81-km via Nahan, Sirmour District
Houses: Gurudwara Paonta Sahib and Paonta
Famous As A: Sikh Pilgrimage
a city sacred to the memory of Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru of
the Sikhs, is also a bustling township with growing industries. It
retains tangibly memorials to the martial Guru in the form of his
weapons and a majestic Gurudwara and recalls his presence even in
the name of the city which is derived from "paon" meaning
"foot" either because he set foot in this place or
according to an alternative story, because he lost an ornament which
he wore on his foot called a "paonta" while bathing in the
river Yamuna which flows here.
Overlooking the river is the Gurudwara where Guru Gobind Singh held
court and wrote the major portion of the "Dassam Granth".
The Guru also built the Paonta Fort in over hundred acres of land,
which housed not only his followers, but as many as 46 famous poets.
Regular poetry reading sessions and symposiums were organised to
encourage the sort form. The guru left Paonta Sahib after the battle
of Bhangani with Raja Fateh Shah, in which he defeated the errant
ruler's army after thirty days of battle.
Surrounded by a
sal forest and on the banks of river Yamuna, the historic town of
Paonta Sahib (350m) was founded by a tenth sikh guru, Guru Gobind
Singh. When only 16 years old, the Guru left Anandpur Sahib and
on the invitation of Raja Maidini Prakash of Sirmour, lived at this
beautiful spot for over four years. The historic gurudwara
commemorates his stay and interestingly the water of the Yamuna fall
silent below this- which happened at the Guru's behest. The old
'Paonta' means 'Space for a foothold'.
Paonta Sahib is connected by road. From paontasahibji it is 81
km via Nahan and 60 km via Rajban. From Dehradun, it is 44
km. The closest railheads are at Ambala and Dehradun. The
nearest airports are at Chandigarh and Dehradun. Taxis/buses are
available for Paonta Sahib at all places.
In winter, the temperature can hover around freezing point when heavy
woollens are required. Summer temperature are high and cottons
PAONTA SAHIB: This site was Guru Gobind Singh's home for over
four years and it was here that he wrote the Dasam Granth.
Within its precincts are the Sri Tlab Asthan where he disbursed
salaries and the Sri Dastar Asthan were he judged the turban -tying
competitions. At the Kavi Darbar Asthan poetic symposia were
held. There is also a memorial to Kalpi Rishi and a museum that
displays pens of the Guru and weapons of the time.
This ancient shrine is immediately below the gurudwara and is
dedicated to the goddess Yamuna.
TIRGARH SAHIB (22 km): This is built on the hillock from
where Guru Gobind Singh shot arrows at the enemy.
BHANGANI SAHIB (23 km): This commemorates Guru Gobind Singh's first
battle when he defeated Raja Fateh Sahib and his allies..
PATLIAN (4.5 km): Surrounded by fields and sal trees, the linga
in this temple is supposed to be steadily increasing in size.
SHRINE OF BABA
GARIB NATH (8 km): Located in a sal forest and with an excellent
view of the area, the shrine is revered by childless women.
Within Paonta Sahib and also known as the 'Mandir Shri Dei Ji Sahiba,
this is located near the Yamuna bridge. With exquisite marble
work, this was built in 1889 in memory of Raja Partap Chand of Kangra
by his wife who originally belonged to Sirmour. The Kirpal Dass
Gurudwara is just part of the temple.
SHERGARH SAHIB (12 km): At this spot Guru Gobind Singh
beheaded a dangerous man-eating tiger with a single swipe of this
WILDLIFE SANCTUARY: 12 km off the main Paonta Sahib Nahan road,
this is known for a variety of bird life.
km): Here are the remains of the old capital of the princely
state of Sirmour. The town is said to have been destroyed by
flood in the 11th century, when it was cursed by a dancing girl.
(16 km): Built in a hollow near the village of Puruwallia, this
temple is closely allied with the legend of Sirmour's erstwhile ruling
TEMPLE (30 km): Also known as Uttam Wala Bara Ban, this is on
the Paonta Sahib-Nahan road. The Shrine is revered by local
people. At this spot, the forces of Sirmour defeated the
maruding armies of Ghulam Qadir Khan Rohiolla.
NAHAN (45 km):
Built in a series of interlocking circles, this charming town was
funded by Raja Karan Prakash of Sirmour in 1621. It has numerous
pleasing walks, several temples, a gurudwara and interesting
architecture - including many old places.
SAKETI (60 km): This was the site of the largest fossil find in
the Siwalik hills. The park has a museum and life-size models of
the animals that once roamed these tracts.
TEMPLE, TRILOKPUR (63 km): Legend has it that the Devi's pindi
appeared in the bag of slot brought by a local trader. The
temple built by Raja Deep Parkash of Sirmour in 1573. close by
is a recently built Shiva Temple.
FISHING: The most popular trek in the area is to the 3,647m high
Choordhar - which poetically translates as the "Mountain of the
silver bangle". HPTDC also organises Trekking Package from its
Marketing Office, Chandigarh. Tel.No. 91-172-708569, Fax No.
possible on the Giri and Yamuna rivers near Paonta Sahib.
Tourism's Hotel Yamuna has an unparalleled location. It is barely
hundred metres from the Gurudwara and overlooks the river. A
specious lawn bordered by tall trees gives it considerable charm and
Hotel Yamuna, Paonta Sahib (HP) 173025. Tel: 01704-22341, 24161.
All rooms are
airy, spacious, decently furnished and have attached baths with
running hot and cold water.
Laundry and dry-cleaning arranged.
premises. Taxis arranged.
Serves Indian, Chinese and Himachal Cuisine.