Moti Ram Mehra Gate

On the 24th December, 1704, Sahibzadas Baba Zorawar Singh ji, Baba Fateh Singh ji along with Jagat Mata Gujriji (mother of Guru Gobind Singh Ji) were arrested by Kotwal Jaani Khan of Morinda at Kheri, the native village of Gangu Ram.Gangu was a servant of Guru Gobind Singh who was allured by the money and jewellery which Mata Gujri ji carried and ,thus, informed the Kotwal of Morinda about their presence in his house. Jaani Khan brought them as prisoners to Sirhind. Faujdar Wazir Khan of Sirhind imprisoned them in theThanda Burj (cold Fort).

 

Baba Moti Ram Mehra was a servant in the HIndu kitchen of the Faujdar. He used to serve food to the Hindu prisoners. Jagat Mata Gujri ji refused to accept the food of the Mughal kitchen as well as that which came from Diwan Sucha Nand’s house. Baba Moti Ram Mehra was a great follower of Sikh Gurus. He used to serve the sikhs on their way to Ananadpur Sahib and back to their homes. The sikhs took rest at his mud house, where the mother of Baba Moti Ram Mehra and Bibi Bholi, wife of Mehra ji prepared food for these sikhs.

When Jagat Mata Gujriji refused to accept the food, Baba Moti Ram Mehra could not bear the Sahibzadas sleeping hungry. He came home and told his family that he would serve milk and fresh water to these great prisoners. His mother and wife wee scared and tried to persuade him not to take such a step. Bibi Bholi, wife of Mehra ji, told him that the Wazir Khan had made an announcement in the town that whoever tried to help and serve any type of food to the sons of the tenth Guru, he along with his family would be crushed alive in a Kohlu, (the oil squeezer). This information could not change the resolve of Baba ji. His mother told him that there were so many followers of the Guru in the town, they could have dared to serve the Sahibzadas. Baba Moti Ram Mehra humbly, but with determination, told his mother that those followers feared the ruler .

“Aren't you scared, my son?” asked the mother. Baba Mehra ji humbly replied, “Dear mother our Guru is fighting against injustice of the Mughals. I will serve the great mother and the Sahibzadas. I don’t fear the punishment of the Faujdar. The history will not forgive us if we do not serve the great prisoners."

Sensing his determination, his wife gave him her silver jewellery and some coins and requested him,” Please bribe the gate man of the Burj and request him to keep this act a secret.” Baba ji praised his wife for participation in the great cause.Baba Moti Ram served milk and water to the Sahibzadas and Mata Gujri ji for three nights.

On 27th December 1704, the Sahibzadas were slain after bricking them alive in the foundation of the wall. Mata Gujri ji also breathed her last. Raja Todar Mall of Sirhind performed the cremation. He told Baba Mehra ji to arrange a cart of Chandan wood, which he brought from the forests of Atta Ali. After some time, Pumma, the brother of Gangu, told the Faujdar that his servant (Cook) had served the prisoners with milk and water.

Baba Moti Ram Mehra, his mother, wife and a little son were arrested. He did not conceal his act and boldly told the Faujdar that, it was his dharma to serve the young children and the aged mother of Guru Gobind Singhji. So, Baba Moti Ram Mehra along with his father were sentenced to the death by being squeezed in a squeezer (Kohlu). His sacrifice was first sermonized by Baba Banda Bahadur ji.

Now his followers and kin of his caste have constituted a Charitable Trust. A Gurudwara named Memorial Baba Moti Ram Mehra has been constructed opposite Rauza Sharif 200 Mts. away from Gurudwara Fatehgarh Sahib by theTrust. The land was donated by Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee. The Trust also has provided 14 rooms facility separately for pilgrims. Every year a langar of milk and jalebi is also arranged by the Trust during the Shaheedi Jor Mela from December 24th to December 27th. Diwans by various jathas are also held.

Dewan Todar Mal – A true devotee of the Guru

Dewan Todar Mal Gate

 

Dewan Todar Mal is remembered for buying a small piece of land for the cremation of the dead bodies of Mata Gujri, the mother and Baba Zorawar Singh and Baba Fateh Singh, the two younger sons of Guru Gobind Singh by paying an exorbitant price to Chaudhari Atta, the owner of the land. He had to cover the whole piece of land with gold coins (ashrafis) in a vertical position. He also made arrangements for their cremation. That is why Dewan Todar Mal is deeply respected by the sikhs.

 

A splendid Gurudwara, Gurudwara Jyoti Swarup, now stands at the place where these three martyrs were cremated. This Gurudwara is at a distance of abut a mile to the east of the main Gurudwara at Fatehgarh Sahib and the road connecting the two Gurudwaras is known as Dewan Todar Mal Marg. A spacious congregation hall has been constructed by the sikhs in the Gurudwara Fatehgarh Sahib complex to commemorate his noble service, which is a symbol of the great respect the sikhs have for the Dewan.

Wherever and whenever anybody speaks of the unique martyrdom of the younger Sahibzadas, it is natural for him to speak of the humanistic role of the truly noble Dewan Todar Mal. His name is, therefore, inscribed in the annals of sikh history in golden letters

Nawab Sher Mohammad Khan Gate

Nawab Sher Mohammad Khan Gate

 The man who had the courage to put in word of sympathy for the younger Sahibzadas in the heavily attended court of Wazir Khan was none other than Nawab Sher Mohammad Khan. Though a Muslim, he stood up against the tyranny and vociferously denounced saying that the Quran never advocated such brutal & inhumane treatment.

 

On December 25, 1704, Baba Zorawar Singh and Baba Fateh Singh, the two younger sons of Guru Gobind Singh, were produced in the court of Wazir Khan, the Governor of Sirhind for the second time. Once again, they were urged to convert to Islam but they turned a deaf ear to all threats and inducements and remained unshaken in their faith. At that time, Nawab Sher Mohammad Khan of Maler Kotla was present in the court. Wazir Khan offered to hand over the young Sahibzadas to him to enable him to avenge the death of his younger brother who had been killed by Guru Gobind Singh in the battle of Chamkaur Sahib. But Sher Mohammad Khan turned down this mean offer of Wazir Khan.

At last, the Governor admitted his failure to convert the Sahibzadas and announced the unfortunate verdict to have the Sahibzadas killed by getting them bricked alive in a wall. Nawab Sher Mohammad Khan of Maler Kotla publicly made known his disagreement with the verdict and appealed to Wazir Khan to repeal the verdict. But his noble and humane appeal was disregarded and he had to walk out in protest. The sikhs respectfully remember his protest as an expression of sympathy for the innocent Sahibzadas. As a Sikh child learns by heart the tragic episode of Sirhind, the tale of the ‘word of sympathy’ is also deeply engraved on his tender heart. The story of the nobility of Sher Mohammad Khan will continue to move the hearts of the sikhs for all times to come. That is why the sikhs never tried to harm the principality of Maler Kotla even during the period of their ascendancy. The sikhs will always continue to feel obliged and indebted to Sher Mohammad Khan, the noble and fearless Nawab of Maler Kotla who had the guts to call spade a spade.

 

 
 
 
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