(All photos courtesy: indiatimes.com)
Originally the bungalow was Bangla Sahib –
Many people consider it to be a Sikh temple, but in reality it used to be the bungalow of Raja Jai Singh. He was a ruler in the 17th century. The bungalow was called Jaisinghpura Palace. The place where Guru Bangla Sahib is built today was earlier called Jaisingh Pura, which is now known as Connaught Place.
8th Sikh Guru lived in this bungalow –
It is said that Guru Har Krishna, the 8th Guru of the Sikhs, lived in this bungalow. In that year there was an epidemic of smallpox and cholera. The eighth Sikh Guru then began to treat the people by giving them fresh water from a well in the bungalow. But later he too got infected with this disease and died. Raja Jai Singh then dedicated this bungalow to the eighth Sikh Guru.
The properties of curing diseases in the lake –
After his death, Raja Jai Singh built a small pond over the well. The water of this pond is believed to have healing properties. Sikhs from all over the world come here and take water from the pond, which they also call ‘Amrit’.
Kitchen runs 365 days –
If you have ever been to a Gurudwara, you must have seen that free food is served here without any charge. It is called anchor. Believe me, the food of langar is very tasty. You will be surprised to know that the hall of Bangla Sahib is so big that 800-900 people can sit together and eat langar in it. It is estimated that 35 to 75 thousand people eat langar every day here. The langar starts from 5 in the morning and runs till late at night. The good thing is that anyone can help in making langar by going to the kitchen. This kitchen is open 365 days.
Cheapest Diagnostic Center –
After feeding thousands of people over the years, now a cheap diagnostic center has been started here to provide affordable healthcare to the poor. For the MRI scan which is done in private hospitals, only 50 rupees are taken from the people here. The Diagnostic Center has also started a Kidney Dialysis Hospital. Interestingly and astonishingly, there is no cash or billing counter in the complex as patients are admitted here free of cost. People coming from outside Delhi can stay in the rooms of the Gurudwara and have food in the Langar Hall.