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Guru Ka Tal

Introduction

Guru Ka Tal It is a large dried up tank, called Guru-ka-Tal. Which, with the adjacent ruined building, are attributed to Sikander Lodhi, one of the Afgana predecessors of the Mughal emperors, Who has given to the Name of Sikandra. This historic structure dates back to the 17th century. Earlier it was a Taal (reservoir) in the area near Sikandra. It was built in 1610 AD to collect and conserve rainwater in Agra during Jahangir reign. The water of the reservoir was used for irrigation purposes during the dry season. The reservoir was ornamented with stone carvings. Guru ka Tal is a holy place in Sikandra region. It is a historical Sikh pilgrimage place dedicated to the memory of ninth Sikh Guru Sri Teg Bahadur Ji. Guru ka Taal is near Sikandra in Agra. The Gurudwara was built over the place where the Guru Tegh Bahadur offered voluntary arrest to Aurangzeb, the Mughal Emperor. Several devotees gather every year to pay homage to the great Sikh guru ( who was martyred along with his followers for sake of freedom to practice one's faith & religion) in this Gurudwara. There were twelve towers in the Tal, but only eight towers have survived the test of time and have now been retrieved. This red stone structure bears similarity to many other magnificent structures of the Mughals

History

Guru ka tal was actually built during rule of Mughal emperor Jahangir with aim to collect rain water in it and use it in summers, when their is acute shortage of water in nearby areas. It is a kind of rain-water harvesting. It was year 1675 when Aurangzeb was mughal emperor and his brutality is in peak. In mughal history, Aurangzeb was known for his intolerance towards other religions and forceful religion conversion. During his ruling period, thousands of Hindus and other non-muslims were brutally killed just because they refused leave their religion and faith. Aurangzeb forces were targeting Kashmiri Hindus and sikhs for conversion. In that time, 9th Sikh Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji, emerged as a prominent socio-political challenge to resist mughal forces. He was very popular figure in North India, especially in Punjab and Kashmiri region. Mughals were powerful thus it was not possible to resist them effectively so long. Aurangzeb ministers offered a formula that if Guru ji will show his miracle powers and able to impress Aurangzeb, they will not attack on Sikhs and Kashmiri pandits. In order to avoid large massacre of non-muslim population, Guru ji agreed to meet Aurangzeb. Although they all aware of the fact that Aurangzeb was not a trustable king and his intentions were wrong but in adverse condition, they took this brave decision. They started their journey from Punjab towards Delhi, with some followers. When they reached Sikandra region, they rest near this pond. Before he could reach the Delhi, Mughal forces treacherously arrested them all at this point and took them to Delhi where they were brutally tortured for many days and later murdered. Famous Delhi Gurudwara Shishganj is located on same spot. This incidence made this pond as holy place for Sikhs and Hindus and thus here Gurudwara was made and now become a pilgrimage site.

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