Historical Gurudwara GuruDongmar, Sikkim
The letter sent to honorable Prime Minister Narendra Damodar Modi could not be received at any of his personal or official mail but then a copy of the same was sent to Home Minister Rajnath Singh ji was received. I hope it reveals necessary truth on existence of Gurudwara before Sikkim govt enacted any law in 1991 on Forest prevention, misused in 2017 to forcefully evacuate it and build a new Monastery there demolishing it. He himself confessed that he offered three times in previous years to build a Budhist Monastery at GuruDongmar lake but no one came forward.
Copy of the letter in the court of public, judge yourself:
The Hon. Sh. Narendra Damodar Modi,
Prime Minister of India.
Sub: Historical Gurudwara GuruDongmar sealed and forcefully evacuated by Sikkim govt and Chungthang on scrutiny.
Being a faithful citizen of India, I would like to bring in your kind notice and put some facts before your good self as follows on how Sikkim Govt. is changing its status as a Buddhist state and has become a threat to secular image of India by acting against micro minority the Sikhs in this border state where Sikh soldiers are deployed to safeguard its borders. It’s playing with fire and a little spark can push whole nation on unrest and cause defamation to the structure of secular nation.
The history of Gurudwara Dongmaar:
Records show that during his journeys to the Himalayas and the Far East, including China, Guru Nanak visited all these states around 1516 AD. This itinerary is found recorded in
- Janam Sakhee Bhai Bala;
- Janam Sakhee 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 and Gurdham Prakash by Gyani Gian Singh;
- Guru Khalsa Twareekh by Giani Lal Singh (Sangrur);
- Jeevan Charit Guru NanakDev ji by Dr. Trilochan Singh;
- Travels of Guru Nanak by Dr. Surinder Singh (Kohli);
- Atlas of Travels of Guru Nanak by Dr Fauja Singh and Kirpal Singh;
- Guru Nanak’s Travels to Himalayan and East Asian Region by Dr. Dalvinder Singh (Grewal) (the author), and a host of other researchers.
Though Janamsakhis and other contemporary material are vague about the names of the places, yet they are specific about Al-Lachen Bhutan Des which are specially mentioned in these Janamsakhis.
The local people of the area and Lamas of Karma-pa Nying-ma-pa Sect confirm Guru Nanak’s visit to these areas. The Lamas from these areas have been visiting Golden Temple, Amritsar, regularly to pay obeisance to their beloved Guru Rimpoche, Guru Nanak, also known as Nanak Lama in their areas. Guru Nanak’s footprints, a robe and a water-carrying utensil (kamandal) are preserved in Lachen Gompha, Sikkim, commemorating his visit to the place.
After his visit to Kailash-ManSarovar, Guru Nanak returned along Kali River and went to 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 Tibet through Nanak-la pass and 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 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 and Lawu Gompha and reached plateau area around Guru Dongmar.
In this plateau the yak grazers approached Guru Nanak with a request, that: “they do not find water in winter as it gets frozen all over, temperature falling down to minus 35 degrees.” The Guru (Guru Nanak) hit the perpetually snow-covered Guru Dongmar Lake with his stick to provide water to the grazers. The ice melted giving way to crystal clear water. Since then the water of the lake is stated to never freeze. The lake and the hill feature atop came to be known as Gurudongmar Lake and 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 the effect of altitude, their virility was affected. They requested the Guru to do something about it. Guru Nanak blessed the lake, saying,” Whosoever takes the water of this lake will gain virility and strength and 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 eighties to commemorate Guru Nanak’s visit to the place. We used to trek to Gurudongmar then, after traveling from Chungthang on foot, covering the distance in six days.
The Gurdwara was constructed after full inquiries from head lamas of Buddhist monitories (gomphas) at Fudong, Chungthang, Lachen, Lachung and Thangu and all the local people, and with their active help.
Some facts on Gurudwara GuruDongmar:
1) That the Gurudwara GuruDaangmar is built at Dongmar lake in Sikkim since 1969-70 before merger of Sikkim into India to commemorate visit of Guru Nanak Dev ji at this place. The historical significance, its evidences are mentioned in holy scriptures and many books of Sikh religion.
2) That It forcefully occupied historical Gurudwara GuruDongmar which is situated on high altitude of more than 17000 feet and not possible for any attendant to live there 24 hrs. In absence of any attendant, Granthi singh of Gurudwara, the SDM Chungthang Sonam Topge Tashi along with other officials forcefully broke opened the locks of Gurudwara, confiscated the Holy Guru Granth Sahib ji, it’s treasury box, other holy scriptures and the daily used items to perform worship in a Gurudwara without any presence of a duty Magistrate and brought it down to another historical Gurudwara Nanak Lama Sahib at Chungthang and abandoned the confiscated items on the roadside in a street.
3) That the video of abandoned Guru Granth Sahib ji and other holy items sent a wave of anger in Sikhs all over the world. They felt betrayed and hurt as by this mean act of disrespect and sacrilege of their Guru of Sikh religion by a govt official violating Sikh Code of Conduct, without intimating the authenticated and constitutionally elected Gurudwara Management committees or without issuing any notice before sealing the Gurudwara, the CM Sikkim Pawan Chamling and SDM Sonam Topge Tashi caused hurt the religious sentiments and misused official powers given to them.
4) That the said Gurudwara in decades have earlier been also tried to convert into a temple, but then Lt. Gen. HRS Kalkat converted it into Sarv-Dharm-Sthal to pacify Sikh soldiers and the Sikh world but when this was noticed by some pilgrims, they complained on its conversion to a temple to SGPC in 1997.
Than the President Gurcharan Singh Tohra called upon Sh. George Fernandez, then Defense Minister of India who ordered to remove all encroachments and unauthorized conversions of the Gurudwara and since than the daily recitation of Guru Granth Sahib ji could be restored till date before it was locked and sealed by Sikkim administration.
5) That the Gurudwara is historical and looked after and maintained by army personal who are indirectly the custodians of this Gurudwara for decades. All the soldiers having faith in Guru Granth Sahib pay their obeisance there before going on war front and pray for the victory of the nation and their safe return.
Whether sealing the Gurudwara GuruDongmar and converting it into a Budhist Monastery the Sikkim govt. not made jeopardize in faith of those soldiers who moved ahead on war front, many got martyred, sacrificed their lives, could never return and with others who are deployed there away from home?
6) That the belongings of Guru Nanak Dev ji are still preserved safely with Lachen Monastery and we have list and pictures of those belongings, the history of this sacred place are all on threat to be changed by Sikkim govt under a malicious intention to keep this zone reserved for Budhist place of worship only. To achieve their goal, the Sikkim govt enacted some laws in past and gradually strengthened itself to misuse those laws to take over the Gurudwaras there.
7) That after taken over the Gurudwara GuruDaangmaar, the Sikkim govt keeping it’s evil eye on other historical Gurudwara at Chungthang, it has issued the notice of illegal encroachment of few feet after construction of Gurudwara decades ago. Were the authorities sleeping or un-functional that they suddenly got awoken to abolish Sikh culture, its customs, its religious places of worship in the state?
8) That as we got the news of forced evacuation, we immediately filed a PIL in Supreme court on 23rd August 2017. The honorable Supreme Court ordered the state of Sikkim to maintain status quo till 13th Sep as on this date another relevant appeal is going to be heard in Sikkim High Court.
9) That the Sikkim state has restricted Sikhs to visit/pilgrimage at Gurudwara GuruDongmar without issuing any notification. In this modern era when the bio-metric signs of every citizen, is preserved through Adhar card and other information from other IDs, is it not a violation of fundamental rites of the people born in this nation to whom Constitution allows profess of their religion?
Than why do the Sikhs only targeted by Sikkim govt and restricted to visit their shrines? Is Sikkim not a part of India that we Sikhs have to obtain a permission like Visa to roam freely?
Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukarji was also not permitted to enter state of J&K and he had to start an agitation and sat on protest, he offered his arrest in protest. Since than the entry is opened to citizens of India, in state of J&K.
Than why does the state of Sikkim not allow Sikhs to pay obeisance to their guru in their shrine at Guruwara GuruDaangmaar?
But before a legal case start and years of pleading in courts wasted, and Sikhs feel not part of this nation, we humbly request to use your influence and amend the said enacted laws which are misused to take over the religious places of one faith, to be used by other faith. If it becomes a practice and followed by other states, what will be the future of India, it can be well imagined?
And sir, by the directions given by Supreme Court, we the petitioners and witnesses in this case shall have to appear before Sikkim High Court in Gangtok before 13th Sep. 2017 but we are feared of illegal apprehension on our entrance in Sikkim. If harassed, detained or arrested on fabricated, concocted stories by Sikkim police, its whole liability will be upon Mr. Pawan Chamling, CM Sikkim and SDM Sonam Topge Tashi only.
We hope your good self will consider our request in the interest of nation and do the needful to restore religious practices and free access to Gurudwara GuruDongmaar by all, without any restriction in future, we shall always be grateful and oblige to you.
Ajmer Singh Randhawa. Dt. 03/09/2017
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What does it mean? Why did no body came forward to accept the lucrative offer?
Its because the yellow capped Lamas inhabitants in this part of Sikkim are followers of Guru Nanak and they name him in due respect as ‘RIMPOCHEY GURU NANAK OF PANJAB’. It’s the reason that nobody accepted this offer and prepared himself to demolish Sikh Gurudwara built to commemorate historical visit of Guru Nanak in beginning of 15th century.
If the Sikkim is known as land of Rice in whole Tibet, it must always be thankful to Guru Nanak who spread boiled rice in fields and blessed the land, now it’s a rich state in growing rice in its fields at high altitude. Nowhere in the world rice grows at similar high altitude.
Guru Nanak also grew Banana trees and Sikkimese now grow Bananas but why do they want to bring Padmasambhav in it whereas he never visited in this valley, He eloped with his horse from Samye Monaestry, Lhasa and never seen afterwards.