[Dalvinder Grewal]

Alamgir is a Grewal village located 13 kms south of Ludhiana by the side of Ludhiana-Sangrur Road. It is a large village located in the Ludhiana West tehsil, of Ludhiana district, Punjab [3] with 700 families and a population of 3498 of which 1823 are males while 1675 are females as per Population Census of India 2011. Alamgir village has higher literacy rate compared to Punjab. In 2011, literacy rate of Alamgir village was 82.94 % compared to 75.84 % of Punjab. The legend behind the name Alamgir is that the governor hakim of this area troubled the public immensely and even took away the young girls from their families. In about 1670 AD the strong men of the governor came to pick the beautiful daughter of Chaudhry of Dhandra. The people of the village gave a strong fight and got the girl released and agreed to marry the Nawab of the area according to custom. The tents were potched on the boundary of the village. Meanwhile a Sirdar of Aurangzeb had invited Aurangzeb near Chawa Pail. The aggrieved Chaudhry of Dhandra complained to Aurangzeb secretly about the injustice being done to him.  Aurangzeb came secretly at the site of the marriage. As the groom came out with the marriage party, the Emperor also came out of secrecy and ordered him to be arrested. The groom party opposed it. The soldiers were yet to come in action in aid of the Emperor when the Emperor himself killed him with his sword. The people of the village celeberated the event giving a great honour to the king by naming the village name as Alamgir. (Wasakha Singh p. 108)

Guru Gobind Singh came to this village and killed a python with an arrow. Gurdwara commemorates his visit to the place. Bhai Nagahiya offered  a horse to the Guru at this place. As the Mughals came to know of this his entire family was killed by them. Nagahiya however escaped and went to his maternal uncle village where Guru Gobind Singh went and solaced him. Three Sikhs of the village participated in the battle of Chamkaur one among them being the son of Bhai Nagahiya Singh.

When the Tenth Guru, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji left the fort of Anandpur Sahib in the battle with Mughals and Hill Rajas and moved towards Lakhi Jungle, he was joined by hundreds of warriors in his own way in this battle. One such hero was a devotee of the Guru, Bhai Nigahia Singh Grewal of Alamgir. Giani Gian Singh has mentioned in 'Twarikh Guru Khalsa' about him that when Guru Gobind Singh Ji left the fort of Chamkaur and reached Machhiwara, Bhai Daya Singh, Bhai Dharam Singh, Bhai Ghani Khan and Bhai Nabi Khan and Bhai Mann Singh carried the Guru on a palnquin out of Mughal encirclement as uch da Pir. As they approached village Alamgir, they met Bhai Nsgahiya Singh on their way. Bhai Nagahiya Singh was going to sell horses. He saw the Guru on the way and presented him with a horse, which pleased the Guru who left the palanquin and mounted his horse for further journey”.

At this place now stands the magnificent Gurdwara Manji Sahib, Alamgir on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road, at a distance of about 8 km from the metropolitan city of Ludhiana. At this Gurdwara Sahib, a fair is held every year in Poh to commemorate the arrival of the Guru and presenting the horse by Bhai Nigahiya to the Guru.

Alamgir village is said to have been settled in the beginning of the 6th century. According to the oral tradition, the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb came to inaugurate the Sarai Lashkari Khan Kot near village Bija. When Aurangzeb came for the inauguration, the Chaudhary of Dhandra village complained to him that Nawab Lodhi wanted to forcibly marry his daughter. On hearing this, Aurangzeb beheaded Nawab Lodhi on his wedding day. Due to this, the settlement was named Alamgir after Aurangzeb Alamgiri.

Bhai Nigahiya Singh’s family ancestry connects to village Gujjarwal in Ludhiana district. Tota Jatt (Grewal) of Gujjarwal left his three sons Sema, Jodha and Gujjar at Gujjarwal and came to Alamgir. He bought land here and became a resident of Alamgir. Today's Alamgir village is considered to be the offspring of Sema. Sema had a son, Balaki, and Balaki had a son, Lakhmeer. Lakhmir Singh had 5 sons Nagahiya Singh, Suraj Mal, Ram Singh, Nooni and Mitha. Bhai Nigahia Singh was the eldest. Bhai Nagahiya Singh's had three sons, Sardul Singh, Bagha Singh and Bhaga Singh.

Ninth Guru reached Mulowal on Samwat 21 Poh 1720  Bikrami. The village panch Maia Gonda came to the Guru with rations. Finding no water with it, Guru Ji asked for it. Maia told the Guru that the nearest well is salty and bitter; ‘the well with fresh water is a quite far away wherefrom we bring water. It will take some time’.  The Guru asked Maia to bring water from the salty well itself.  The Guru drank the water and found it to be sweet. Hearing that the bitter water has turned sweet, the entire village people bee-lined to drink the water from the same well. The Guru honoured Maia with siropa.  Now his offspring live there. Maharaja Karam Singh of Patiala built Gurdwara Manji Sahib in Samwat 1882 Bikrami (1827 AD) at the place here Guru Tegh Bahdur ji was seated and allotted Jagir on the name of Gurdwara.

During this visit of Guru Tegh Bahadur father of Nagahiya Singh, Lakhmeer Singh Alamgir also visited Mullowal. He was married to the daughter of Bhai Piara of that village (Jat of Harike Got). Bhai Nagahiya Singh was born in the last months of 1664 AD at Mullowal. He was thus nearly of the same age of Guru Gobind Singh. Lakhmeer Singh on 3-4 January 1664, he along with his wife went to visit Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji. His wife requested the Guru: “My elder son should serve the Guru throughout his life”. The Guru said, “It will be so.”

In the battle of Chamkaur, elder sons of Guru Gurbind Singh Sahibzada Ajit Singh and Jujhar Singh, three among the five loved ones, Bhai Mohkam Singh Ji, Bhai Himmat Singh Ji and Bhai Sahib Singh and forty Sikhs attained martyrdom at Chamkaur Singh. Among these were three martyres of Alamgir as per the list prepared by SGPC. The names of  these three were Bhai Sher Singh, Bhai Sardul Singh and Bhai Sukha Singh Grewals. Bhai Sardul Singh was the elder son of Bhai Nagahiya Singh. All of them were put on pyre in the battleground together at Chamkaur Sahib. Gurdwara Katalgarh Sahib commemorates their memory. The villagers of Alamgir, however, have made Smadhs of these martyrs in Alamgir also.

Guru Gobind Singh reached Alamgir on 14 Poh 1761 (29 December 1704 AD). Bhai Nigahya Singh then knew that his elder son has also been martyred along with Guru’s two elder Sahibzadas and the Mughal Army was following Guru Gobind Singh. He offered the horse to Guru Gobind Singh so that the Guru should get off the area as soon as possible. Where Bhai Nigahiya Singh offered his horse and the Guru killed a serpent to relieve a well of the poison at the request of the village people; a Gurdwara commemorates the events.

Gurudwara Shri Manji Sahib (Alamgir Sahib) is situated on the periphery of the village towards the east. Guru Sahib asked an old lady who was picking cow dung whether he could get some water from somewhere to take bath to which the old lady replied "Pir Ji this is a place of ruins, there is no water here. There is a well far away but there is a big python that lives there, no one goes there". Guru Ji hit the python with an arrow and the python fell into the well. When the Sikhs went to fetch water, the water had become bloody. Guru Ji hit one more arrow and there was a water spring that came out and all the Sikhs had a bath. On seeing this miracle, the old lady fell at Guru Ji’s feet and prayed “Peer Ji! You are a Great Peer, I have a request. I have leprosy and I have gone to various places to get the treatment but it has not been cured. Kindly cure my disease and help me to get rid of this disease". Guru Ji said. "Whosoever takes a bath in this water spring with faith, God will cure all his ills". Therafter the Guru mounted the horse presented by Bhai Nigahia Singh and proceeded towards Raikot. The old lady had a bath in that water spring and was cured. She went back to the village and told the whole story. The place where Bhai Nabi Khan and Bhai Gani Khan kept Guru Ji’s bed, at that place now exists a autiful Gurudwara known as Manji Sahib.

In the centre of the village there is  a dharmsala. This is being used for public gatherings. This used to be the house of Bhai Nagahiya Singh. It is in a dilapidated state and needs to be preserved and should not be used for pleasure and public enjoyment.

From here, Guru Gobind Singh rode away towards Raikot. However, the Mughal Army following the Guru came to know of the presentation of horse to the Guru by Bhai Nigahiya. They laid siege to Bhai Nagahiya Singh's house. Bhai Nagahiya Singh, however,  escaped from that siege and reached village Mulowal, but his entire family was killed by the Mughal army.  When Guru Gobind Singh came to know of this massacre, he went in plain clothes to Mullowal and solaced him. Bhai Nagahiya Singh and his maternal grandfather Bhai Piara Singh thus last met the tenth Guru on 15 Poh 1761 Bikrami at Mullowal.  Account of later life of Bhai Nagahiya Singh is not available. A hukamnama was also found at Mullowal which needs further verification.

Bhai Nagahiya Singh sacrificed his entire family for the Sikh Panth and Panth must not only recognize the sacrifice but also create a suitable memorial to him at Almgir and Mullowal, so that our future generations know about the great sacrifices given to save Panth

The well, and the pool where Guru  Gobind Singh shot an arrow to bring out water
Guru Gobind Singh was pursued by the Mughal Army, and teh Gurdwaras were made at the places where he stopped and rested. The langar hall of Shri Manji Sahib had a capacity to serve hundreds of people for free  meals in one go and is among the biggest ones of all the Sikh shrines.

Like all other Sikh pilgrimage sights, Alamgir Gurudwara offers top notch cleanliness and hygiene. Gurudwara Manji Sahib is a pilgrimage site as well as a tourist destination, both for its sacredness and the piece of Sikh history that it offers.

1.Bhai Simarjeet Singh, Dasam Patshah ji da aninn shardhaloo Sikh Bhai Nighiaya Singh Almgir, Gurmat Parkash.
3. Alamgir (Ludhiana West)". Retrieved 9 July 2016