Gurudwara Bangla Sahib is one of the most prominent Sikh gurdwaras, or Sikh house of worship, in Delhi, India. It is known for its association with the eighth Sikh Guru, Guru Har Krishan, who stayed here in 1664 and helped the people suffering from a smallpox and cholera epidemic. The water from the well in the gurdwara is believed to have healing properties and is revered by Sikhs all over the world.
The ticket price for visiting the Gurudwara Bangla Sahib is free, as it is a place of worship and service. However, donations are welcome and can be made at the entrance or at the langar hall, where free meals are served to everyone regardless of their religion or background.
The Gurudwara Bangla Sahib is open every day of the week, from 3:45 am to 11:45 pm.
The best time to visit is during the morning or evening prayers, when the hymns are sung and the atmosphere is serene and spiritual. The main prayer hall can accommodate up to 10,000 people at a time.
The Gurudwara Bangla Sahib is located near Connaught Place, a central shopping and business district in Delhi. It can be easily reached by metro, bus, auto-rickshaw or taxi. The nearest metro station is Patel Chowk on the yellow line, which is about 1 km away from the gurdwara. The nearest bus stop is Ashoka Road on route number 522.
The Gurudwara Bangla Sahib complex consists of several buildings and structures, such as the main shrine, the kitchen, the pond, the school and the art gallery. The main attraction is the golden dome and the tall flagpole, Nishan Sahib, which mark the entrance to the gurdwara. The pond, or Sarovar, is a large water body surrounded by marble walkways and columns. It is considered sacred and many devotees take a dip in it before entering the shrine. The kitchen, or Langar, is a huge hall where volunteers prepare and serve food to thousands of visitors every day. The food is simple but delicious and anyone can join in the service or partake in the meal. The school, or Khalsa Girls Senior Secondary School, is an educational institution run by the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee. It provides quality education to girls from poor and marginalized sections of society. The art gallery, or Baba Baghel Singh Sikh Heritage Multimedia Museum, is a modern facility that showcases the history and culture of Sikhism through interactive exhibits and displays.
The Gurudwara Bangla Sahib also offers tours for visitors who want to learn more about Sikhism and its practices. The tours are conducted by knowledgeable guides who explain the significance and history of the gurdwara and its various features. The tours are available in English and Hindi and last for about an hour. The tours can be booked online or at the reception desk near the entrance.
Some tips for visiting the Gurudwara Bangla Sahib are:
- Respect the religious sentiments of the Sikhs and follow their customs. Remove your shoes and cover your head before entering the gurdwara. You can borrow a scarf or a cap from the shoe counter if you don’t have one.
- Avoid wearing revealing or inappropriate clothes. Dress modestly and comfortably.
- Do not take photographs inside the main shrine or near the pond. You can take pictures outside or in other areas with permission.
- Do not smoke, drink alcohol or eat meat inside or near the gurdwara premises. These are prohibited in Sikhism.
- Do not disturb or interrupt the prayers or hymns. Listen quietly and attentively if you want to join in.
- Do not litter or make noise inside or outside the gurdwara. Keep the place clean and peaceful.
Some prohibitions for visiting the Gurudwara Bangla Sahib are:
- Do not enter the gurdwara with any weapons or sharp objects. These are forbidden in Sikhism.
- Do not touch or handle the holy book, Guru Granth Sahib, unless you are a Sikh or have been instructed by a Sikh. The book is treated with utmost reverence and care by Sikhs.
- Do not enter the pond without taking a shower first. The water is considered pure and should not be contaminated by dirt or impurities.
- Do not swim or play in the pond. The pond is meant for spiritual cleansing and meditation.
- Do not feed or harm any animals or birds in or around the gurdwara. They are considered as God’s creation and should be treated with respect.