Guru Ram Rai Gurudwara ‘Famous Sikh Pilgrimage Center in Dehradun’
Darbar Shri Guru Ram Rai Ji Maharaj is an important place of worship for the Sikh community living in Dehradun. Guru Ram Rai Gurudwara was built in the early 17th century and is the oldest gurudwaras in Doon Valley.
Gurudwara Ram Rai Ji is located in the heart of Dehradun and is visited by devotees belonging to different sects and communities. This magnificent monument boasts a glorious history and 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. Pictures of similar faces with sharp features can be seen 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.
History of Darbar Shri Guru Ram Rai:
According to the legend, Guru Ram Rai was ostracized from the society for becoming a Sikh Guru. He was forced to leave his native place after which he came to Dehradun in 1676. His presence was realised by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, 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 free meals are cooked in the community kitchen. The food is served to the people irrespective of caste, gender, and creed.
Gurudwara Ram Rai’s involvement in social work:
The Guru Ram Rai Gurudwara also popular as Jhanda Sahib is known 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. Apart 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