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Anandpur The City Of Bliss - Book By Dr Mohinder Singh
Summary of 'Anandpur The City Of Bliss' By Dr Mohinder Singh
Anandpur Sahib, the City of Bliss, is one of the important centres of Sikh religion. Founded by the ninth Guru, Tegh Bahadur, in AD 1664, the city came into prominence during the period of his son and successor, Guru Gobind Singh. Situated in the picturesque lower spurs of the Shivalik mountain ranges on the left bank of river Sutlej, the holy city is dotted by a number of historical gurdwaras. It was here that Guru Gobind Singh created the Order of the Khalsa at Takhat Kesgarh, which is one of the five centres of Sikh temporal authority.
Guru Gobind Singh protected the city by constructing a number of forts at strategic points, the most important of them being Kesgarh, Anandgarh, Lohgarh, Holgarh and Taragarh. It was at Anandpur that Guru Gobind Singh provided training to his followers in warfare and created special squads called the Nihangs, described as knight-errants of Guru Gobind Singh.
Though famous as the birthplace of the Khalsa, Anandpur is also know for its festivals, the most important of them being Hola Mahalla when the Nihangs take out huge processions and display their martial arts amidst the sprinkling of colours and beating of drums. The festival attracts thousands of visitors from different parts of the country and abroad. During the terecentenary of the creation of the Khalsa in 1999 over five millions pilgrims from all over world visited the holy city. An impressive Sikh Heritage Complex is being built at Anandpur which promises to be one of the wonders of the world.
The text by Dr. Mohinder Singh, an eminent Sikh historian and Director, National Institute of Panjab Studies, New Delhi, provides a fascinating account of Anandpur Sahib. Pictures taken by Sondeep Shankar, India's leading photographer, provide rare glimpses of the holy city, its gurdwaras, forts, havelis, gates and, above all, Nihangs with their weapons, colourful costumes and martial arts.