Bhai Taru Singh's Samadhi

Samadhi of Bhai Taru Singh is located in Sheheed Ganj area just north of Naulakha Bazaar. As you head west on Naulakha Bazaar from the Railway Station, at a distance of few hundred meters, a door provides entrance to the compound containing Bhai Taru Singh's Samadhi. The building is quadrangular in form and surmounted by a low-pitched circular dome on a short neck. The dome is built in a typical chattri style, popular during the Sikh reign. An opening, surrounded by a similar style recessed arch on either side, has been built into all four sides of the building. Entrance to the samadhi is provided by a set of stairs on the east. Inside the structure, there is a small platform in the centre, covered with a white cloth. Framed paintings depicting the death of Bhai Taru Singh adorn the inside walls. 

Besides the samadhi, there are a few other buildings in the compound. Along the western wall of the compound, one finds a building resembling a 3-bay mosque, complete with a mehrab in its western wall. It is in a dilapidated state as the roof has fallen in and there are broken bricks all over the floor. Because of its association with the martyred Shaheed Ganj Mosque, the area is still much contested by the Sikh custodians of the site and the local Muslim population, who have taken control of the building and are using it as a make-shift mosque. Another building in the compound is that of Kaku Shah Chishti's shrine.

Bhai Taru Singh was born in Punjab during the reign of Zakariya Khan. He was raised by his widowed mother, Bibi Dharam Kaur as his father, Bhai Jodh Singh had died in battle. During this time, Sikh revolutionaries were plotting the overthrow of Zakariya Khan and had taken refuge in the jungle. Whatever food or money Taru Singh would save, he would send it to his Sikh brethren, forced into exile by government persecution. He was spied upon by Akil Das (also known as Harbhagat Niranjania) of Jandiala, a government informer, who had Bhai Taru Singh and his sister arrested for treason. Though his sister's freedom was bought by the villagers, Bhai Taru Singh refused to seek a pardon. He was offered a high position with the government, and a marriage with a beautiful damsel of a respected Mughal family, if he embraced Islam and cut his hair. Bhai Taru Singh refused to give up his faith. On June 9, 1745, Bhai Taru Singh was taken to the notorious Ghora Nakhas, a horse market outside the Delhi gate of Lahore. He was again asked by the judge to embrace Islam and to cut off his hair. Bhai Taru Singh bluntly refused the proposal saying that his hair was inseparable from his scalp. Zakariya Khan then ordered Bhai Taru Singh's hair to be scraped off along with his scalp. Sikhs believe that once Bhai Taru Singh had been returned to prison to await a slow death, Zakaria Khan was stricken with unbearable pain and the inability to urinate. He consulted his advisers about this sudden illness and was told that this illness was due to his maltreatment of the Sikhs. Due to the unbearable pain and as a last resort, he sent an apology to Bhai Taru Singh for his persecution of the Sikhs. It was suggested by his advisers that if Zakaria Khan had his own scalp hit with Bhai Taru Singh's shoes, his condition might be lifted. Although the shoe cured Zakariya Khan's condition, he died 22 days later. Upon hearing that he had miraculously outlived the Nawab, Bhai Taru Singh breathed his last on July 1, 1745 and passed away. After their annexation of Lahore in 1762, the Sikhs erected a shrine to his memory at the place of his death and it became known as Shaheed Ganj Bhai Taru Singh.

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