Saturday, April 27, 2013

Nanakmatta Sahib (Unknown Kumoun: 1)

Unknown Kumon Site Map

Nanakmatta Sahib (Unknown Kumoun: 1)
Tanakpur (Unknown Kumoun: 2)
Chalthi and Champawat (Unknown Kumoun 3)
Lohaghat and Advaita Ashram (Unknown Kumoun 4)
Pithoragarh (Unknown Kumoun 5)
Jhulaghat on the India-Nepal border (Unknown Kumoun 6)
Baitadi Nepal (Unknown Kumoun 7)
Dharchula (Unknown Kumoun 8)
Ritha Sahib Gurudwara (Unknown Kumoun 9)
Basantpur village (Unknown Kumoun 10)
Last village on the mountains (Unknown Kumoun 11)
Most dangerous Nandour valley (Unknown Kumoun 12)
End of trail at Chorgalia (Unknown Kumoun 13)

Year after year I was coming to Tanakpur.
For the sheer scenic beauty and serenity of the Sharda River that makes border between India and Nepal from near Tibet to near Tanakpur.
It is December and I catch a bus from Moradabad to Tanakpur, but this time I cannot resist my temptation to leave the bus at Nanakmatta although my ticket is up to Tanakpur. Several times I passed through this pleasingly green area and Gurudwara was always visible from far-far away and then one gets a glimpse of blue Nanak Sagar reservoir. This is a Tarai area, that is the base of Himalayas so mountains are always visible and sky is mostly azure here.
This decision to stay a night here turns out a rewarding one. I walk into the grand Gurudwara and given a room and after I arrange my belongings I come to the reservoir with my loincloth, in the month of December water is cold so I take a brief bath. Nanak Sagar is made by making a barrage on the Deoha Stream. Well at this time I didn’t know that in about two week I will walk along this stream and get lost in the Himalayas; in the elephants and leopards territory. Elephants as well leopard will attack me. Anyway long story and hopefully I will write it down in this series. It is just a start and usually I start writing something and end up writing something else.

Nanakmatta Gurudwara

It is same as I start to visit some place and end up visiting some other place. I never planned to arrive in Nanakmatta and here I am. And I never planned to take a trek from Rithasahib and then I got lost – insult to injury – I got lost near the end of the trail. Help arrived from unexpected place and I was to walk to Haldwani but ended up in Chorgalia.
Well – long story. Hope you are curious enough to know it all.
So I am in Nanakmatta and it is 2PM.
Nanakmatta is associated with Guru Nanak Dev and Guru Hargobind. The Gurudwara is located 15 kilometres from Khatima Railway Station on road to Tanakpur and about 10 kilomters from Sitargang. It is one of three Sikh holy places in the state, with others being Gurdwara Hem Kunt Sahib and Reetha Sahib. Gurudwara Sri Nanakmatta Sahib is related with Sri Guru Nanak Dev who went there during his third Udasi in 1514, in which he travelled to Mount Kailash and Mansarover. In those times, Gurdwara Sri Nanakmatta Sahib was the habitat of the devotees of Guru Gorakhnath and it was called “Gorakhmata”.

Nanakmatta Gurudwara
Nanakmatta to Rithasahib is about 60 kilometers as a crow flies but actual distance by road is at least 210 kilometers. After Nanakmatta Sagar are a small patch of farms and then wilderness begins, and then turns into the Himalayas. Several mountains brooks converge into Nanakmatta Sagar. That whole area after the reservoir is Nandhour wildlife Sanctuary (Declared as wildlife sanctuary in 2012) and only road passes through the dense foliage is from Tanakpur to Halduwani. Only one small village Chorgalia lies in the vast wilderness. Nandhour sanctuary is famous for Elephants, Lion, Bear and Leopards. The Wildlife Institute of India in 2004 recognised Nandhaur as one of three viable habitats key to the long-term future of the leopards. This area has the world’s densest population of tigers and leopards.
After I take bath, I pay my respects in the Gurudwara prayer hall and then explore the small town. It is mostly agriculture community and many people from Punjab bought agriculture land here and are prosperous people. In those days land was cheaper here and they worked hard and turned this area into a fertile belt. Sikhs can be seen in this whole area owning restaurants, hotels, dhabas and farm machinery manufacturing shops.

Baoli Sahib Gurudwara
After a stroll in the market when I am returning to Gurudwara, I find 2 boys, a woman and a fat Sardarjee who is completely drunk. He is being dragged to Gurudwara where he will be taking and oath for not to drink liquor for one whole year. Sardarjee’s sons and wife are struggling hard to keep him straight and walking but time and again he fall down. I offer them my help and they gladly accept. We all help Sardarjee. When he is near the gate we all sit down on the floor to have some rest.
His wife tells me, “Each year we drag him here and he takes an oath for not to drink for one full year. He marks that date on the calendar and begins drinking oly after that date. Then he drinks day and night and creates a hell for us.”
They are tailors.
We wait for one full hour to give Sardarjee some time to doze off and then we are again ready to drag him to the prayer hall.
I ask him, “Sardarjee why don’t you take an oath to drink just one quarter each day in stead of no drinking for one whole year?”
Sardarjee shouts, “^%$#@#$ When I start #$#@$ I cannot $###$%%^^#@ finish. @#^%^%# all oaths break then @#$%@. Your all’s phen de %$$#@#$. Your all’s maa de %$$#@#$.”
We are about to enter but priests ask us to wait a bit more to let him doze off more because it is inappropriate for him to enter in the darbar-sahib.
At this point I leave them.
In the evening I visit my room and gong tells that tea is ready in Langar hall. After tea I walk by the reservoir. A gurudwara is made in the water, it is called Baoli Sahib. A bridge leads to this Gurudwara from the levy. One can walk on the path around the Nanaksagar for about ten kilometers and that is about more than half of the perimeter and this walk is very refreshing.
From pilgrimage point of view, Nanakmatta has many other places to visit (beside the main Nanakmatta Gurudwara).
Doodh Wala Khuan: Dhoodh Wala Kuan means Well of Milk. It is located near Gurudwara Nanak Matta Sahib.
Mythology around this place is as follows:
The yogis who occupied this place had a large number of cows. Guruji asked Bhai Mardana to ask the yogis for some milk and yogis refused because they were envious of the Guru Nanak’s fame. By virtue of his spiritual powers, Guru Sahib drew all the milk from the cows of the yogis and stored it in a well. This historic well is now constructed as Gurudwara Doodh Wala Kuan.

Path at the perimeter of Nanak Sagar
Baoli Sahib: It is situated on the banks of the Ghaghar River in the town of Nanakmatta near Nanak Sagar Dam. It is about 2km from Gurudwara Nanakmatta Sahib.
Mythology around this place is as follows:
The yogis, using magical powers dried up the water of this area. After doing so they challenged Guru Nanak Dev Ji to bring water here. Guru Nanak Dev ji instructed Bhai Mardana to pick up a spade and drag the river behind him. He was told not to look back. River started to follow Mardana as he dragged his spade over the ground. When he reached this place, he looked back to see if the river was coming behind him. Immediately, the river stopped following him and stopped at this place. When the river stopped its flow, Guru ji asked the yogis to use their occult powers and move the river further. They realized their fault and fell at the feet of the Guru, accepting their defeat. A baoli was constructed here thereafter known as Baoli Sahib.

Nanakmatta Gurudwara
Peepal Tree:
Mythology around this place is as follows:
Guru Nanak Dev ji meditated under this dry pipal tree, which turned green. The yogis were surprised to see him meditating at this place was quite inaccessible and especially during the winter months. The yogis were jealous of Guru Nanak Dev ji so in order to obstruct the meditation of him they tried to pull out the peepal tree with their occult powers. The roots of the tree started coming out from the earth’s surface to fly in the air. Guruji then placed his hands on the roots of the Pipal tree, to avoid the tree from coming out completely. The roots of the pipal tree above the ground can be seen even today. A century after the Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s visit Bhai Almast sahib came here. Yogis burnt this tree to take revenge from Bhai Almast. Bhai Almast Ji then called Guru Har Gobind Sahib Ji to take the possession of this place and to restore it as a Sikh shrine. Guru Ji sprinkled saffron on the pipal tree which came back to its full bloom.
It was a very refreshing and memorable stay in Nanakmatta. .

Nanakmatta Gurudwara
Tomorrow I will be going to Tanakpur.
To be continued …


  1. Thank you ...Sir, Great information abt the area...

  2. Thanks lot for your info Please guide me further as I want to go by foot to Reetha Sahib.

    Is that possible for non experience and how much is from Choorgilla to Reetha Sahib.

    1. Choorgalia to Ritha Sahib can be done in two days. It is barely 25 kilometers. One must walk across a mountain pass at about 8000 feet so it is quite a climb. Proper route is Choorgalia - Dugrapipal - Ritha Sahib.

  3. Maximum
    When should we leave nanakmatta- sahib to reach reetha sahib.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


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