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Gurudwara Data Bandi Chhor

Gwalior’s Gurudwara Data Bandi Chhor and its different versions of stores

Gurudwara Data Bandi Chhor has a remarkable history attached to it. Today, it stands tall and rigid as proof of how Guru Hargobind, one of the 12 gurus of the Sikh community, helped us fight the Mughal rule away. Being the 6th Guru, he has helped his followers and believers in following the path of a spiritual journey. Built on the top of the Gwalior Fort, the Gurudwara Data Bandi Chhor hides a collection of facts most people don’t know about!

  • Gurudwara Data Bandi Chhor is built on the top of the Gwalior fort.
  • Gurdwara Data Bandi Chhor Sahib has its association with the celebration of Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji’s release after 12 years of his imprisonment in the Gwalior Fort. He was determined to secure the freedom of 52 Rajas (Kings) who had long suffered imprisonment in the Fort.
  • Gurdwara Data Bandi Chhor Sahib has a meaning in its name, the word ‘Bandi’ means ‘imprisoned’ & ‘Chhor’ means ‘release’.
  • Sri Guru Arjan Sahib Ji was killed by the infamous Mughal emperor, Jahangir. Guru Hargobind believed in emphasizing the military dimension of the Sikh community.
  • Symbolically, Guru Hargobind wore 2 swords, to represent ‘Miri’ – the temporal power & ‘Piri’ – the spiritual authority.
  • According to the Sikh traditions, the 52 kings were devastated that they will be losing a spiritual mentor because of which, Guru Hargobind refused to be released unless the other prisoners were let out too.
  • Jahangir ordered the freedom of only those Rajas who could hold on to Guru’s
  • Guru Hargobind had a special Chola stitched so that all the 52 captive kings could hold on to it and be free with him.
  • On the day of his release, Guru Hargobind came out of the fort with the kings holding on to his special chola.
  • The still existent Chola can be seen at Gurdwara Sri Chola Sahib Ghudani Kalan.
  • The Gurudwara was established inside the fort and was taken care of by the Muslims till the Sikhs acquired the possession and re-established a Gurdwara after 1947.
  • The present building complex is built over six acres. It was constructed under the supervision of Bhai Jhanda Singh and Utam Singh Mauni of Khadoor Sahib during the 1970s and 1980s.
  • After this event took place ‘Bandi Chor Divas (Day of Liberation)’ became a relevant day of celebration for all Sikhs.
  • This day is celebrated as the same day as the Hindu celebration of Diwali.

There are 3 alternative versions that paint 3 different pictures in regards to the stay of Guru Hargobind at Gwalior Fort and the story behind the Gurudwara Data Bandi Chhor

  • The alternative version I – This version gives no reason for the Guru having anything to do with the 52 Rajas release.
  • Alternative version II – In this version, Guru Hargobind motivated the fellow Sikhs to arm themselves to resist the injustice they have been facing, which annoyed the emperor, and thus he ordered the imprisonment. Later, Emperor Jehangir realized his mistake and reordered to free the Guru but he refused to accept the offer till 52 innocent ‘Rajas’ were also freed.
  • Alternate version III – Here, the Mughal rulers used this fort as a prison for nobles and chiefs. Emperor Jahangir had ordered the incarceration of Guru Hargobind. Although, when the Sufi Saint Mian Mir and other sympathizers intervened on behalf of the Guru, the Emperor ordered his release.

Above are the 3 different theories associated with Gurudwara Data Bandi Chhor and the facts you need to know! We hope you found these facts interesting. Comment down below what theory do you think is the closest to the actual incident.

Also Read : Bahubali Hills in udaipur


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