Delhi ka Gurdwara

Photo of Delhi ka Gurdwara by Aadit Jain

My first visit to a Gurdwara was suprising in many ways, it was at Sri Bangla Sahib Gurdwara in Delhi next to Connaught place. It is a huge Gurdwara in the center of the city with the pond as big as the temple within the premises. The pond is used by people to practice some rituals.

Photo of Bangla Sahib Gurdwara, Baba Kharak Singh Road, Hanuman Road Area, Connaught Place, New Delhi, Delhi, India by Aadit Jain

We enter the place and the first thing we were required to do was put off our shoes , since it was a big temple there was an entire section with 10-15 counters only for footwear storage and surprise surprise, behind counter 1 was an easily 60+ year old lady, counter 2 had a healthy adult 30 +male and behind counter 3 was a father – son due where the parent was instructing his 5 year old son to take shoes. Now these were all volunteers a part of the Sikh community who want to spend their time in helping out at the Gurdwara as and when possible . This was an amazing amount of work done by the community , for the community instead of handing it over to some attendant or hired worker to do the job for them. It enable inclusiveness within the community , bonds are formed between people of different age groups and people from varied income backgrounds are a part of a common thing and same in the eyes of their gurus because of the Gurdwara

Then we moved on to tie the headband around our head which was in holy colors and dipped our leg in the waters before climbing the steps to the Gurdwara. At the entrance of the gurudwara , you’ll find one person (Granthi) at the center before their main deity of worship swinging something with his hands and leading the proceeding like how a master musician does with an orchestra, then there’s the wonderful kirtan being sung and played by talented musician and people sitting and embracing the spirit of just being there. I’m sure it’s a place for peace of mind for some people, to just leave your life troubles outside the door of the Gurdwara and become a part of the soulful vibe within the gurudwara

We did a round of the Gurdwara and exited the main temple and onto the pond beside it. It was a beautiful setting with the clear night sky , no tall buildings around the place to obstruct the sky views ,a mild cold breeze and beautiful moon’s light just lighting up the marble enclosed pond.

Photo of Delhi ka Gurdwara by Aadit Jain

Then on the way to collect the shoes we were trying to decipher what was written in Punjabi at the top of the Gurdwara, a random person comes over and asks us what they wanted to know and explains the about the religion to help us and spread awareness. After you’re done with the darshan, they give you a fist full of laapi (Indian sweet) and it was delicious.

Fast forward to the footwear counters , the volunteers were actually also polishing your shoes before giving it back to you, just like a cobbler sitting on the streets of India, there was a person sitting on a small stool and guiding other volunteers on how to polish. Polishing was unnecessary but still a practice followed at that Gurdwara and it felt awesome to be a part of a place like that which just had such a helpful community.