Gurdwara Guru Nanak Datan Sahib, Cuttack, Orissa
Gurdwara Guru Nanak Datan Sahib or Kaliaboda Gurdwara – Guru Nanak Dev also stayed at Cuttock on his way to Puri. Here, among others, the local ruler Raja Partap Rudra Dev received instruction from him. The Shrine commemorative of the Guru is outside the town on the bank of Mahanadi River near Kishti Ghat aong the way to Jagannath Puri. It is served by UDasi priests. Now a Gurdwara has also been established; it is called Gurdwara Datan Sahib or, locally, Kaliaboda Gurdwara.
Gurdwara Guru Nanak Datan Sahib stands on the bank of Mahanadi at Cuttack city, about 25 km from Bhubaneswar, the capital of Odisha. This holy Gurdwara is a momento Sri Guru Nanak Sahib Ji’s visit to Odisha.
Guru Nanak visited Odisha in 1506 after travelling to Assam and Bengal. Guru Nanak took shelter in a small cottage. A mesmerist named Chetan Bharati was residing very close to the cottage. He was practicing witchcraft with the intention to mobilise Bhairavi.
Guru Nanak’s presence attracted the people of the locality, the numbers increased and they turned into Sikhs. Watching the situation, his heart full of jealousy and hatred, Chetan applied his witchcraft to divert the attention of the people from Guru Nanak but his efforts were of no use.
Once when Guru Nanak Sahib Ji was saying his prayers, Chetan Bharati arrived and broke one of the branches of a Sahada tree nearby. When Guru Nanak opened his eyes, the branch fell on the ground. Weeping piteously Chetan Bharati touched the feet of Guru Nanak with agony. BWith Guru Nanak’s influence and kind words, Chetan turned into a Sikh.
Early morning one day, Chetan offered a small branche of the Sahada tree for Guru Nanak to use to brush his teeth. Guru Nanak used one part of the branch and planted the rest in the ground which grew into a huge tree. The same tree perished in 1930. Prof. Pranakrishna Parija and Prof. Baba Kartar Singh, the two eminent scientists, examined the tree and declared that the tree was of the Guru’s time.
Another tree took birth from the root of the first tree which is now remembered by Sikhs to recall the memory of Guru Nanak. In order to construct a Gurdwara, Prof. Parija and Prof. Singh collected donations from the Sangat and completed a new Gurdwara building in 1935. A Gurdwara was rebuilt and modernized in 1988. The Guru Granth Sahib is now on the first floor of the double storeyed building.
A piece of Sahada tree (Datan Sahib) has been preserved inside a glass show case in front of Palki and a beautiful model of the Golden temple on the other side.
Large number of Sikhs gather here on Sundays. Langar is arranged for all, inside the large hall of the ground floor. All the Sikhs present in the campus of the Gurdwara have langar on Sunday. Guru Nanak’s birthday is the main Gurpurb celebrated here in the month of November. All the Sikhs gladly take part in the recitation of Guru Granth Sahib and observe the Gurpurb.
Religious activities and different competitions are organized by the committee. Sangat celebrates the commemoration of Guru Arjan Sahib Ji, the fifth Guru; Guru Teg Bahadur, the ninth Guru every year. Prakash Purb of Guru Gobind Singh is celebrated during the month of December/ January. Another important festival of this Gurdwara is Vaisakhi. Kirtan Jathas from different parts of the country take part in this Gurpurb.
Gurdwara Guru Nanak Datan Sahib is privileged to have the Head Office of Orissa Sikh Pratinidhi Board in its campus. It also runs Guru Nanak Public School, which imparts education to all, without any discrimination of caste, creed and colour.