Anandpur Sahib, the City of Bliss, is one of the important centres of Sikh religion. Founded by the ninth Guru, Tegh Bahadur, in 1664, the city came into prominence during the period of his son and successor, Guru Gobind Singh.
Situated in the picturesque lower spurs of the Shivalik mountain ranges on the left bank of river Sutlej, Anandpur is dotted by a number of historical gurdwaras. It was here that Guru Gobind Singh created the Order of the Khalsa at Takhat Kesgarh, which is one of the five centres of Sikh temporal authority.
Guru Gobind Singh protected the city by constructing a number of forts at strategic points. It was at Anandpur that Guru Gobind Singh provided training to his followers in warfare and created special squads called the Nihangs, described as knight-errants of the Guru.
Though famous as the birthplace of the Khalsa, Anandpur is also known for its festivals, the most important of them being Hola Mahalla when the Nihangs take out huge processions and display their martial arts amidst the sprinkling of colours and beating of drums. The festival attracts thousands of visitors from different parts of India and abroad. An impressive Sikh Heritage Complex is being built at Anandpur.
In the Panjab Heritage series, Anandpur: City of Bliss is illustrated with colour photographs throughout.
Mohinder Singh Photographs by Sondeep Shankar
UBSPD and National Institute of Panjab Studies