Gurudwara Rakab Ganj
The impressive structure of Gurudwara Rakab Ganj is situated on the main Pant Road faced by the Central Secretariat North Block and the grand Parliament House in Central Delhi which makes this holy place easily accessible via local transport and from Central Secretariat Metro Station.
The Gurudwara Rakab Ganj Sahib lies amidst a vast expanse of a well manicured garden surrounded by beds of flowers and plants. An interesting tale defines the greatness of this place which marks it as a place of extreme sacredness. Legend has that Guru Teg Bahadur refused to accept Islam as his religion after being forced upon by the Mughals and because of this refusal, the reigning Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb ordered a death penalty on him and the ninth Sikh Guru was beheaded at Chandni Chowk which used to be a part of the walled city of Shahjahanabad during the Mughal era.
After Guru Teg Bahadur was executed, his most loved disciple named Lakhi Shah Banjara escaped with the headless body of his Guru and took it home where he kept the Body on his bed and cremated the body of his Guru by setting his house afire so as to also wipe off even the most finite evidence. After the fire lit off, Lakhi Banjara collected the ashes of his Guru and stored it inside an urn after which he buried the urn at the very spot where the Gurudwara was erected.
It was in 1732 when Lakhi Banjara decided to construct a Gurudwara dedicated to Guru Teg Bahadur and in order to commemorate this incident. In those days, the area surrounding the house of Lakhi Banjara used to be a market place or 'Ganj' for stirrups known as 'Rakab' and hence the name of the Gurudwara was derived.
Gurudwara Rakab Ganj is made of white marble with an ornate dome as seen in the design of all the Gurudwaras in India. It took 12 whole years to complete this Gurudwara which started in 1732 and finished in 1744 at a budget of 25 lakhs which was a hug amount in those days. It has a beautiful garden with four entrances that remains open on all days to everyone irrespective of their caste, creed or religious background.