Location: 81-km via Nahan, Sirmour District
Houses: Gurudwara Paonta Sahib and Paonta Fort
Famous As A: Sikh Pilgrimage
Paonta Sahib, a city sacred to the memory of Guru Gobind
Singh, the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, is also a bustling
township with growing industries. It retains tangibly
memorials to the martial Guru in the form of his weapons and
a majestic Gurudwara and recalls his presence even in the
name of the city which is derived from "paon" meaning "foot"
either because he set foot in this place or according to an
alternative story, because he lost an ornament which he wore
on his foot called a "paonta" while bathing in the river
Yamuna which flows here.
Overlooking the river is the Gurudwara where Guru Gobind
Singh held court and wrote the major portion of the "Dassam
Granth". The Guru also built the Paonta Fort in over hundred
acres of land, which housed not only his followers, but as
many as 46 famous poets. Regular poetry reading sessions and
symposiums were organised to encourage the sort form. The
guru left Paonta Sahib after the battle of Bhangani with
Raja Fateh Shah, in which he defeated the errant ruler's
army after thirty days of battle.
Surrounded by a sal forest and on the banks of river Yamuna,
the historic town of Paonta Sahib (350m) was founded by a
tenth sikh guru, Guru Gobind Singh. When only 16 years old,
the Guru left Anandpur Sahib and on the invitation of Raja
Maidini Prakash of Sirmour, lived at this beautiful spot for
over four years. The historic gurudwara commemorates his
stay and interestingly the water of the Yamuna fall silent
below this- which happened at the Guru's behest. The old 'Paonta'
means 'Space for a foothold'.
ACCESS: Paonta Sahib is connected by road. From
paontasahibji it is 81 km via Nahan and 60 km via Rajban.
From Dehradun, it is 44 km. The closest railheads are at
Ambala and Dehradun. The nearest airports are at Chandigarh
and Dehradun. Taxis/buses are available for Paonta Sahib at
CLIMATE: In winter, the temperature can hover around
freezing point when heavy woollens are required. Summer
temperature are high and cottons are recommended.
PLACES OF INTEREST
GURUDWARA PAONTA SAHIB: This site was Guru Gobind Singh's
home for over four years and it was here that he wrote the
Dasam Granth. Within its precincts are the Sri Tlab Asthan
where he disbursed salaries and the Sri Dastar Asthan were
he judged the turban -tying competitions. At the Kavi Darbar
Asthan poetic symposia were held. There is also a memorial
to Kalpi Rishi and a museum that displays pens of the Guru
and weapons of the time.
YAMUNA TEMPLE: This ancient shrine is immediately
below the gurudwara and is dedicated to the goddess Yamuna.
GURUDWARA TIRGARH SAHIB (22 km): This is built on the
hillock from where Guru Gobind Singh shot arrows at the
GURUDWARA BHANGANI SAHIB (23 km): This commemorates
Guru Gobind Singh's first battle when he defeated Raja Fateh
Sahib and his allies..
SHIVA TEMPLE, PATLIAN (4.5 km): Surrounded by fields
and sal trees, the linga in this temple is supposed to be
steadily increasing in size.
SHRINE OF BABA GARIB NATH (8 km): Located in a sal
forest and with an excellent view of the area, the shrine is
revered by childless women.
RAM TEMPLE: Within Paonta Sahib and also known as the
'Mandir Shri Dei Ji Sahiba, this is located near the Yamuna
bridge. With exquisite marble work, this was built in 1889
in memory of Raja Partap Chand of Kangra by his wife who
originally belonged to Sirmour. The Kirpal Dass Gurudwara is
just part of the temple.
GURUDWARA SHERGARH SAHIB (12 km): At this spot Guru
Gobind Singh beheaded a dangerous man-eating tiger with a
single swipe of this sword.
SIMBALWARA WILDLIFE SANCTUARY: 12 km off the main
Paonta Sahib Nahan road, this is known for a variety of bird
SIRMOUR (16 km): Here are the remains of the old
capital of the princely state of Sirmour. The town is said
to have been destroyed by flood in the 11th century, when it
was cursed by a dancing girl.
NAGNAUNA TEMPLE (16 km): Built in a hollow near the
village of Puruwallia, this temple is closely allied with
the legend of Sirmour's erstwhile ruling house.
KATASAN DEVI TEMPLE (30 km): Also known as Uttam Wala
Bara Ban, this is on the Paonta Sahib-Nahan road. The Shrine
is revered by local people. At this spot, the forces of
Sirmour defeated the maruding armies of Ghulam Qadir Khan
NAHAN (45 km): Built in a series of interlocking
circles, this charming town was funded by Raja Karan Prakash
of Sirmour in 1621. It has numerous pleasing walks, several
temples, a gurudwara and interesting architecture -
including many old places.
FOSSIL PARK SAKETI (60 km): This was the site of the
largest fossil find in the Siwalik hills. The park has a
museum and life-size models of the animals that once roamed
BALASUNDARI TEMPLE, TRILOKPUR (63 km): Legend has it
that the Devi's pindi appeared in the bag of slot brought by
a local trader. The temple built by Raja Deep Parkash of
Sirmour in 1573. close by is a recently built Shiva Temple.
ADVENTURE AND FISHING: The most popular trek in the
area is to the 3,647m high Choordhar - which poetically
translates as the "Mountain of the silver bangle". HPTDC
also organises Trekking Package from its Marketing Office,
Chandigarh. Tel.No. 91-172-708569, Fax No. 91-172-708569.
Fishing is possible on the Giri and Yamuna rivers near
Himachal Tourism's Hotel Yamuna has an unparalleled
location. It is barely hundred metres from the Gurudwara and
overlooks the river. A specious lawn bordered by tall trees
gives it considerable charm and character.
ADDRESS: Hotel Yamuna, Paonta Sahib (HP) 173025. Tel:
CLASS: Deluxe Hotel.
1. All rooms are airy, spacious, decently furnished
and have attached baths with running hot and cold water.
3. Room service. Laundry and dry-cleaning arranged.
4. Parking within premises. Taxis arranged.
5. Restaurant- Serves Indian, Chinese and Himachal
6. Beer Bar.