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Guru Nanak at Ujjain (4 of 4)

Indore is historically attached to Sikhism. It has 7 Gurudwaras.

Gurdwara Imli Sahib, Indore

Read Part I here
Read Part II here
Read Part III here

Indore is the most populous and the largest city in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.[1] It is the headquarters of both Indore District and Division. Indore was described by the Economic Times as the commercial capital of the state. It is also considered as an education hub of the state and first city to have campuses of both the Indian Institute of Technology and the Indian Institute of Management.[2] Located on the southern edge of Malwa Plateau, at an average altitude of 550 meters above sea level it has the highest elevation among major cities of Central India. The city is 190 km west of the state capital of Bhopal the state capital. With a census-estimated 2011 population of 1,994,397 (municipal corporation)[3][4] the Indore Metropolitan Area's population is the state's largest. The city is distributed over a land area of just 530 square kilometers making Indore the most densely populated major city in the central province.

GurdwaraImliSahib (295K)

Indore traces its roots to its 16th century founding as a trading hub between the Deccan and Delhi. The city and its surroundings came under Hindu Maratha Empire on 18 May 1724 after Maratha Peshwa Bahi Rao I assumed the full control of Malwa. During the days of the British Raj, Indore State was a 19 Gubn Salute princely state ruled by the Maratha Holkar dynasty, until they acceded to the Union of India.[5] Indore served as the capital of the Madhya Bharat from 1950 until 1956.

Indore has been selected as one of the 100 Indian cities to be developed as a smart city.[6] among the first twenty cities.[7] Indore has been elected as the cleanest city of India as per the Swachh Survekshan.[8]

Indore is historically attached to Sikhism. It has 7 Gurudwaras.

Gurdwara Imli Sahib is Sikh shrine situated in Indore. In the year 1567 Bikrami (1511 AD), Guru Nanak Dev Ji on his way diverted from southern states to the north-west and reached Indore. It is centrally located and beautiful devotees assure spiritual knowledge, peace and bliss here.

Guru Nanak visited Indore in 1511 AD from Betma. Indore was not a city but a few hillocks on the banks of rivers. Guru Nanak came and settled on Khan River in Harsidhi Tola near Machhli Bazar. The area was agriculturally rich due to rivulets Sirpir, Bilawali, Piplya and Peeliakhal watering the land to keep it green. As per local legend Guru Nanak stayed in this area (now Indore) for three months and held discussions with saints in Krishanpura on Chanderbhaga River and remained in deep meditation for the remaining period. He had planted a tamarind (Imli) tree in the area which became a sprawling tree.

ImliTree (450K)

The Sikhs who came from Punjab during the rule of Holkars and settled in this area, constructed a Gurdwara close to tamarind tree to commemorate Guru Nanak's visit to this place. A monumental four storeyed building of Gurdwara was later constructed in 1940 AD at the place. This tamarind tree existed till 70 years ago when the tree was cut to expand the gurdwara. A great discussion took place before cutting the tamarind tree. Since Sikhs did not believe in idol worship, it was decided that tamarind tree had become a source of worship hence be removed. A new portion of the gurdwara was constructed at the place. The name of the Gurdwara remained however, Gurdwara Imli Sahib. Earlier there used to be a high mound of the height of Gurdwara. This mound was gradually washed away by the flooding river waters and is now extinct. No trace exists of the historic tamarind tree either but Sri Guru Granth Sahib in a palanquin (palki) keeps the memory of Guru Nanak's visit alive through regular recitation of Gurbani. The local congregation (sangat) also keeps on meditating or reciting Gurbani in its presence. This Gurdwara is at the centre of the city on famous Jawahar Road showing the expansion, extension and development of Indore city as we see it now. It is close to Municipality Office. The entire city developed around it in many kilometeres. LIG is a residential area in indore at Agra-Bombay road, A Gurudwara is also present near LIG square also called as LIG Gurudwara. LIG Gurudwara has its own beauty. It is one of the best infrastructure of Indore in terms of devotional places. Gurudwara Topkhana Sahab is present at MG road Indore.

gurdwara_sri_topkhana_sahib1 (332K)

Gurdwara Imli Sahib is in the centre of Indore in Rajwada area close to Municipal Committee office. The building is very impressive. It has a lift to go to various storeys. In the place of tree now Sri Guru Granth Sahib is established where continuous recitation is always in progress. All the Gurpurabs are being celebrated with great fervour and the Sikhs and non-Sikhs gather in large number daily to pay obeisance at the place. Manjit Singh (9425077777, 98260 76000) President Gurdwara Indore and S. Jasbir Singh Gandhi is the Secretary (9425082677).

Sangat-GurdwaraImliSahib (370K)

We reached here from Ujjain and paid our obeisance at the place. A four storeyed Gurdwara commemorates Guru Nanak's visit. There used to be the tamarind till 70 years ago when to expand the gurdwara the tree was cut. No trace exists of this historic tree now but Sri Guru Granth Sahib in a palanquin (palki) keep the memory of Guru Nanak alive through regular recitation of Gurbani. The local sangat also keeps on meditation or path of Japuji Sahin in its presence. Guru Nanak left Indore for Bhopal. Paying our obeisance at the sanctum sanctorum in front of Sri Guru Granth Sahib placed at the place where once Imli tree existed. One misses the tamarind tree, the real essence.

Cutting it off is an obliteration of the evidence of Guru Nanak's visit. The space of the Gurdwara is too small to expand. There is no parking area either.

An adjoining building has been purchased for the parking site. The streets leading to the Gurdwara are also narrow. More land is needed to ensure the much needy expansion due to increasing attraction of this historical place. The library, conference room and the office are spacious however. Regular langar (free kitchen) service for everyone draws lot of people daily.


[1] List of cities in Madhya Pradesh by population
[2] How Indore's unique IIT-IIM blend is spurring entrepreneurship".
District Census Handbook, Indore
[4] Presentation on Towns and Urban Agglomerations". Census of India 2011. Archived from the original on 14 March 2016. Retrieved 2016-03-13.
Report on the Administration of Holkar State for 1944 - Indore (India) - Google Books. Retrieved 2014-04-04.
[6] Why only 98 cities instead of 100 announced: All questions answered about smart cities project". 28 August 2015. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
List of first 20 smart cities under Smart Cities Mission". The Hindu. Retrieved February 16, 2016.
Swachh Survekshan 2017 cleanest cities. Retrieved 5 May 2017.

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