Gurudwara Chowk Bazar – Chittagong
Janam Sakhi has a reference to Guru Nanak having been to Chittagong. A Devout carpenter, Jhanda by name, was the first to pay his respects to Guru Nanak and to be blessed by the Master. Subsequently, Inder Sain, the nephew of the ruler, and later the ruler, Sudhar Sain, himself became the Guru’s disciples.
On way to Calcutta, Guru Nanak halted at Chittagong and founded a ‘Manji’ at Chowk Bazar. He entrusted its maintenance to Bhai Jhandia, an employee of King Sudhar Sen, who was then reigning Chittagong. King Sen felt annoyed at this and summoned Guru Nanak to appear before his court. But his sone Prince Indra Sen, a converted Sikh, influenced him, to change his mind. He presented valuable gifts to Guru Nanak. Later, the Manji was turned into Gurdwara.
Chittagong, situated on the right bank of Karnaphuli river is the major port of Bangla-Desh. Guru Nanak Dec visited to a country near the sea where a king ruled over many islands. The Guru, it says, appointed Bhai Jhanda as his representative preacher (masand) there. Assuming that the country alluded to was the Chittagong region, a Gurdwara was established in Chittagong, called Gurdwara Sikh Temple. It is in the Chowk Bazar of the town. An old well adjoining the Gurdwara building indicates the age of the Gurdwara. Bhai Mohan Singh, a poor Khattri of Patna Sahib, who rose to be a divan (revenue minister) of Nawab ‘Ali Vardi Khan of Bengal from 1740 to 1756, donated some property to the Gurdwara, which remained in the control of a long line of mahants. The last mahant Kali Das died sometime during the second decade of the 20th century. His son was too young to take over. This resulted in mismanagement of the Gurdwara. In 1917, on an appeal filed by Sardar Atma Singh and Sardar Arjan Singh of East Bengal Railway and others, The District Judge of Chittagong appointed Sri Anand Sen, his son Nutan Chand Sen took over, but there was mismanagement again. The District Judge then formed an 11-member committee of management. Its first president was Sri Rasik Chandra Hazari and first secretary Sardar Gurbachan Singh. This arrangement still continues. Early in 1972, when a deputation of Indian Sikhs led by Captain Bhag Singh visited Bangla Desh, Sri Satish Chandra Dey was the president and Sri S.K. Das Barman, secretary of the managing committee
An other historical Gurdwara in Bangladesh is at Chittangong. It is near the harbour, and it is known as Chawk Bazar Gurdwara. It is here Guru Nanak Dev Ji sojourned before proceeding to Cylon(Sri Lanka) via Jagannath Puri.
There has always been Udasi Pujaris. Later on the Sikh Sangat appointed a Sikh Granthi. The last one Sunder Singh died and his widow Giasri Devi continued to carry on the Worship of Shri Guru Granth Sahib. She was retired by the Bangladesh Management Board on pension, having grown very old over 90 years. This was in December in 1981 when the Bangladesh Gurdwara Management Board took charge at the time of Liberation of Bangladesh.
This Gurdwara remaind preserved because of High Court Calcutta, Decree of 1918, by which it was placed under local committee with the District Judge as its Adminstration. Even to this day the system continues. The District judge was invested with an authority to appoint managing committees.
A sewadar appointed by the board remains there for religious and other administrative services.