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Holy and serene.
[Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Not as open and airy as Bangla Sahib gurdwara in Connaught Place, Seesganj Sahib is as serene as any spiritual destination should be. It was built in memory of Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Sikh guru, who was beheaded here on the orders of Emperor Aurangzeb in 1675.
A three-storeyed rectangular building off the main street of Chandni Chowk, the gurdwara adds to the multi-religious character of Old Delhi's popular shopping district, which also has a mosque, a temple and a church.
The chaos of the bazaar disappears as you enter the short flight of stairs and reach a hall that hums with the devotional hymns of raagis, the musicians who sing in front of the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh holy book. The chandeliered hall has a carpeted marble floor where the devotees sit cross-legged with folded hands. In the terrace, the blare of auto horns merges harmoniously with the tabla beats of the raagis coming from inside the prayer hall. The balcony looks onto the bustling Bhai Mati Das Chowk.
Dating from the 17th century, the gurdwara has four small chhatris at each corner and a large one at the centre. The building has seen many additions and modifications. Langar (free food) and lodging facilities are available for devotees. The halwa prasad is delicious and rich in ghee.
Where Main street, Chandni Chowk Metro Stop Chandni Chowk Timing Open 24 hours
Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book
The gurdwara raagis
The terrace pilgrims
Darshan of the holy book
Darshan from outside
View of the Bhai Mati Das Chowk
The night view
Across the road
In God we trust