Tarn Taran THERE IS AMAZING WEBSITE OF TARN TARAN, PLEASE MUST SEE (31°27'N, 74°56'E) is an important centre of Sikh pilgrimage 24 km south of Amritsar, which was founded by Guru Arjan in 1596. Six years earlier, on 13 April 1590, he had inaugurated the conversion of a natural pond lying along the Delhi Lahore highway into a rectangular tank. Full scale digging operations commenced on the last day of the dark half of the month, Bhadon, falling on 19 August 1590. With the completion of digging, on Chet vaA'Amavas 1653 Bk/19 March 1596, the construction of the main shrine, the Darbar Sahib, and ancillary buildings began.

The Stolen Bricks of Tarn Taran

Meanwhile, a local official, Nur-ud-Din, ordered, under imperial authority, the construction of a new caravan serai (way station/inn) along the royal highway. He confiscated all the bricks (as well as, the kilns in which they were burnt) which were intended for the holy shrine at Tarn Taran. He deputed his son, Amir udDin, to have the bricks carried to the serai site where, besides the inn, a complete village named Nur Din sprang up. This was about 6 km to the northwest of the Guru's tank.

Further development of Tarn Taran remained suspended until 1768, when Sardar Budh Singh of Faizullapuria misi occupied the entire parganah of Patti, uprooted the village of Nur Din and the serai, and brought their bricks back to the site of this sarovar.

Sardar Budh Singh and Sardar Jassa Singh Ramgarhia joined hands to have the building of the Darbar Sahib constructed. Some bungas or dwelling houses were also built on the periphery of the holy tank. Maharaja Ranjit Singh visited the shrine in 1802. It was here that he exchanged turbans with Sardar Fateh Singh Ahluvalia as a token of their lasting friendship.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh's and Kanvar Nau Nihal Singh's Contributions

Maharaja Ranjit Singh had the steps on the two sides of the sarovar, left unfinished by Budh Singh and Jassa Singh, completed and its circumambulatory passage paved. The Darbar Sahib was also reconstructed. Maharaja Ranjit Singh and his grandson Kanvar Nau Nihal Singh, donated large quantities of gold to have the exterior plated with the metal, but the work made little progress in the troubled times that followed Ranjit Singh's death. It was in the last quarter of the nineteenth century that part of the exterior was covered with goldleaf by Sant Sham Singh, of Amritsar. Only one of the four towers planned by Kanvar Nau Nihal Singh for the four corners of the tank was erected during this time. Under Maharaja Ranjit Singh's orders, the town of Tarn Taran was enclosed by a wall. A few other shrines such as the Mahji Sahib, the Akal Bunga and the Guru ka Khuh were developed and several bungas added.

Tarn Taran and the British Raj

A website must see this website After the annexation of the Punjab to the British dominions, the management of the shrines at Tarn Taran, along with those at Amritsar, was entrusted to a Sarbarah or manager appointed by the deputy commissioner of Amritsar. The role of the manager was, however, confined to general supervision, the priests being autonomous in the conduct of religious affairs. They divided the offerings among themselves and gradually appropriated most of the lands endowed to the Darbar Sahib during Sikh rule. They neglected their religious duties and cared little for the sanctity of the holy shnnes and the sarovar. The traditional monthly congregation on every amavasya day, the last day of the dark half of the month, was reduced to a gay carnival. Reforms introduced by the Siugh Sabha, Tarn Taran, established in 1885, were disapproved and resisted by the clergy. Efforts of the Khalsa Diwan Majha and the Central Majha Khalsa Diwan to cleanse the administration met with only partial success.

Gurdwara Reform Movement

As the Gurdwara reform movement got under way, the control of the sacred shrines passed to a representative body of the Sikhs, the Shiromam Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, on 27 January 1921. A leper asylum established by Guru Arjan, (it was thought that minerals in the water were helpful in treating Leprosy) but completely ignored by the clergy after the abrogation of Sikh sovereignty was taken over in 1858 by Christian missionaries.

Also View


  • 1. Gian Singh, Giani, Gurdham Sangrah. Patiala, n.d
  • 2. Narotam, Tara Singh, Sri Guru Tirath Sangrahi. Kankhal, 1975
  • 3. Thakar Singh, Giani, Sri Gurduare Darshan, Amritsar, 1923
  • 4. Macauliffe, Max Arthur, The Sikh Religion. Oxford, 1909
Districts of Punjab

Amritsar (District)BarnalaBathindaFirozpurFaridkotFatehgarhGurdaspurHoshiarpurJalandharKapurthalaLudhianaMansaMogaMuktsarNawanshahrPatialaRupnagarMohaliSangrur (District)Tarn Taran

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