Paonta Sahib

Located on the banks of the Yamuna river, in the state of Himachal Pradesh, encircled by a thick sal forest, is the historic town of Paonta Sahib, which was founded by the 10th Sikh guru, Guru Gobind Singh. He left Anandpur Sahib, when only 16 years old, at the invitation of Raja Maidini Prakash of Sirmour, and dwelt at this picturesque spot for around 4 years. The word `Paonta' literally means `space for a foothold'. The Paonta Sahib Gurudwara commemorates the stay of the great Guru, and it is said that the waters of the Yamuna rush by silently through this spot, at the Guru's requesting them to do so.

Sightseeing

Gurudwara Paonta Sahib: This site is believed to have been the holy Guru Gobind Singh's abode for over 4 years, where he penned the `Dasam Granth'. The Gurudwara houses the Shri Talab Asthan where he disbursed salaries, and the Shri Dastar Asthan where he judged the turban - tying competitions. The Kavi Durbar was the venue of the poetic symposia. A memorial dedicated to Kalpi Rishi, and a museum showcasing the pens of the Guru and the weapons of those times, are also located within the precincts of the Gurudwara.

Yamuna Temple: Directly below the Gurudwara is an ancient shrine dedicated to Goddess Yamuna.

Gurudwara Bhangani Sahib: This gurudwara commemorates Guru Gobind Singh's first battle, wherein he vanquished Raja Fateh Shah and his allies.

Gurudwara Tirgarh Sahib: This gurudwara is constructed on the very hillock, from where Guru Gobind Singh is said to have shot arrows at his foes.

Gurudwara Shergarh Sahib: At this site, the Guru beheaded a vicious man - eating tiger with a single wave of his sword.

Nagnauna Temple: The Nagauna temple is located near the Puruwalla village, and is closely linked with the legend of Sirmour's former ruling family.

Nahan ( 45 km from Renuka): This idyllic town was founded by Raja Karan Prakash of Sirmour in 1621, and boasts of several temples, a gurudwara, ancient palaces and pleasant walks.

Fossil Park, Saketi: This happens to be the largest fossil find in the Shivalik hills, and displays a fascinating collection of fossils and lifesize models of now - extinct animals, dating back to 85 million years.

Shiva Temple, Patlian: What is fascinating about this shrine is, that the linga enclosed within the sanctum is said to be steadily increasing in size.

Katasan Devi Temple: Lying on the Paonta Sahib - Nahan road, is this temple, also known as Uttam Wala Bara Ban. At this site, the forces of Sirmour defeated the armies of Ghulam Qadir Khan Rohiolla.

Sirmour: The remains of the ancient capital of the princely state of Sirmour, which is said to have been devastated by a flood in the 11th century, when it was cursed by a dancing girl, are worth a visit.

Balasundari Temple, Trilokpur: This shrine was built by Raja Deep Prakash of Sirmour in 1573. According to a legend attached to the place, the Devi's `pindi' appeared in a bag of salt purchased by a local trader.

Ram Temple: Located near the Yamuna bridge, within Paonta Sahib, is this temple also known as `Mandir Shri Dei Ji Sahiba', built in the memory of Raja Pratap Chand of Kangra, by his wife who hailed from Sirmour, in 1889.

Simbalwara Wildlife Sanctuary: 12 km off the main Paonta Sahib - Nahan road, this sanctuary is replete with a wide variety of avianfauna population.

Baba Garib Nath's Shrine: This shrine revered by childless women, lies deep within a sal forest.

Choordhar: A popular destination for trekking groups, Choordhar is located at an altitude of 3,647m above sea level. Choordhar literally translates as `the mountain of the silver bangle'.

Access

By air: The nearest airports are at Chandigarh and Dehradun.

By rail: The nearest railheads are at Ambala and Dehradun.

By road: From Renukaji, Paonta Sahib is 81 km via Nahan and 60 km via Rajban. From Dehradun, it is 44 km. Taxis/buses are available for Paonta Sahib at all places.

Accomodation

Hardly 100 metres away from the main gurudwara, is Himachal Tourism's Hotel Yamuna.

Address :
Hotel Yamuna,
Paonta Sahib,
Himachal Pradesh - 173025.
Tel:(01704)2341

Himachal Pradesh