Hazur Sahib Nanded – The Takht of Maharashtra

The one religious place I had heard of in Sikhism after Sri Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar was Hazur Sahib Gurudwara in Nanded. I was curious to know why so many Sikhs across the country fly down to a city in Maharashtra. So I added Nanded to the itinerary of Lonar Crater Lake in Buldhana district. However, if you are planning to visit both these places and have a restriction of one day for each place, then you should keep Hazur Sahib Nanded first on the itinerary followed by a visit to Lonar Lake.

REACHING HAZUR SAHIB NANDED

If you intend to visit Hazur Sahib Nanded from Mumbai then 11401 Nandigram Express (Leaving Dadar at 4:50 pm and reaching Hazur Sahib Nanded at 5:10 am next day) or 17057 Devagiri Express (Leaving Dadar at 9:25 pm and reaching Hazur Sahib Nanded at 8:40 am next day) would probably the best options. After ending my visit to Lonar on 3rd November 2017, I boarded the 17687 Marathwada Express at Jalna at 6:50 pm and reached Hazur Sahib Nanded at 10:40 pm (delay of almost 30 minutes).

PLACES OF INTEREST IN NANDED

  1. Hazur Sahib Gurudwara: Located on the banks of River Godavari, Hazur Sahib also known as Takht Sachkhand Sri Hazur Abchalnagar Sahib and Abchal Nagar, is one of the five Takhts (thrones)in Sikhism. Constructed between 1832 and 1837 by order of Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1780 – 1839), the structure bears significance as it was built at a place where Guru Gobind Singh died.
  2. Nanded Fort: Located almost 4 kms from Hazur Sahib Nanded railway station, the fort is enclosed by the Godavari river on three sides and presently has only a garden and water works inside to see.
  3. Kandhar Fort: Located in the middle of Kandhar town, this fort owes its origin to Somesvara, ruler of Kandhar. Rastrakuta Krisna III of Malkhed, styled as Kandharpuradhivara added considerably to the fort buildings.
  4. Shrikshetra Mahurgad: Located about 125 kms from Hazur Sahib Nanded, Mahurgad is a religious place known to be birthplace of Hindu God Dattatreya. There are three mountains in Mahur. The first one and most known is having temple of Renuka Mata, mother of the god Parshuram. Other two are called Datt Shikhar and Atri Anasuya Shikar Temples.

Mahurgad and Kandhar Fort are in opposite directions, hence I chose to skip Mahurgad. My day began (4th November 2017) at 7.30 am when I left the hotel to visit Hazur Sahib Gurudwara. Knowing that it was Gurunanak Jayanti on that day, I planned to wrap up my visit as early as possible since it would have started getting very crowded later on. It took me 5-10 minutes to reach the Gurudwara on foot.

  • Nanded places of interest
    Hazur Sahib Nanded - Places of interest

Like visiting any other Gurudwara, please make sure that you,

  • Keep your footwear at the Shoe counter
  • Keep your bags at the Baggage counter (you can carry the camera though)
  • Cover your head with a handkerchief/ buff/ scarf/ dupatta, etc.

If you are staying overnight in Hazur Sahib Nanded, do not forget to attend the Laser show at Gobind Bagh near the main Gurudwara, briefly describing the lives of the ten Gurus. Since I had to leave for Mumbai in evening, I couldn’t attend the same.

Having roamed around within the Gurudwara, I left the place and had a couple of delicious Butter Aloo Parathas (at total bill of only Rs. 70) at a small food joint located around the corner (near-about 50 meters from Gurudwara). From Gurudwara you can take a shared Autorickshaw that will drop you at Hazur Sahib Nanded bus stand for Rs. 10 per person.

REACHING KANDHAR FORT FROM HAZUR SAHIB NANDED

I was supposed to board the 9 am ST for Kandhar town from Hazur Sahib Nanded bus stand but missed it (I still blame it on the extra Paratha that I ordered) and then had to wait for 1 and half hours more for the next bus to arrive. Do install the “Majhi ST” app to know the bus timings and please stick to the timelines. Also remember that this particular ST is Kandhar bound only and you need not ask people around about which other options you could have to reach Kandhar. The ST for Kandhar arrives at bus platform/ arrival spot number 4.

  • Rangin Darwaza Kandhar Fort Nanded
    Rangin Darwaza Kandhar Fort Nanded

Those who have a car can take a Nanded-Udgir Road/ Nanded-Latur Highway/ NH-204 and take a detour at Loha phata (bypass). Kandhar Fort is some 15 kms away from Loha phata. The bus I boarded at Hazur Sahib Nanded bus stop at 10.30 am reached Kandhar bus stand at 11.45 am. The bus ticket for Nanded-Kandhar is Rs. 51.

Once you get off at the Kandhar bus stand/ Shivaji chowk, a shared autorickshaw can drop you to the Kandhar Fort for Rs. 10 per person. Or you may take a walk of about 1 kms/ 15 minutes, along the Kandhar lake. The Kaleshwar Mandir and Asara Devi Mandir are situated on the rim of the lake.

  • Sculptural remains Kandhar Fort Nanded
    Sculptural remains Kandhar Fort Nanded

Scattered over 24 acres of land, Kandhar fort is a Bhuikot Killa (fort built on a flat land) and is surrounded by a moat. Compared to other forts that I have ever seen, this fort seemed to be well maintained.

The Rangin Darwaja welcomes you along with the mighty pair of Ibrahimi Buruj and Dhana Buruj on its either sides. As you pass the Rangin Darwaja, you get to see a relatively large figure of Jina i.e. Jain Tirthankar, seated in Padmasana position. After passing the Rangin Darwaja, on the left you would find the sculptural remains and on the right, there is a way to see Masjid-E-Mohammadi and a cannon on top of the fort.

  • A cannon on top of the Kandhar fort
    A cannon on top of the Kandhar fort

You can explore the rest of the fort by following the gate right in front after passing the Rangin Darwaja. The person from the archeological department supervising the maintenance work recorded my details in the visitors catalogue. He advised me to skip Nanded fort as according to him, the fort is now nothing but a flat surface and isn’t worth visiting so I skipped it as I had to reach Nanded station to board the 11402 Nandigram Express scheduled to depart at 4.50 pm for Mumbai.

Best time to visit Nanded

Ideally November to February

How to reach Nanded

For travellers from Mumbai, Nandigram/ Tapovan/ Devagiri Express;  for those from Pune, Pune-Amravati Express or Pune-Nanded SF Express. Both Mumbai & Pune travellers can take Pune-Ahmednagar-Beed-Nanded route by road. Travellers coming from Nagpur can take NH-204 by road.

ACCOMMODATION IN NANDED

RESTAURANTS IN NANDED

  • Angad Family Restaurant
  • Hotel Atithi Family Restaurant

Things to remember

  • Nanded witnesses extreme weather in every season. It is better to carry woollen clothes for winters. Avoid visiting the place in summers and monsoon.
  • Keep change/ coins ready while removing bus tickets. The ST conductor would ask you to hand him Rs. 60 or Rs. 100 for a Rs. 51 ticket and collect remaining Rs. 9 or Rs. 49 while getting down. After almost 2 hours of journey, neither you would remember this nor would he even remind you.
  • Beware of pickpockets, especially while getting into the bus.
  • Wear full sleeve clothes, cap and a buff for protection from the extreme heat. Apply sunscreen.
  • Bus frequency from Kandhar to Hazur Sahib Nanded is about 30 minutes. But it is better to not take chances, so explore the fort within a set time limit.
  • Drink a lot of water to keep yourself hydrated.

Have a look at a short video I made on Kandhar Fort:

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