From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Nankana Sahib
Mains level : Significance of Nankana Sahib in Sikhism
Recently tension mounted in Pakistan after few goons vandalized the Nankana Sahib Gurdwara.
- Nankana Sahib is a city of 80,000 in Pakistan’s Punjab province, where Gurdwara Janam Asthan (also called Nankana Sahib Gurdwara) is located.
- The shrine is built over the site where Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, was believed to be born in 1469.
- It was constructed by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, after he visited Nankana Sahib in 1818-19 while returning from the Battle of Multan.
- It is 75 kms to the west of Lahore, and is the capital of Nankana Sahib district.
- The city was previously known as Talwandi, and was founded by Rai Bhoi, a wealthy landlord.
- Rai Bhoi’s grandson, Rai Bular Bhatti, renamed the town ‘Nankana Sahib’ in honour of the Guru. ‘Sahib’ is an Arabic-origin epithet of respect.
- During British rule, the Gurdwara Janam Asthan was the site of a violent episode when in 1921, over 130 Akali Sikhs were killed after they were attacked by the Mahant of the shrine.
- The incident is regarded as one of the key milestones in the Gurdwara Reform Movement, which led to the passing of the Sikh Gurdwara Act in 1925 that ended the Mahant control of Gurdwaras.
- In 2014, Pakistan had a memorial for the massacre built.