Baba Bakala


The town of Baba Bakala was originally known as Bakkan-Wala (meaning ‘Town of the Deer’ in Persian) however over time this was shortened to Bakala. The town was originally a mound, where deer were found grazing.

In 1664, before passing away in Delhi, the Guru at the time, Guru Har Krishan uttered “Baba Bakale” which the Sikhs at the time interpreted as meaning that the Guru’s successor was to be found at the town of Bakala, close to Amritsar. The Sikhs now had to find the true Guru in Bakala.

The Guru was then found by a trader from Jhelum named Makhan Shah Lubana. As a trader, he was on a ship carrying his goods while it became caught up in a furious storm. As he was in danger, he began to pray to God and Guru Nanak for safety. He then vowed that he would donate 500 dinars to the Guru. Unaware of the news that Guru Har Krishan had passed away, Lubana reached Bakala to fulfill his vow.

Eager to carry out his promise as soon as possible, Makhan Shah then reached Bakala but was shocked to see many people pretending to be the true Guru. He then came up with a plan to donate 2 dinars to each of the self-proclaimed Gurus, as he knew that the true Guru would demand the full amount that he had promised. None of the imposters demanded the full amount and so Makhan Shah was unable to find the Guru. He then asked around and he heard of a solitarian in the area, who was called Tegh Bahadur, and was the son of Guru Hargobind.

Upon placing 2 dinars before this man, the man replied “God bless you, my man, however why only two Dinars after pledging five hundred? The Guru is never in need of anything but a Sikh is expected to keep his pledge to the Guru”. Lubana thus discovered the true Guru and told him that he would reveal his identity to the World, however the Guru discouraged Lubana to do so as he was hoping to meditate in solitude for longer. Makhan Shah took this as a challenge and climbed the rooftop and shouted that he had found the true Guru. Up until he was found, Guru Tegh Bahadur meditated in solitude for 26 years, 9 months and 13 days.

The Gurdwara Baba Bakala Sahib has many beautiful paintings pertaining to the Sikh history.

Each year in the month of March people gather at Bakala to pay homage to the holy Guru Teg Bahadur and offer sacrifices for him. It is a festive time for the Sikhs. Besides an Annual Fair is held on rakshabandhan day when many people throng this holy place from all over the country.



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