Heritage Hamlets of the Sikhs, Kashmir 6

Budgam known as Bodgom in Kashmiri language is a town in Budgam district in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Due to the abundance of natural springs ,it is called the land of springs. Budgam is situated in a sub- hilly area with natural landscaping beauty. Budgam was founded by Ayatollah Aga Syed Yousuf Al-Mosavi Al-Safavi,who was a Kashmiri religious scholar and leader of Shia Muslims and was founder of  the Anjuman -e-Sharie organisation. There are more than 225 villages but Sikhs reside in 25 villages namely Dalwash, Fogipora, Arina, Kundu, Narsinghpora, Saidwani, Ichhahama, Gholar, Rankipora, Chaco, Sholigundi, AttinaBonahama, Jawalapora, Heuder, Dalwana, Shogapora, Hayatpora, Zazahbugh, Banday Bagh, Mamat, Khampur Saria, Rangarath and Bemina.


This village is 20 km from the district headquarter Budgam.Total Sikh families are 9,having population approximately 28.


Total Sikh householders are 15 and total population approximately 70. This village is 32 km from district headquarters Budgam.


Kundi village is 28 km from the Budgam district headquarters.Total Sikh families reside in village 4 with population strength approximately 15.


In this village Sikh families are 10 having a total population of about 25. Village is hardly 25 km from the district headquarters Budgam.


Saidwani is at a distance of 30 km from the Budgam district.Sikh householders are 10 with a total population approximately 40.


Ichhahama village is the biggest populated village of Sikhs in district Budgam.Village is about 35 km from the district headquarters Budgam.Sikh householders are 180 with a total population approximately 525. Village Ichahama is situated on a hilltop. Sikhs from Kamraz, Karun and Muzaffarabad had come escaping from the hands of Kabali raiders. People from Berwa also gathered in Ichahama and the number of people was around 2000.  Sikhs made barracks in this area.  Sikhs fought with the Kabalis with great bravery. With the help of guns and hand made artillery, Sikhs killed a large number of Kabalis. 


Gohlar is 22 km from Budgam. About 2 km away from this village is Gurdwara, Guru Nanak Charan Asthan ,Berwa . Authenticity of this Gurdwara is not available in old historic records but it’s mention is traced in Punjabi University’s  “Encyclopaedia of Sikhism”.Gurdwara is situated on the left bank of the Sukhnag tributary .Sikh families are 33 having a total population approximately 134.

Gurdwara Guru Nanak Charan Asthan Berwa.jpg


Early Sikh sources are silent about Guru Nanak’s visit to this site, further research needed.  Before 1947, one Bhai Jahara Singh of Punjab came to the village Tarahama, 8 km from Berwa and started Nam Simran (meditation).  When winter came, local Muslims informed the Sikhs of village Ichhahama about Jahara Singh. They brought him to the village but due to scarcity of water, Jahara Singh left the village and came on the left bank of Sukhnag  tributary and started his meditation in a small kutia (room). In those days a number of Khatri Sehajdhari shopkeepers resided in Berwa and helped him.  A small Gurdwara namely Harimandir Sahib was erected before 1947 and Bhai Sewak Singh performed the duties of a Granthi Singh with devotion. Due to 1948 torrential floods, the Gurdwara building was washed away. In 1975 one Gurmail Singh came from outside the state and erected the Gurdwara building with the help of Kashmiri Sikhs. Later On Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee Budgam renovated the double storey Gurdwara in 2020 along with rooms for pilgrims.


Rankipora is at a distance of 25 km from the Budgam district headquarters.Sikh families reside in this village are about 62 having a total population approximately 489.ed 


It is hardly 18 km from Budgam district. Sikh house holders are 43 having a total population approximately 161.


This village is on a semi-hilly area about  20 km from the district headquarters Budgam. Sikh house holders are 130 having a total population approximately 580.


Bonahama is13 km from the district headquarters Budgam.Sikh families are 128 having a total population approximately 514. Jathedar Lachhman Singh was one of the renowned personalities of the village.


Arina is 8 km from Budgam headquarters and situated near Hush-Nush Nar. Two Sikh  families reside in this village having a population of 10.


Jawalapora is 5 km from Budgam,situated near Hush-Nush Nar .Sikh families residing are 4 with a population of 20.


Heuder is a semi-hilly area about 4 km from Budgam and situated near Hush-Nush Nar. Sikh families are 74 with approximately total population 350.


This village is situated at a hilly tract near Hush-Nush Nar.Sikh families in this village are 39 having a population of 178. It is hardly  km from Budgam district.


Shogapora is one of the most decorated villages , which produced Sikh Indian Army generals. Village is 7 km from the district Budgam and situated near Hush-Nush Nar. Sikh families are 9 having a population approximately 60.


Hayatpora is 7 km from Budgam district.In this village only one Sikh family reside having a population of 12.


Zazabugh is on a hill tract hardly 6 km from Budgam. Sikh families are 10 with a total population strength approximately 58.


This village is 6 km from Budgam. Sikh families are 40 with a total population approximately 280.


Bhat Bagh is 6 km from the district headquarters Budgam. Sikh families are 10 with a total population approximately 42.


Two Sikh families reside in this village having a population of 20. The village in Sikh circles is familiar with kiratpora. Village is 4 km from district headquarters Budgam.


Khampur Saria is situated on a hilly top with beautiful landscaping views,located on the ancient Mughal route. An historic Gurdwara,Gurdwara Chhevin Patshahi, Dharamshala Singhan is situated in this village about less than half a kilometer from the Saria .Sikh householders are 120 having a population approximately 580. Village is hardly 14 km from Budgam district headquarters.

Gurdwara Chhevin Patshahi Dharamshala Singhan.jpg


After Shadi marg, Guru Hargobind Sahib halted at Khampur Sarai, which is about 20 kms from Srinagar. Recently a beautiful Gurdwara has been constructed by Baba Harbans Singh with the help of local Sadh Sangat. Guru Hargobind Sahib came here along with emperor Jehangir in 1620. Gurdwara new building was constructed in 2008 and completed in 2014. The Gurdwara hall is 50 to 70 feet long .An old well is situated at a distance of 200 meters , where Sant Rocha Singh of Nangali  Sahib camped his tents .Total land associated with this Gurdwara is approximately 9 kanals.There are also five old chinar  trees in the periphery of Gurdwara Sahib. Jahangir camped at the place now known as Mughal Saria. Guru ji came from Shadimarg to Khampur Saria via villages Drughama, Ramu, Vihey bugh. The distance from Shadipora to Khampur Saria is hardly 11 km and is on the old Mughal Road. 


Rangrath is situated on a  high slope  about 9 km from Budgam district headquarters . Sikh householders are 70 having a population of approximately 589.


Bemina is hardly 5.8 km from district headquarters Budgam but the nearest locality to Srinagar . Nowadays ,its main area falls in Srinagar municipality.Total Sikh householders are 80 having a total population of about 394.

Gurdwara Shaheed Bunga,Barzala Baghat,Srinagar.jpg


A few sources have mentioned this Gurdwara as a stray reference. The Sikh soldiers of Kashmir and Punjab were killed by the Dogra forces on the banks of the river Dudhganga. On 12 June 1841 AD, those Sikh soldiers were cremated here. Gurdwara 'Shaheed Ganj' has been built in memory of those soldiers. The historicity of this shrine calls for further research. Baba Harbans Singh (Kar Seva Wale) has constructed a white marble building with the support of Sikh Sangat, on which the white domes are visible from afar. About 500-600 Singhs were martyred at this place, whose Angitha thara erected at this site.

Among the martyred Singhs,a survivor Sikh , Bhai Amir Singh, built a platform as a memorial to his brothers. When Maharaja Sher Singh (son of Maharaja Ranjit Singh) came to Srinagar, he granted a lot of land as jagirs with this Gurdwara, which was later confiscated by Dogra Raja Gulab Singh. Bhai Amir Singh was originally from Khushialpura (Gurdaspur). In the time of  Dogra Raja Pratap Singh , Bhai Amir Singh's son Bhai Natha Singh (who was born at this place) requested that there was a lot of land as jagir with Shaheed Gunj, so Pratap Singh exchanged all the land and gave a total of 64 kanals of land to Gurdwara Shaheed Ganj.

Bhai Natha Singh planted a garden in 32 kanals and plowed 32 kanals for crops. All the profits generated from fruits and crops were utilised as income of the Gurdwara. Bhai Natha Singh constructed a small kutia (room) permanently and handed over the Gurdwara to his nephew Bhai Maghar Singh Mistry. Bhai Natha Singh left for Kuhata and Gurdwara management handed permanently to his sister’s son Bhai Maghar Singh. Bhai Sadhu Singh was employed as Gurdwara Granthi in 1932 by Bhai Maghar Singh . He served as Granthi with dedication and devotion.



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