ATTOCK: After centuries the doors of one of the holiest and scared Sikh temples dating back to 1834 would be opened for local as well as international followers of Sikh religion opening a new era of Pakistan ‘s commitment for complete religious freedom to the minorities as well as strengthening interfaith harmony.
Talking to the media, Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Deputy Secretary Shrines Imran Gondal said that ETPB has set to open abandoned Gurudwara Chowa Sahib – one of the sacred Sikh and Holy temples of Sikh religion following a mega restoration and preservation project would be initiated so that local and foreign Sikh pilgrims can offer their religious rituals regularly without any hindrance.
He said that the Sikh temple known as Gurudwara Chowa Sahib mean “Gurudwara of the exalted spring” is an abandoned temple located at the northern edge of the Rohtas Fort and it commemorates the site where Guru Nanak – founder of Sikh religion is popularly believed to have created a water-spring.
Gondal added that this temple and water of the adjacent spring is holy and sacred to followers of Sikh religion He said that according to Sikh legend, Guru Nanak and Bhai Mardana were traveling in the region and had arrived at the site during hot summer season in year 1521.
According to legend, Bhai Mardana expressed his thirst while lamenting that water was scarce in the area.
Guru Nanak is said to have then struck the earth with his cane and moved a stone thereby revealing a natural spring which still spouts water.
He said that present building of this temple was constructed in 1834 on the command of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
He said that this water is so holy that according to Sikh history, Maharaja Ranjit Singh used to drink water from this temple and water was specially transported to Lahore for him.
Responding a question, Gondal said that access to the building is from inside the fort temple presents fascinating natural beauty surrounded by on the river bank of River Ghan, fort and large trees.
Gondal has said that after restoration and preservation has completed it would become a favorite destination of religious tourism especially a site of religious importance and attraction for the Sikh community from around the world”, he added.
He said that Chairman Evacuee trust property board (ETPB) Dr Aamer Ahmed along with members of Pakistan Sikh Gurdawara Parbandhak committee (PSGPC) and Sikh leaders would perform the inauguration ceremony of re-opening the doors and restoration project.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 28th, 2019.