Location - Gurudongmar Lake, Gurudongmar Road, Sikkim 737120, India

Associated with - Sri Guru Nanak Sahib Ji


Sikh Artifacts - unknown

Sarovar - unknown

Sarai - unknown

Guru Dongmar is a lake at a height of 18,000 feet alongside a glacial peak known by the same name. The lake remains frozen most of the year due to heavy snowfall for almost six months each year.

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The lake fed by glaciers is located khổng lồ the north of the Kanchenjunga range in a high plateau area connected with the Tibetan Plateau. The lake provides one of the source streams which joins the Tso Lahmu & then khung the source of Teesta River.

China is 5 km (3.1 mi) to lớn the border on the east. The lake has an area of 118 hectares (290 acres) and its peripheral length is 5.34 kilometres (3.32 mi). However, the kích thước of the lake appears small at the place where the Sikhs gather.

The larger part of the lake is not visible due to lớn hilly topography obstructing the complete view at this location. The area surrounding the lake, also known as Gurudongmar, is inhabited by Yaks, blue sheep and other wildlife of high altitude. This fresh-water lake, which once used to lớn have very clear water, with even the bed of the lake being visible from the surface, now appears in white colour on tài khoản of local pollution.

History

Records show that during his journeys to lớn the Himalayas và the Far East, including China, Guru Nanak visited Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttra-Khand, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, and Arunachal Pradesh around 1516 AD. After his visit lớn Kailash-Mansarovar, Guru Nanak returned along Kali River và went lớn Nepal, where an ancient Gurdwara at Kathmandu, on the bank of river Bishnumati commemorates his visit. Visiting various religious places in Nepal, he crossed over to lớn Tibet through Nanak-la-pass và reached Sakya monastery. The earlier king of Tibet from Karma-pa sect was, by then, deposed by the Ge-lug-pa sect but was still holding on to lớn this monastery.

Guru Nanak helped Trasung Deochung reconstruct this monastery. Trasung Deochung honoured him with a robe that is preserved in Lachen Gompha. From Tibet, Guru Nanak entered Sikkim through Chhorten Nyi ma la. Passing through Dolma Sampa and Tongpen, he entered Muguthang valley where he visited Kedang, Bendu, Sherang, Lyingka, and Muguthang. He went through Naku la & Lawu Gompha & reached plateau area around Guru Dongmar.

In this plateau the yak grazers approached Guru Nanak with a request, that: "they vị not find water in winter as it gets frozen all over, temperature falling down lớn minus 35 degrees. "The Guru hit the perpetually snow-covered Guru Dongmar Lake with his stick to lớn provide water to lớn the grazers. The ice melted giving way lớn crystal clear water. Since then the water of the lake is stated to lớn never freeze. The lake và the hill feature atop have come lớn be known as Gurudongmar Lake và hill respectively. The same names are found recorded in the ancient maps prepared by the British in nineteenth century.

Some grazers projected another problem to Guru Nanak. Due to lớn the effect of altitude, their virility was affected. They requested the Guru to vày something about it. Guru Nanak blessed the lake, saying,"Whosoever takes the water of this lake will gain virility and strength & will be blessed with children." The people of the area have firm faith in Guru"s words and consider the water of the lake as nectar.

A Gurdwara was constructed in the eighties khổng lồ commemorate Guru Nanak"s visit khổng lồ the place. The local people of the area và Lamas of Karma-pa Nying-ma-pa Sect confirm Guru Nanak"s visit khổng lồ these areas. The Lamas from these areas have been visiting Sri Harmandir Sahib, Amritsar, regularly khổng lồ pay obeisance lớn their beloved Guru Rimpoche, Guru Nanak, also known as "Nanak Lama" in their areas.

Guru Nanak Headed Towards Bhutan

Guru Nanak"s footprints, a robe and a water-carrying utensil (kamandal) are preserved in Lachen Gompha, Sikkim, commemorating his visit to the place. From Gurudongmar, Guru Nanak went lớn Thangu, Lachen, Chungthang, Lachung, Yumthang and Pyakochin. At Chungthang a Gurdwara, a tree grown out of Guru"s stick, footprints of the Guru, a spring, & the rice-fields blessed by Guru Nanak commemorate Guru Nanak"s visit. At Pyakochin, an engraving on stone, in Gurmukhi script, was earlier preserved khổng lồ commemorate the visit of Guru Nanak. From Pyakochin the Guru is stated to lớn have crossed over to Chumbi Valley through Ghora-la, en-route lớn Bhutan.

Construction Of The Gurdwara

The present Gurdwara structure was built by officers of the Assam Rifles và Army personnel with the help of the local lepcha tribe in the early eighties. The area was restricted to service personnel & local people due lớn its strategic location near the border with trung quốc from the early eighties khổng lồ 2005. The Assam rifles were transferred in September 2004 raising problems arose for the upkeep for the the Gurdwara. On 24th April 2005, "The Tribune" newspaper reported that the Gurdwara Nanklama at Chungthang Sikkim was opened lớn public và devotees for services. The Gurdwara was constructed after full inquiries from head lamas of Buddhist monestories (gomphas) at Fudong, Chungthang, Lachen, Lachung & Thangu & all the local people, and with their active help.

The tác giả of this article crosschecked the above details given by various lamas from over fifty elderly people of the area. Lachen lama even promised to lớn show the old records preserved with him that had an trương mục of Guru Nanak"s visit to the area. Staying as an "Observation Post Officer" at the height adjoining the lake, for over three months in 1987 và later in other areas adjoining, the author oversaw the development of the Gurdwara. People from all religions thronged the lake and the Buddhists had their regular fair on the lake.

They always paid obeisance at the Gurdwara with reverence. There was no question of any ill will. A hindu temple was constructed in 1989 touching the Gurdwara, but was removed soon after mutual consultations. Thereafter everything remained cordial till 1994. Later too, groups of Sikhs kept on visiting the gurdwara yearly without caring for the great hardships they had to lớn face during the travel. They had all the goodwill of the local people and have sweet remembrance of their treatment. While Indian tourists are allowed to visit the lake, foreigners might khổng lồ get a special permit from the Ministry of trang chủ Affairs in Delhi.

Desecration of Gurdwaras in Sikkim - Gurudongmar

A team consisting of Dr Dalvinder Singh Grewal, S. Harbhajan Singh Setia và his son Gurwinder Singh Setia industrialists from Delhi, Dy CE SPS Grewal, Er. Jaspal Singh & Principal Gurcharan Kaur from Ludhiana và Tejwant Singh of Aaj Tak from Amritsar visited Gangtok, Chungthang, Guru Dongmar and Dhubri from 1st May to 8th May 2015. Some members of the team have been connected with these institutions since 1970.

Col Dr Grewal was posted as an Army Officer in Sikkim as Lt. In 1970-1971 và Lt Col from 1987-1992 & was involved in construction and development of these Gurdwaras và having written three books and numerous articles on Guru Nanak after detailed research and regular visits lớn these places. S Harbhajan Singh Setia, now 84 years old, has been regularly visiting the place since 1992 và has been watching and reporting the gradual conversion.

The team got a shock when it found no Gurdwara or Nishan Sahib at Gurdwara Gurudongmar Sahib. Instead it found it converted into a Budhist complex now. Similarly at Lachen Gompha Guru Nanak"s robe (chola sahib) footprints & vessel (kamandal) were not being shown to visiting Sikhs since last three years. These were regularly shown earlier. At Chungthang the main complex connected with Guru Nanak including the stone, fountain và footprints of Guru Nanak & the rice fields are now barricaded from Gurdwara and the complex is being controlled by Lepcha Lamas. A huge tower is constructed close to the Gurdwara affecting its sanctity.

The ground reality as compared with the past knowledge of the team is presented here with the help of videos & photographs và the historical facts as available in the texts.

Historical Records show that during his journeys lớn the Himalayas and the Far East, including China, Guru Nanak visited all these states around 1516 AD. This itinerary is found recorded in Janam Sakhi Bhai Bala; Janam Sakhi, Walait Wali; Janam Sakhee Meharban; Janam Sakhee B-40; Suchak Parsang by Bhai Behlo; Mahima Parkash by Baba Sarup Chand; Parchian Sewa Das; Nanak Prakash by Bhai Santokh Singh; Nanak Parkash, Twarikh Guru Khalsa & Gurdham Prakash by Gyani Gian Singh; Guru Khalsa Twareekh by Giani Lal Singh (Sangrur); Jeevan Charit Guru Nanak Sahib ji by Dr. Trilochan Singh; Travels of Guru Nanak by Dr. Surinder Singh (Kohli); Atlas of Travels of Guru Nanak by Dr Fauja Singh & Kirpal Singh; Guru Nanak"s Travels lớn Himalayan and East Asian Region, Amazing Travels of Guru Nanak, So Than Suhawa và Van Suwane by Dr. Dalvinder Singh (Grewal) (the author), và a host of other researchers. Though Janamsakhis & other contemporary material are vague about the names of the places, yet they are specific about Al-Lachen và Bhutan Des which are specially mentioned in these Janamsakhis.

As per historical records Guru Nanak travelled to North during his third udasi <1>. He visited Sumer <2> Nepal <3> Tibet <4> Sikkim <5> Bhutan <6> Arunachal Pradesh <7> Burma and trung quốc <8>. In Sikkim, he visited Lachen <9> Chungthang <10> Thanggu <11> và Gurudongmar <12> among other places. Gurdwaras were constructed in Nepal <13>, Chungthang <14>, Gurudongmar <15> and Menchukha <16> to lớn commemorate his visit to lớn these places.

Record of visit of Guru Nanak to lớn Sumer in Tibet by Bhai Gurdas (1551-1636 AD) <2> và to Sikkim by Giani Gian Singh (1824-1884 A.D) are some of the oldest records found so far. <5>

Guru Nanak visited the place in 1516 A.D. His visit to Kanchanjunga Hill area is found recorded by Giani Gian Singh. "uthon age (from Nepal) Sikkim des Tamlang Shehar jo uthon di rajdhani đắm say usde uttar vani ik pahadi par ja baithe…ethon Darjeeling, chungathan nun dekh kanchan (kanchanjunga) parbat nun langh anek bastian pahadan da jhaka lai Bhutan des vich parves keeta." "Next(from Nepal) he moved khổng lồ Tamlang the then capital of Sikkim & satin the hills in the north. Having seen Darjiling and Chungthanhe crossed over khổng lồ Kanchanjunga hills complex (Gurudongmar is withinthe Kanchanjunga hill complex & viewing many settlements andhills, he entered Bhutan.) (Giani Gian Singh Giani) (p. 215) Twareekh Guru Khalsa, 1880 <5> In the plateau close to lớn Kanchenjunga the yak graziers approached Guru Nanak with a request, that: "they bởi vì not find water in winter as it gets frozen all over, temperature falling down lớn minus 35 degrees. He hit the frozen lake by the side of Kanchanjanga <17> with his stick which he always carried during his journeys.<18> Lo! The ice broke never to lớn be frozen again displaying crystal clear water. Since then the water of the lake is stated to lớn never freeze.

The lake và the hill feature atop have come to lớn be known as Gurudongmar Lake & hill respectively. The same names are found recorded in the ancient maps prepared by the British in nineteenth century. Some grazers projected another problem lớn Guru Nanak. Due lớn the effect of altitude, their virility was affected. They requested the Guru to vì chưng something about it. Guru Nanak blessed the lake, saying, "Whosoever takes the water of this lake will gain virility and strength và will be blessed with children." The people of the area have firm faith in Guru"s words & consider the water of the lake as nectar. A Gurdwara was constructed in the eighties to commemorate Guru Nanak"s visit to the place. We used to trek to lớn Gurudongmar then, after travelling from Chungthang on foot, covering the distance in six days. The local people of the area và Lamas of Karma-pa Nying-ma-pa Sect confirm Guru Nanak"s visit lớn these areas. The Lamas from these areas have been visiting Golden Temple, Amritsar, regularly to lớn pay obeisance to their beloved Guru Rimpoche, Guru Nanak, also known as "Nanak Lama in their areas.<15> A board earlier displayed near the Gurdwra narrated this all.

His liên hệ with Siddhas and Lamas has also been recorded by Giani Gian Singh <5> who wrote: "Crossing the great river which branches into Brahmputra và Kosi, Guru Nanak went into the land of Lamas. This area is between China, Tibet & Kailash and populated by Buddhists. They worship Guru Nanak lượt thích God." (p.217)Bhai Vir Singh <19> wrote "There are four gomphas on the four sides of Mansarovar, which have idols of Guru Nanak along with Buddha and other saints." (p.141) Bhai Didar Singh who stayed in Simla và Tibet area spoke lớn him, "In the Tibet border and Gartok, signs of Guru Nanak"s visit lớn Tibet, propagating Naam and giving life khổng lồ people are found. In Tibet two types of Lamas live (a) The followers of Mahatma Buddha who recite "Om mnai padme hum"….(b) The others who recite "Om Bhadra Guru, Parama siddhi hunn." Bhadra means the great. These Lamas keep hair on their head và wear a sip bangle và a small kirpan. They have Guru Nanak"s idol in their gompha temples. They make Chhortens all along the road where they keep Guru Nanak"s idols. The Lama of Lipa, Devi Ram who was a great scholar, when asked about Bhadra Guru, explained, "Bhadra Guru is the one who converted bitter reetha into sweet, who defeated Siddhas, whose light was in ten forms……" Where did you read about the Guru"s ten forms?" He replied, "I have read records on Bhoj Patras (writings on leaves) in Tibetan language. All these details are given there." "These Lamas vị not lượt thích those who smoke & also the Kanpatta yogis." (pp.141-143)

As per Travels of Guru Nanak by Dr Surinder Singh Kohli (p.116) <1> Major MS Kohli (of Everest fame) visited Thyngboche monastery in 1964. He was shown several idols of venerable gurus và incarnate Lamas and one of the idols was that of Guru Rimpoche which is the Tibetan name for Guru Nanak. His holiness the incarnate Lama (Head lama) told him that some writings of the great Guru were also preserved in his personal possession.

Lieut Colonel I S Issar"s article in Sikh đánh giá in 1965 entions: "At Chungthang….around a glittering Chorten a red robed Lama came out briskly…He had a bell in his hand & he rang it with a wide sweep of vigour….Behind the Chorten where the Lama appeared. Behind the Chorten where the Lama had appeared was a mound of solid black rocks about 30 feet high & 100 feet in diameter located in the center of the meadow at the back of the village. Surprisingly it supported two huge trees at the vị trí cao nhất to give a deep cool shade and a trickling spring at its base was oozing cold refreshing drink. Was not it a traveler"s abode! Is the Nature not strangely considerate! ………During his apostolic sermons the guide uttered Nanak, which pricked our ears. We were now alert và all composed to lớn decipher each word. He told us that a great personality called Rimpoche Nanak Guru while on his way lớn Tibet had rested on that mound. The Guru had brought his rice meal packed in banana leaves, as is the custom even today in banana growing areas. The two commodities were unknown to the hill folks. Guru having noticed their inquisitiveness bestowed them with a cốt truyện of this strange cereal. They displayed forethought and instead of eating it sprinkled the rice over the meadow & buried the banana packing in a corner. Today the village harvests a rich crop of rice & bananas. As it was crop season, we had the unique opportunity & privilege of seeing Guru Nanak"s gift khổng lồ the inhabitants of that unknown & God-forsaken part of the world, sprouting golden yellow paddy. We also saw clusters of banana trees, but no fruit probably we were off banana season. We were wonder struck lớn see this strange phenomenon of rice & banana in the land of maize and apple. Is it not a miracle?

Nearly a year prior lớn this I was confronted with an identical issue. I had gone to lớn Jelpa La, a historic pass to the southeast of Nathu La, which connects Tibet with West Bengal, skirting around eastern boundary of Sikkim và through Kalimpong. …… My thoughts were broken when startled by the soft steps of an approaching Lama. He had defied all artificial barriers and in the quest of solace had trespassed into India to lớn unite with Buddha with the grace of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. His interrogation was not possible, as we did not understand each other, however a search produced few idols of certain deities, which always formed a part of every Lama"s prayer kit. ……..One of the statues was a miniature of Guru Nanak of Amritsar. This was the only part of the lengthy speech, which I understood. …….. Next morning we left for Lachung. …… The moment Head Lama Sri Gelong Chang Chube at Lachung Gumpa finished with his introductory talk about the monastery; I dragged him to the subject of "mound in Chunthang village". He spoke fairly good Hindi; hence there was no room for conjectures. He gave the name of the saint who visited that area as "Rimpoche Nanak Guru of Punjab". He also confirmed the legend of rice và banana plantation. He confessed that he was unaware of any written record, but he confirmed that the myth was a firm belief amongst the locals. He further gave details about the Guru"s journey.

S. Surinder Singh of Indian Defence Accounts Service wrote in Sikh Review, "There are only a few houses in Chungthang. The major features are the shrine of Guru Nanak & the Sikkim police post. (pp. 234-235) Sikh Review, Feb-Mar 1970.

The great Siddhacharyas who introduced Buddhism into Tibet and china are known as Guru Rimchope or Precions Teacher He is called the Lotus born và his spiritual birth is connected with the Holy Pond around Golden Temple, Amritsar. (Bhikshu Sangahrishite: A Survey of Buddhism) As quoted by Dr Tarlochan Singh in Life History of Guru Nanak.

This researcher visited almost all the Himalayan region and has recorded interviews with Lamas who mentioned that they worship the idol of Guru Nanak in their Gomphas (temples) & know that Guru Nanak visited all these Himalayan regions. Some of these interviews were published in his books, Guru Nanak"s Travels to Himalayan and East Asian Region (National Book Shop) & Amazing Travels of Guru Nanak (SGPC). Head Lamas of Chungthang và Lachung confirmed lớn Major Issar that Guru Nanak visited the area. Lamas of Lachen, Thanggu, Chungthang và Lachung confirmed to lớn this researcher in 1987-1990 that Guru Nanak visited, Chhorten Nymala, Muguthang, Thanggu, Gurudongmar, Lachen, Luchung, Phodong và Gora La in Sikkim, while Lama of Zimithang and Segang told about his visit to lớn Arunachal Pradesh. All these were published in Sikh review in series from 1987 onwards & later published in four books. Head Lama of Lachen had been showing the robe, footsteps và kamandal of Guru Nanak from 1987 onwards till just three years back.

The Gurdwara was constructed after full inquiries from head lamas of Buddhist monasteries (gomphas) at Fudong, Chungthang, Lachen, Lachung & Thangu and all the local people, & with their active help. The tác giả of this article cross checked the above details given by various lamas from over fifty elderly people of the area. Lachen lama even promised to show the old records preserved with him that had an tài khoản of Guru Nanak"s visit khổng lồ the area. Staying as an "Observation Post Officer" at the height adjoining the lake, for over three months in 1987 và later in other areas adjoining, the author oversaw the development of the Gurdwara. People from all religions thronged the lake & the Buddhists had their regular fair on the lake.

They always paid obeisance at the Gurdwara with reverence. There was no question of any ill will. A hindu temple was constructed in 1989 touching the Gurdwara, but was removed soon after mutual consultations. Thereafter everything remained cordial till 1994, as regularly watched by this author, who was operative in Sikkim & remained in cảm biến with the Gurdwara till then. Later too, groups of Sikh pilgrims inspired by this author kept on visiting the gurdwara yearly without caring for the great hardships they had to face during the travel. They had all the goodwill of the local people and have sweet remembrance of their treatment.

Now khổng lồ say that Padmsambhava visited the places & not Guru Nanak appears to be an after-thought. One of Lepcha asked "What for Guru Nanak came so far a distance from Punjab?" Researcher"s answer was: "You are quoting it khổng lồ be Padmasambhava who came here. He too came from Punjab little farther from Guru Nanak"s home. What for did he too come such a long distance?" I told him further: "Guru Nanak did not visit Tibet or trung quốc alone; he visited entire India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Arab countries and even part of Europe khổng lồ give the message of Truth, equality, fraternity & Unity in God. His followers are world over và include Lamas, hindus, Muslims and Christians in addition to Sikhs. He is being worshipped in all Karmapa sect Gomphas as Nanak Rimpoche or Bhadra Guru." He was astonished.

Desecration of Gurdwaras in Sikkim has been done sequentially, initially by some hindu fanatics and later by Lepcha Buddhists.

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(Left) hindu flag added & (Right) Number of other flags added.

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(Left) Buddhist flag on Nishan sahib và (Right) All flags removed due to objections

In March 2001, Sardar Harbhajan Singh Setia and 14 other Sikhs reported that the religious sanctity of the historic Sikh Gurdwara constructed khổng lồ commemorate Guru Nanak"s visit has been changed khổng lồ a Sarva Dharma Mandir & idols have been placed inside the sanctum sanctorum along with Guru Granth Sahib earlier installed in 1987. <19>

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(Left) Buddhist flag on Nishan sahib và (Right) All flags removed due to lớn objections

Later in 2007 onwards Lepcha Boddhis managed to get the control into civil hands và changed it into a Boddhi complex. Nishan sahib was removed in 2007 which was then replaced by Boddhi flag. Seeing pressure from devotees, no flag was displayed later.

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(Left) Total structure converted lớn Buddhist one (Right) New board showing Padmasambha who performed miracle

The new board displayed after 2011 and not in 2001 as is shown on the board which moved Guru Nanak"s name and included Padmsambhava"s name.

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Board showing Gurupadma sambhva & not Guru Nanak as the architect of unfrozen water

The details of Guru Nanak"s visit to Gurudongmar was written on a board. Now this board has been replaced by a new board showing that it was Guru Padmasambhva who broke the ice with stick (not Guru Nanak).

The Nishan Sahib flag too has been removed. Sri Guru Granth Sahib is kept packed in a Palki in a room with some Buddhist and hindus idols/paintings duly displayed along with.

The team found no Parkash or Sukhasan or prayers as per rehat maryada. People entered even bare-headed. Smoking etc. Is not banned. Gurdwara"s independent identity & sanctity do not exist anymore...

In view of the above, it is recommended that;

1. The sanctity of the place be restored immediately.

2. If at all there is any dispute, it may be settled amicably making the Sikhs a party.

3. Gurdwara being a historical place, SGPC must get the gurdwara registered under its own wings, The management of the Gurdwara be placed under the Silliguri Gurdwara Management Committee, with representatives of Sikhs from Sikkim; local lamas from Thangu, Lachen and Chungthang; Sikkim Government và Army. Army should be requested to run the gurdwara on behalf of this committee till alternate arrangements are made.

4. The places connected with Guru Nanak"s visit lớn Sikkim should be declared as places of religious and tourist interest, và developed accordingly. This will certainly be a great source of tourism development for Sikkim in general & the area in specific, as has happened in Uttrakhand areas adjoining Hemkunt Sahib.

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5. The Sikkim government and the Army authorities should relax the permission procedures to lớn visit the area. Rather than discouraging và obstructing them, they should assist the pilgrims to lớn visit the area – as is being done in the case of Amarnath yatra in Kashmir.