Location: 81-km via Nahan, Sirmour District
Altitude: 3,98m
Houses: Gurudwara Paonta Sahib and Paonta Fort
Famous As A: Sikh Pilgrimage

Paonta Sahib, a city sacred to the memory of Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, is also a bustling township with growing industries. It retains tangibly memorials to the martial Guru in the form of his weapons and a majestic Gurudwara and recalls his presence even in the name of the city which is derived from "paon" meaning "foot" either because he set foot in this place or according to an alternative story, because he lost an ornament which he wore on his foot called a "paonta" while bathing in the river Yamuna which flows here.

Overlooking the river is the Gurudwara where Guru Gobind Singh held court and wrote the major portion of the "Dassam Granth". The Guru also built the Paonta Fort in over hundred acres of land, which housed not only his followers, but as many as 46 famous poets. Regular poetry reading sessions and symposiums were organised to encourage the sort form. The guru left Paonta Sahib after the battle of Bhangani with Raja Fateh Shah, in which he defeated the errant ruler's army after thirty days of battle.


Places of Interest

Gurudwara Paonta SahibGurudwara Paonta Sahib: This site was Guru Gobind Singh's home for over four years and it was here that he wrote the Dasam Granth. Within its precincts are the Sri Tlab Asthan where he disbursed salaries and the Sri Dastar Asthan were he judged the turban -tying competitions. At the Kavi Darbar Asthan poetic symposia were held. There is also a memorial to Kalpi Rishi and a museum that displays pens of the Guru and weapons of the time.

Yamuna Temple: This ancient shrine is immediately below the gurudwara and is dedicated to the goddess Yamuna.

Gurudwara Tirgarh Sahib (22 km): This is built on the hillock from where Guru Gobind Singh shot arrows at the enemy.

Shrine of Baba Garib nath (8 km): Located in a sal forest and with an excellent view of the area, the shrine is revered by childless women.

Ram Temple: Within Paonta Sahib and also known as the 'Mandir Shri Dei Ji Sahiba, this is located near the Yamuna bridge. With exquisite marble work, this was built in 1889 in memory of Raja Partap Chand of Kangra by his wife who originally belonged to Sirmour. The Kirpal Dass Gurudwara is just part of the temple.

Gurudwara Shergarh Sahib (12 km): At this spot Guru Gobind Singh beheaded a dangerous man-eating tiger with a single swipe of this sword.

Simbalwara Widlife Sanctuary: 12 km off the main Paonta Sahib Nahan road, this is known for a variety of bird life.

Sirmour(16 km): Here are the remains of the old capital of the princely state of Sirmour. The town is said to have been destroyed by flood in the 11th century, when it was cursed by a dancing girl.

Katasan Devi Temple (30 km): Also known as Uttam Wala Bara Ban, this is on the Paonta Sahib-Nahan road. The Shrine is revered by local people. At this spot, the forces of Sirmour defeated the maruding armies of Ghulam Qadir Khan Rohiolla.

Fossil Park Saketi (60 km): This was the site of the largest fossil find in the Siwalik hills. The park has a museum and life-size models of the animals that once roamed these tracts.

 

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