Nanded, is one of the important centres of Sikh pilgrimage situated on the left bank of River Godavari, is a district town in Maharashtra (Western State in India) is a place of great historical and religious significance to Sikhism. It is also a major pilgrimage centre for the Sikhs worldwide.
Sikhism was founded by the saintly spiritual leader, Guru Nanak Dev Ji, in Punjab in the 16th century AD. The new religion combined several elements of Hinduism and Islam, seeking to inculcate peace between the two warring communities. Today the Sikhs are a dynamic and a progressive community found mainly in Punjab and north India, but spread out to almost every corner of the globe.
The Hazur Sahib Gurudwara (Sikh Temple) at Nanded is one of the five high seats of authority (takhts) of the Sikhs. It is also the second holiest place in Sikhism, next only to Harminder Sahib (Golden Temple) at Amritsar.
Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th and the last successive spiritual leader of the Sikhs, moved to Nanded in 1708 making it his permanent abode on being persecuted by Aurangzeb, the Moghul Emperor. Here at Nanded, before his demse, Guru Gobind Singh passed on the spiritual leadership to Guru Granth Sahib, the sacred book of the Sikhs.
Accessibility to Nanded
Being located on the major Secunderabad-Manmad route of South Central Railway Zone, the city enjoys excellent rail connectivity.
Some of the major national highways pass through Nanded city, facilitating road transport between Nanded and every major city in Maharashtra.
Main Attractions of Nanded
Besides its religious significance and rich history, Nanded is a beautiful city surrounded by hills and greenery. Located in the interior area of Maharashtra (Marathwada region), Nanded is the state’s eighth largest city and has now grown into a regional hub of education and health services.
Hazur Sahib Gurudwara – This holy temple of the Sikhs was built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, who ruled Punjab from 1830 to 1839 AD. Guru Gobind Singh died at this place and his remains, along with some of his weapons, are preserved at Hazur Sahib.
Nanded Fort – It is located at a distance of 4 km from the Nanded Railway Station. It is a beautiful spot surrounded by Godavari River on three sides. A good garden and beautiful water works around the fort enhance its beauty. There is a famous temple dedicated to Lord Shiva near the fort. The area also abounds hot water springs with sulphur and phosphate contents having medicinal properties.
Khandar Fort – This historic fort, located at about 50 km north of Nanded, was built in the 10th century AD by a powerful Rashtrakuta king who patronized Jainism.
Siddeshwar Temple – The Siddheshwar temple near Nanded was built in the 13th century AD during the reign of the Chalukya empire. It is a marvellous temple dedicated Lord Shiva, built out of big stones with scriptures engraved on them.
The best time to visit Nanded would be winter, stretching from November to February, when the weather is pleasantly cool.