Draped in the white exquisite marble with a traditional but plush art cutting that mesmerizes you at the first sight, Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, truly, is a place for people of all walks of life. A place, filled with enormous positivity, offers you that inner peace which one can adore to attain one day. The undertoned but melodious Punjabi music falls on your ear as a soothing tune that refreshes your mind and tranquillizes your soul. The ubiquitous mild aroma of Desi Ghee Prasad just at the entrance of Gurudwara complex mixes a tinge of devotional sweetness even in your casual visit to the divine place.
Located in the heart of the capital city, Connaught Place, Gurudwara Bangla Sahib was constructed in the 18th century at the site where eighth Sikh Guru Harkrishan Dev Ji stayed and nursed the hundreds of victims of Delhi’s Cholera and Smallpox epidemic before his death in 1964. The Gurudwara was named after Guru Harkrishan Sahib Ji down the line.
Gurudwara site consists of a magnificent and phenomenal gurudwara sahib topped by spectacular golden onion domes, a majestic pond which is considered to be the star attraction of the visitors here, an opulent Langar (community kitchen) Hall in which over 500 people can eat free meals together, and a small but awe-inspiring museum, imbibing the chronology of Sikhism, its gurus and martyrs. If you are feeling like plunging into the deep adoration of God while being in the lap of peace, Gurudwara Banglasahib, auspiciously, is heaven on earth for you.
After you climb the conveniently reclined and horizontally long ladders at the entrance, an open corridor, covered with an artistically designed overhead sheet to protect the devotees from sunshine and rain, takes you to the stunningly wide doorway of Gurdwara Sahib. At the corner of the doorway stands a janitor, in a traditional Sikh dress with long beards, a turban and a javelin in his hand.
From here, you have to elbow your way through the concourse of devotees to take that mesmerizing look of Guru Granth Sahib. Draped in the shining velours, the holy crib of Guru Granth Sahib looks inexpressibly divine and so beautiful to die for. A priest sitting by steadily fans Guru Granth Sahib with a Chaur (a ceremonial fan made up of Yak hair). On the left, sits three spiritual singers who sing melodious Punjabi spiritual songs, fuelling the whole premise with the sense of devotional reverie.
The thick walls and pillars are wearing invariantly cemented golden sheet with rich traditional artistic texture inscribed on it. After the phenomenal all-round beauty, you see up towards the ceiling only to witness the contemporary fore-ceiling art that looks so striking that it adds another moon to the overall charm of Gurudwara Sahib. And, from that aesthetic ceiling, hang the huge and dazzling chandeliers which further embellish the mystique of Darbar of Guru Sahib.
After experiencing an atmosphere full of spiritual enthusiasm, now you pass through an open corridor, systematically, covered by a two-paired string of golden chains from both sides. The devotees are sitting at both sides to explore their spirituality and try & connect with the divine and supreme Waheguru, by being absorbed into the melodic stream of musical aroma permeated into the whole vicinity.
Now, the exit of Gurudwara Sahib opens to a phenomenal panorama of holy Sarovar (a Pond). The square-shaped Sarovar lies downward that you’ve got to climb down the narrow but outstretched stairs just after the exit of Gurudwara Sahib to reach there. Once there, you are rewarded with a fabulous view of the Sarovar, housing innumerable fish. Throughout the Sarovar lies a walking stretch along, on which the devotees orbit after getting purified with the holy water of Sarovar as it is said to have healing properties.
None of the spiritual journey end without the ‘special Prashad’. Here, special is used because every pilgrimage has its different but special Prashad which purifies your senses, and fills you with the spiritual positivity. In Gurudwara Bangla sahib, you get a divine taste of purity in the form of ‘Karah Prasad’. Made up of whole wheat flour and desi ghee, the mild aroma of Karah Prasad will, undoubtedly, wake up all your spiritual senses. And, its taste will, probably, not just you but bless your taste buds too.
The visitors of Gurudwara Bangla Sahib are blessed with unique goodness. And, that goodness reflects in the hours-long Langar (Community Kitchen), in which all the visitors, irrespective of their caste, religion, race or region, are served tasty and delicious free food. The Langar in Gurudwara Sahib is organised twice-daily which lasts up to 4 hours each time.
The usual menu of daily langar includes the freshly made Whole Wheat Tawa Roti, which are hot enough to let you enjoy the real taste of Indian Chapati, secondly, the mixed Daal, made up of almost all types of pulses grown in India, that is bristled with the vital nutrients and yet, delicious enough to spoil your taste buds, and the boiled rice, which are lite and digestible to all.
The Langar hall is located at the left and slightly separate from the Gurudwara Sahib complex. A spacious and colossal bulwark hall teeming with the echoing of steel utensils, and the loud but sweet and courting voices of dozens of volunteers serving food to the hundreds of people sitting in long queues and their backs against each other.
Right outside the Langar hall, in the corridor sit hundreds of people filled with absolute devotion chanting ‘Waheguru’, and waiting with discipline for their turn to turn in for eating in Langar.
Gurudwara Bangla Sahib is a place replete with devotion, sanctity and spirituality. The devotional spirit here gives your mind and soul a soothing spa. The devotees come here to achieve internal peace. The peace that they couldn’t find even after becoming a millionaire. The peace that they have been yearning for. And Gurudwara Bangla Sahib blesses them with that absolute peace of mind.