The revered Baba Guru Nanak Panja Sahib Gurdwara in Hassan Abdal Pakistan has a profound story behind it.
When we decided to go to Guru Nanak Panja Sahib Gurdwara, one summer morning, the weather was not at all good for travelling. Who travels in 40C temperature? – me!
The curiosity of knowing the legend of Baba Guru Nanak, Guru Nanak Gurdwara and Panja Sahib stone and holy water was too much to let go.
Panja Sahib Gurdwara Route
This is the Google Maps image route and pictures of Baba Guru Nanak Gurdwara. Do notice the original garden full of fruit trees and flower heavily encroached upon by locals.
Gurdwara Panja Sahib distance from Nankana Sahib, near Lahore
Nankana Sahib Gurdwara to Panja Sahib is 378 Km and it takes 5 hours on a good road to get there.
I felt like an American ninja contestant driving towards Panja Sahib Gurdwara in Hasanabdal. The granite quarry graveyard, potholed highway, crazy Qing-Qi traffic and Sunday car-sale at Hasanabdal chowk would rattle the sanest of minds.
Panja Sahib Gurdwara Hassanabdal Pictures
I was appreciating the White-marbled floors and looked up to see the Gorgeous Gurdwara building, in the center of the courtyard. 350 hostels surround the central structure in two-story tiers, for visitors.
The highlight for Sikh pilgrims is the sarovar religious pond with ‘masheer’ fish enjoying their leisurely swim in crystal clear spring water. I was thinking fish kebab when the keeper told me the fish are sacred and are burnt, rather than thrown away when they die.
Guru Nanak real Hand print at Panja Sahib
A few steps downwards lay the sacred stone that the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Jee (1469-1539) touched with his hand. You can see the ridges of his hands on the stone as well. The hand print image is quite obvious.
Story of Panja Sahib Gurdwara
Panja Sahib is synonymous with the legend of this stone. What happened was that while on return journey from a sabbatical to the Middle East in the 16th century, Guru Nanak sahib stopped over at Hasanabdal and started preaching to the local population. Being a widely read saint, and an expert in both Islam and Hinduism, the locals started gravitating towards him.
Saint Wali Kandhari (b.1476), who previously ran the block, on top of Hasanabdal hill, wouldn’t have any of this. The legend says that he stopped water for the town folk down below, as a wrath for turning away from him. Guru Nanak moved a boulder at the foothill of the mountain and a perennial spring gushed forth — effectively cutting off the water supply to the Saint Wali Kandhari.
The real kicker is that Saint Wali pushed a boulder down towards Guru Nanak sahib and the Guru stopped the boulder with just one hand. The rock boulder was putty in the hand of the Guru and his hand imprint lasts to this day.
Panja Sahib Story in Urdu
I wish I could have translated the Panja Sahib history in to Urdu for everyone to read.
Panja Sahib History
I can only speculate that Guru Nanak Sahib chose Hasanabdal this site for preaching because of its strategic crossroad location on the East-West & North-South axis.
We had mithay chowl (sweet rice) from the free langar at the Gurdwara. Nothing tastes better than a free meal, that’s for sure. The Savakaar (helper) probably thought I am some yateem (orphan) because of my unkempt beard.
Later on I heard the beautiful langar khana was scorched in an electric short circuit fire, by not toasted, thanks God.
I felt like saying ‘Wahe Guru da Khalsa – Wahe Guru di Fateh!’
Gurdwara Panja Sahib incident of Saka sacrifice
We also saw the narrative painting of the incidence at Hasanabdal Railway station in October,1922 when the local Sikh caretakers got ran over by while trying to stop a train carrying Sikh religiously inspired prisoners.
These fervent followers felt they would inspire divine intervention the same way Guru Nanak did when he stopped the boulder — alas, it wasn’t to be!
We went into the inner sanctum of the Gurdwara wearing the yellow bandanna. We saw Grant Sahib and the elaborately decorated interior. The glass word on the roof was very intricate.
Guru Granth religious book of Sikh
I talked to the Granti (script narrator) of the Gurdwara and he told me of the great families like Chawla, Sehni, Garewal, and Mukejah who once ruled the land. He said most of the Sikh of Punjab left while the ones in Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa stayed behind — mostly because of their inaccessibility.
The Granti calls Sikh to prayer at dawn and dusk time.
I went to the lower deck of the main courtyard, in to the catacombs below. The fish there were having the time of their lives.
There were lower chambers where I am told prisoners were kept for some time as well.
Maqbara Hakeema Panja Sahib Hassanabdal
We then walked to the Maqbara Hakeema (Akbar’s Physicians’ tomb 1582 AD) and the grave of the unknown princess, thought to be Lala Rukh of the same era.
Hindu Temple of Panja Sahib Hassanabdal
We then paid off the son of a foul-tempered land lady that lived in the compound of the sole Hindu temple still standing at Hasanabdal to get pictures of Lord Ganesh.
I would suggest capping the trip to Hasanabdal with a hike to the Saint Wali Kandhari top to get a birds-eye view of the surroundings.
I have pasted all the lovely photographs I had. I would certainly make a Panja Sahib Gurdwara video for you all soon.
Then we fought our way back to civilization.
For other Sikh Gurdwaras in Pakistan, please follow these links
Siri Chowa Sahib Singh Gurudwara , visit this link.
Baba Guru Nanak Sahib tomb or grave is at Kartarpur Sahib, Narowal Pakistan.
Weather of Hasanabdal weather and Climate
The Weather at Hasanabdal Panja Sahib ranges from 18 Deg Centigrade in Winters in December, January to average 39 Deg Centigrade in Summers, from May to August, every year. It rains for an average of 10 days a year.