It is not a tour that you may take up randomly. It is rather a calling that destines you to reach the Guru’s Abode and blesses you in spirit. The train journey takes you the five holy ‘Takhts’ of India – Anandpur Sahib, Amritsar Bhatinda, Nanded and Patna. A journey to the sacred soil of saints, seers and Gurus begins.
The tour also helped to showcase Punjab’s ancient culture and heritage, customs, practices and most importantly, its spiritual side. The itinerary is aimed at tourists seeking spiritual experience, especially focusing on non-resident Indians.
The train was flagged of from the Safdarjung Railway Station in New Delhi. The train reached the historical town of Anandpur Sahib that is the sear for Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib – Anandpur Sahib’. It is one of the most sacred pilgrimages of the Sikhs. Located on the lower spurs of the Himalayas surrounded by picturesque natural scenery, it is lined by the river Satluj forming a shimmering and shiny blue border towards the south west barely four kilometers away. This is where the guru created the Khalsa and a personal space, Gurdwara Anand Karaj Sahib, where Guru Gobind Rai’s marriage with Mata Jito took place.
The train then reached Amritsar, where stands the Golden Temple and Sri Akal Takht Sahib and Sri Darbar Harmandir Sahib. It is a symbol of both magnificence and strength. The evolution of Darbar Harmindar Sahib, has entwined the history and ideology of Sikhism.
On the fourth day the train moved to Bhatinda ‘Takht Sri Damdama Sahib’ or ‘Taiwandi Sabo’ in district Bhatinda. It is where the guru sought rest and refuge during his battles with the Mughals. Guru Gobind Singhji stayed in Damdama Sahib for nine months and it was here that he worked on the Adi Granth. He made Damdama the centre for propagating the Sikh faith and called it ‘Khalsa De Takht’ or Throne of the Khalsa. He had a special stamp issued bearing the inscription Amal Sahal, Guru Gobind Singh Ji Ki Jagha Takht Damdama Ji’ that demonstrates the importance of this place. The stamp was used on all the important documents issued by the guru from Damdama Sahib. The train than departs for Nanded.
Nanded and ‘Takht Sachkhand Sri Hazur Sahib’ is the principal shrine, located about half a kilometre from the left bank of the river Godavari. It marks the site where the guru had his camp in 1708 AD after the departure of the Emperor Bahadur Shah.
The 10th guru held his court and congregation here and this shrine is erected on the very site of his own tent where he was convalescing after being attacked by assailants and where from he rose to the heaven along with his horse Dilbag. One can enjoy the langar at Hazur Sahib.
The next destination is Patna, Bihar and is reached by a flight, the last takht of the journey. ‘Takht Sri Patna Sahib’ is located approximately 20 kilometres from the Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Airport, Patna.
After arriving at Takht Sri Patna Sahib’, you will perform full day rituals in the Gurudwara. The Gurudwara was founded in remembrance of the birth place of Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th guru of the Sikhs on December 22, 166. It was built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1780- 1839), the first Maharaja of the Sikh Empire, on the bank of river Ganges.
The tour was an experience of simple devotion as all sightseers got a chance to pay obeisance and complete their circuit of the five Sikh takhts.
The spiritual journey may be over, but the memory will stay with us forever’ This is all about ‘A spiritual journey to the Guru’s abode’ on the Deccan Odyssey.
Day 1: Delhi – Board (The Deccan Odyssey)
Day 2: Anandpur Sahib – Kiratpur Sahib (Takht Sri Keshargarh Sahib)
Day 3: Amritsar (Sri Akal Takht Sahib)
Day 4: Bhatinda (Takht Sri Damdama Sahib)
Day 5: Jaipur
Day 6: Agra
Day 7: Nanded (Takht Sachkhand Sri Hazur Sahib)
Day 8: Mumbai – Patna (Takht Sri Patna Sahib)
Day 9: Patna – Delhi