Gurudwara Bangla Sahib is the most prominent Sikh temple among the nine historical gurudwaras (Sikh temples) in New Delhi.
it is located near the most popular market square in Delhi called Connaught Place.
The Sikh temple can be found at the crossing of Ashok Road and Baba Kharak Singh Marg.
The shrine includes the temple, a large pond (sarovar), a community kitchen, an art gallery, a 24 hour dining hall (langar) and a school.
A multi-level parking facility has recently been built for the convenience of the devotees and visitors.
To see Gurudwara Bangla Sahib without the hassle of catching public transportation, it’s best to join a tour.
Things to See and Do at Gurudwara Bangla Sahib
The sarovar is the large pond that sits in the middle of the temple complex.
It is surrounded by a paved walking path.
Devotees walk a complete round of this ‘parikrama’ every time they visit the temple.
You will find many fresh water fish in the sarovar too.
The sanctum sanctorum is the main temple building that houses the Guru Granth Sahib.
Raagis (classical singers) sing verses from the Holy Book throughout the day, adding to the overall spiritual experience.
Despite the rush, there is no pushing around and there are sewadaars (volunteers) and paid employees of the shrine that help you if you need any clarifications.
The gallery is located in the basement.
It has many pictures that represent the many landmarks in Sikh history.
Community kitchen (Langar)
Like all Sikh temples, the Gurudwara Bangla Sahib too has a well managed kitchen and eating hall.
The concept of community kitchen stems from the thought that no one should have to beg for food.
The langar is open throughout the day.
Devotees volunteering for the job serve food to everyone regardless of caste, creed and religion.
All visitors are offered kara-prasaad (a sweet dish made from wheat, sugar and ghee) after they have paid their respects to the Holy Book.
The kara-prasaad is prepared in the Gurdwara kitchen itself.
You can pay to buy this sweet and offer it to the Guru Granth Sahib if you wish to.
All such offerings are collected and then distributed in small quantities to visitors.
Baba Kharak Singh Road
The shrine is located on the cross section of this road.
It is a hub of handicraft emporiums and there are 18 state government handicraft emporiums selling products made by local craftsmen.
It is an ideal place for buying souvenirs for family and friends back home.
Cover your head
Since entry for bare headed visitors is banned, carry a handkerchief if you are not already wearing a hat.
Ladies must also cover their head with a scarf.
If you do not have anything to cover your head, you will be offered a scarf at the temple gate free of cost, which you will need to return at the same place.
No one is allowed to enter the main gate with shoes on.
There is a large space where you can take off your shoes and hand over to volunteers who will keep them in the allotted space and hand you an identification number.
Before entering the main premises, you need to wash your feet in running water.
This should not be a problem as you simply step into 2-inch deep water (usually lukewarm in winters) and walk on.
Gurudwara Bangla Sahib is usually fairly crowded.
Although there will not be too much pushing, you need to be careful of pickpockets.
Use the cloak room facility if you have too much baggage to carry.
Sikhs are extremely particular about their rituals and do’s and don’ts.
Do not take cigarettes or any type of tobacco products inside as they are strictly prohibited in Sikh religion.
While sitting inside the temple, make sure that your feet do not point towards the Holy Book.
After you come out of the sanctum sanctorum, you are likely to be offered kara-prasaad.
It is considered disrespectful not to accept it.
Even if you do not intend on eating it, accept it with grace and hand it over to someone else once you are out of the temple.
How to get to Gurudwara Bangla Sahib
Catch the Delhi Metro to Gurudwara Bangla Sahib and get off at the Rajiv Chowk (Connaught Place) station.
This is the nearest stations and lies at the cross junction of the yellow and the blue metro line.
Check for the route and fares at Delhi Metro Rail Corporations website.
From the Metro station it is just a 4-minute walk and you are sure to notice the stunning golden dome and the tall flagpole.
If you do not feel like walking, take a tuk-tuk to reach the temple.
You call any of the private taxi services in the city:
Mega Cab – 1929, 41414141;
Easy Cab – 43434343;
Delhi Cab – 44333222;
Quick Cab -45333333;
She Cabs – 45628200.
These cabs are safe and are equipped with GPS devices.
While there are local DTC buses that will take you to the location, these are best avoided.
You could however, try the Delhi Hop-on-Hop-off (HOHO) bus service, basically designed for tourists.
Gurudwara Bangla Sahib is on the HOHO Red Route.
A ticket is valid for 2 consecutive days and costs INR 300.
Alternatively, if you’re not comfortable with public transport, join one of the many tours that includes Gurudwara Bangla Sahib on their itinerary.
The Gurudwara was originally a bungalow owned by Raja Jai Singh, a 17th century Indian ruler of Amber (later named Jaipur after him).
He was also a senior general of the Mughal empire.
1664 – The eighth Sikh Guru, Guru Har Krishan lived in this house at this time.
He was called to Delhi by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb to force him to step down so that his elder brother could take over since he was in the good books of the Emperor.
Later when a smallpox and cholera epidemic raged in Delhi, the Guru helped many sick people by giving them aid and water from the well in the house.
Raja Jai Singh later constructed a tank on the same spot where the well stood, whose water is now attributed with having healing properties.
1783 – A Sikh General, Sardar Baghel Singh built a small temple at the site which was later developed into this gurudwara.
In the same year, the Sikh General also supervised the construction of eight other gurudwaras in Delhi.
- The name of the temple (Bangla) is actually derived from the word ‘bungalow’ since it was the residence of a Rajpur King. The second word, Sahib, is an honorific in Sikh religious culture.
- The neighborhood of Raja Jai Singh’s palace was known as Jaisingh Pura, which was eventually demolished by the British to make way for the Connaught Place shopping district.
- The faithful still come to Gurudwara Bangla Sahib to take home water from the water tank to cure their ailments.
- On a typical weekend, the community kitchen at Gurudwara Bangla Sahib feeds more than 10,000 people.