In News: India was recently concerned about the safety of devotees stranded in Gurdwara Nankana Sahib as an angry mob had surrounded it due to communal problems.
About the Nanakana sahib Gurudwara:
- Nankana Sahib is a city of 80,000 in Pakistan’s Punjab province, where Gurdwara Janam Asthan (also called Nankana Sahib Gurdwara) is located.
- It is 75 km to the west of Lahore, and is the capital of Nankana Sahib district.
- 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
Significance of Nanak Sahib Gurudwara or Janam Asthan
- The shrine is built over the site where Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, was believed to be born in 1469.
- Cluster of tourism:Nankana Sahib has several other 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.
- The Janam Asthan shrine was constructed by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, after he visited Nankana Sahib in 1818-19 while returning from the Battle of Multan.
- Role in Gurudwara reform movement
- During British rule, the Gurdwara 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 led to the passing of the Sikh Gurdwara Act in 1925 that ended the Mahant control of Gurdwaras.
- In 2014, Pakistan had built a memorial for the massacre.