Pakistan to reopen historic gurdwara in Jhelum
Ahead of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the Pakistan government has decided to reopen 19th century abandoned Gurdwara Chowa Sahib located in Jhelum district of Punjab province.
The Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) has unveiled a plan to reopen the gurdwara after its restoration.
Lying closed since Partition, the gurdwara, located on the northern edge of Rohtas Fort — a UNESCO world heritage site — near Jhelum, has fallen prey to neglect. The gurdwara commemorates the site where Guru Nanak is believed to have created a water spring during one of his (udasis) journeys.
A water spring is called “chowa” hence this place was called Chowa Sahib. Even today, residents of the Rohtas Fort use the water of this spring.
The construction of the gurdwara was completed in 1834 under the command of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
ETPB secretary (shrines) Imran Gondal said a multi-million project will be initiated by the federal government for restoration of the gurdwara. Gondal said the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee and Sikh leaders would perform the inauguration of the restoration project, reported Pakistan Today.
Earlier this month, 500-yearold Babe-de-Ber Gurdwara gurdwara in Sialkot in Pakistan’s Punjab province opened its doors for Indian Sikh pilgrims.
According to the Sikh tradition, when Guru Nanak arrived in Sialkot from Kashmir in the 16th century, he stayed under the tree of “beri”. Natha Singh then built a gurdwara in his remembrance at the site.