Guru Ram Rai Gurudwara was built in the early 17th century. It is the oldest Gurudwara in Dehradun. Darbar Shri Guru Ram Rai Ji Maharaj is an important place of worship for the Sikh community living in Dehradun. It is a famous Sikh pilgrimage center in Dehradun.
Gurudwara Ram Rai Ji is located in the heart of Dehradun. Many devotees visit belonging to different sects and communities. This magnificent monument boasts a glorious history. It also has great religious significance. It remains open for visitors on all days from 7 am to 7 pm.
The architecture of Darbar Shri Guru Ram Rai
- The Gurudwara Ram Rai in Dehradun is a perfect example of Indo-Islamic architectural grandeur. The building showcases domes, minarets, and murals reflecting a mixed culture which suggests spiritual enlightenment.
- Several portraits of gods, goddess, saints, sages and religious descriptive paintings can be adorning the walls.
- Illustrations of brightly painted murals of flowers, leaves, animals, birds, and trees can be seen here.
- One can see the pictures of similar faces with sharp features decorating the walls. The stoic human figures with a pointed nose and big eyes on the arches presents a symbol of the colour scheme of Kangra-Guler and Mughal art.
- The high minarets and the round pinnacles decorating the Gurudwara depict the Muslim architecture. One can see a huge pond in the front, measuring 230x 80 feet.
- Since the pond wasn’t maintained and it went dry soon. People started throwing waste into it which ruined its placidness. Now this pond has been revived and reconstructed which attracts many visitors.
- Main Building: The main building of Guru Ram Rai Gurudwara is a magnificent structure constructed with a combination of marble, concrete, and other durable materials. It typically has a rectangular shape with an impressive entrance gate. The exterior walls may feature intricate carvings, decorative elements, and Sikh symbols.
- Dome: Guru Ram Rai Gurudwara often showcases a dome as a prominent architectural feature. The dome is usually placed at the center of the building, symbolizing spirituality and unity among the Sikh community. It is typically adorned with decorative motifs and sometimes topped with a kalash (ornamental pinnacle).
- Langar Hall: Similar to other gurudwaras, Guru Ram Rai Gurudwara has a spacious langar hall. This community kitchen serves free meals (langar) to all visitors, regardless of their social status or background. The langar hall is designed to accommodate a large number of people and provides a welcoming space for communal dining.
- Prayer Hall: The prayer hall (Darbar Sahib) is the heart of Guru Ram Rai Gurudwara, where devotees gather for prayer, singing of hymns, and listening to religious discourses. The hall is typically spacious and well-lit, with a focal point for the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy scripture of Sikhism. The interiors are often adorned with beautiful artwork, including frescoes and paintings depicting Sikh history and teachings.
- Gilded Decorations: Guru Ram Rai Gurudwara may feature gilded decorations and embellishments, adding a touch of grandeur to the architecture. Gold or gold-colored accents can be found on the domes, entrance gates, and interior elements, symbolizing the reverence and devotion of the Sikh community.
- Courtyard: Like many gurudwaras, Guru Ram Rai Gurudwara typically has an open courtyard (parikrama) surrounded by the main building and other structures. The courtyard serves as a gathering space for devotees, providing a serene environment for meditation, reflection, and community activities.
- Reflecting Sikh Principles: The architecture of Guru Ram Rai Gurudwara embodies the principles of Sikhism, emphasizing inclusiveness, equality, and service to humanity. The design aims to create a peaceful and welcoming atmosphere, inviting people from all walks of life to experience spirituality and connect with the teachings of Guru Ram Rai.
- The architecture of Guru Ram Rai Gurudwara combines elegance and spirituality, creating a sacred space for worship, community engagement, and religious celebrations. Visitors to the Gurudwara can admire the architectural details, participate in the religious rituals, and experience the tranquil ambiance that facilitates devotion and reflection.
History of Darbar Shri Guru Ram Rai
- According to the legend, Guru Ram Rai was ostracized from the society for becoming a Sikh Guru. People forced him to leave his native place after which he came to Dehradun in 1676.
- Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb realized his presence who was enamoured by the cosmic powers of Guru Ram Rai Ji.
- Therefore, he asked then Raja of Garhwal, Fateh Shah to extend all possible help to Shri Guru Ram Ji. In the beginning, a Gurudwara was built at Dhamawala in Dehradun.
- Whilst, the construction of the present building of Darbar Sahib was completed in 1707.
- The name of Dehradun has been kept after the historical event when Shri Guru Ram Rai Ji, the eldest son of the seventh Sikh Guru Har Rai Ji set his ‘Dera’ (camp) in ‘Dun’ (valley) in 1676.
- This ‘Dera in Dun’ later became the name of the city Dehradun.
Religious Significance of Gurudwara Ram Rai
- Guru Ram Rai Gurudwara Darbar Sahib is the most famous religious center of the Udaseen sect of Sikh community. The gurudwara enshrines Adigrantha, the holy book of Sikhs in its epicenter.
- Devotees from all across the country throng this place during the annual festival of Jhanda Ji.
- It takes place on the 5th day after Holi. The festival is held in the memory of Guru Ram Rai Ji and observes a flag hoisting ceremony.
- The Gurudwara houses a large dining hall where they cook the free meals in the community kitchen. They serve the food to the people irrespective of caste, gender, and creed.
The Guru Ram Rai Gurudwara also popular as Jhanda Sahib is popular for its religious and philanthropic activities of Mahant Indresh Ji. The Gurudwara Ram Rai Trust successfully runs many prestigious educational institutions, Medical college, hospital, and charitable trust. Under its patronage, SGRR Education Mission has been providing quality education and healthcare to lakhs of people.
It has well-equipped 1000 bed Hospital, 150 MBBS seats of Medical College, a College of Nursing, a College of Paramedical & Allied Health Sciences, a PG College, an Institute of Technology and Science, a B.Ed. and M.Ed. College, a College of Agriculture, a Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya and more than 120 Hindi & English Medium Public Schools.
From this, large-scale repair and restoration work have been done at Darbar Sahib for preserving the rare ancient paintings that has an essence of Mughal, Pahari and Rajasthani style.
How to Reach Guru Ram Rai Gurudwara
- Gurudwara Guru Ram Rai is located at the center of Dehradun city near Saharanpur Chowk and Paltan Bazaar road.
- It is the oldest and holiest pilgrimage for Sikh community in Dehradun. The gurudwara is only 500 metres away from Dehradun railway station.
- One can easily reach here by taking the city bus or shared autos or Vikram.
- Jolly Grant airport at 25 km away is the nearest air connectivity to this place.
Address: Guru Ram Rai Market, Machi Gali, Jhanda Mohalla, Dehradun