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The Multifarious Faces of Sikhism throughout Sikh History
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Akali Nihangs

During the establishment of the Sanatan Sikh kingdom, right into British Raj times, the custodians of Sach Khand Patna Sahib, like Akal Takht, Kesgarh Sahib, Dam Dam Sahib and Hazoor Sahib were also the Akali Nihangs of Budha Dal. In regards Patna Sahib, L. S. S. O’Malley observed:

‘Patna city was the birth-place of Guru Govind Singh, ----. The temple is one of the 4 great sacred places (takhts or darbars) of the Sikhs, who visit it on pilgrimage. The pilgrims are bound to appear before the Guru Granth Saheb, or Bara Saheb as it is also called, on the first day of entering the town, and after ardas or kara parshad, ie, sweetmeats specially prepared for the purpose. The Mahanth of this temple must be an Akali pardeshi, ie. , he must belong to the puritanical sect of Akalis mentioned below, and not be a native of Patna,----.
‘Bengal District Gazetters, ‘Patna’, By L. S. S. O’malley, 1907

Akal Takht
Painting of the Akal Takht Sahib by Moritmer Menpes, which was once occupied by the Akali Nihang Singh Khalsa the rightful guardians of the Sikh Shrines, circa 1903

Another British observer earlier had noted regards Patna Sahib:

‘The temple dedicated to the tenth Guru Govind, at Patna, was rebuilt by Ranjit Sinh about forty years ago. I found it, after some trouble, in a side street, hidden from view and approached by a gateway, over which were the images of the first nine Guru’s, with Nanak in the centre. The shrine is open on the one side. Its guardian had a high-peaked turban encircled by steel rings (cakra), used as weapons. He was evidently an Akali or ‘worshipper of the timeless God’- a term applied to a particular class of Sikh zealots who believe themselves justified in putting every opponent of their religion to the sword.
‘Religious Thought And Life In India’, By Monier Williams, M. A., C. I. E., Part I. Vedism, Brahmanism, And Hinduism. 1883

Takht Sri Patna Sahib
Birthplace of Akali Nihang Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj in the state of Bihar

Hari Ram Gupta, drawing upon the work of George Forster who traveled through the Punjab in 1782-83, commented:

The ecclesiastical affairs were managed by Akalis who were in charge of the Golden Temple and Tank of Amritsar. This “society of religieuse” did not interfere in the temporal authority of the Sikh chiefs.’
‘History of the Sikhs’, Vol. IV, by Hari Ram Gupta, Pa. 362

Akali Nihang Singh Khalsa
96 Crore Jathedar Akali Nihang Baba Santa Singh Ji (standing right) with (seated from left
to right) Akali Nihang Baba Bishan Singh Ji, Akali Nihang Baba Sohan Singh Ji Bidhi Chandia, Akali
Nihang Baba Kundan Singh, and Akali Nihang Baba Nihal Singh at the Akal Takht, Amritsar during Vaisakhi 1974

For more information on Akali Nihangs, please click here.

Akali Nihang websites:
http://www.nihang.com (coming soon, currently redirected to www.sarbloh.info)
http://www.budhadal.com (to be updated)
http://www.sanjamkiriya.org (coming soon)
http://www.budhadal.org (coming soon)
http://users.globalnet.co.uk/~akali/ (pictures only)

Independent Websites

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