81-km via Nahan, Sirmour District
Houses: Gurudwara Paonta Sahib
and Paonta Fort
Famous As A: Sikh Pilgrimage
Sahib, 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
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 are recommended.
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.
TEMPLE: 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..
TEMPLE, PATLIAN (4.5 km): Surrounded
by fields and sal trees, the linga in this temple is
supposed to be steadily increasing in size.
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.
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 sword.
WILDLIFE SANCTUARY: 12
km off the main Paonta Sahib Nahan road, this is known for a
variety of bird life.
(16 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
TEMPLE (16 km): Built
in a hollow near the village of Puruwallia, this temple is
closely allied with the legend of Sirmour's erstwhile ruling
DEVI 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.
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.
PARK 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.
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. 91-172-708569.
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 character.
Hotel Yamuna, Paonta Sahib (HP) 173025.
are airy, spacious, decently furnished and have attached
baths with running hot and cold water.
service. Laundry and dry-cleaning arranged.
within premises. Taxis arranged.
Serves Indian, Chinese and Himachal Cuisine.