Saturday, 7 May 2011

Bhai Randhir Singh 's Tapoban (Kumarhatti)

By Pr. Gurmukh Singh jee 

Kumarhatti is a small road in the Shimla Hills in District Solan and falls on the Kalka-Shimla road and is the next stop after Dharampur. By road, it's 31 Km from Kalka and 68 Km from Chandigarh. There is also a small railway station here.

In 1939-40, Bhai Sahib Randheer Singh jee decided to spend some of the summer months in the Shimla Hills. At that time, the mountain above Kumarhatti, Dagshai, used to be the Brigade Headquarters. Bhai Sahib used to spend his summers in Dagshai. Many Sikh Officers and other Sangat used to come to meet Bhai Sahib here and do Sat Sangat. Later, Bhai Sahib took a home on the peak below, in Kumarhatti. Across the street from this home, there was a Gurdwara with Sree Guru Granth Saahib jee's parkaash and Bhai Sahib used to go here for darshan. The founder of this Gurdwara was Maaee Eeshar Kaur. She encouraged Bhai Sahib to rent this house from her for only Rs. 100 a year. After 1940, Bhai Sahib began to spend the summers here, from April to the middle of October until the Dussehra Smaagam. The Dussehra Smaagam started with the encouragement of Bhai Darshan Singh jee Daar jee in 1944-45 and have been going since then. Although, Bhai Sahib's attachment to Delhi first started in 1914 during the Sree Rakaab Ganj Sahib agitation when he was prepared to sacrifice everything to counter the British Government's destruction of the Gurdwara's boundary walls.

Kumarhatti's beautiful nature, greenery, the peaceful mountains, and healthy mountain air inspired Bhai Sahib to write his books. The seva of having this Gurmat Literature written went to the late Giani Nahar Singh jee Gujjarvaal.

Giani jee was an old companion of Bhai Sahib and spent four years in jail with him. The letters in "Jail Chithheeaan" used to come to Giani jee secretly and after Bhai Sahib returned from jail, due to Giani jee's forceful insistence, the book "Jail Chithheeaan" was published. Bhai Sahib tried to stop Giani jee from publishing this book for quite some time but this book has attached many many people to the Guru's feet. Now it's available in English too and the present Sikh youth are reading it and being inspired

Kumarhatti became a type of "Kartar-hatti" and Master Joginder Singh BuRundee used to come in the summer and work on editing Bhai Sahib's books.

In those days, some of the Punjab Government offices would shift to Shimla during the summer. After 1947's Partition, many Satsangis from West Punjab used to come visit Bhai Sahib here, and many of them took jobs in Shimla. Many people from Kalka, Ambala and PanjokhaRa Sahib used to give Bhai Sahib a lot of love (and visited at Kumarhatti), including Bhai Harcharan Singh, Bhai Atma Singh, Bhai Harsaroop Singh, Bhai Thakur Singh, Bhai Durlabh Singh, Bhai Tara Singh, Bhai Nauhaureeaa Singh, and also Baboo Mul Singh jee, Sant Jvaalaa Singh jee, Col. Daljeet Singh jee and Bhai Indar Singh of Shimla (who used to take Bhai Sahib to Shimla Smaagam).

Kumarhatti is considered Bhai Sahib's second tap-asthaan or place of meditation. The first was of course the dhaab (pond) which was 1Km from Gujjarvaal. Bhai Sahib used to sit on the side of the pond and do hours of simran.

The Maaee who gave Bhai Sahib the house for rent passed away, but she sold the place to Bhai Sahib's son, Bhai Balbir Singh before passing. Later, some more property was bought from the Maaee's relative Saudagar Singh by Bhai Balbir Singh.

After Bhai Sahib Randheer Singh jee left us on April 16, 1961, the Sangat of Dagshai, Solan and Shimla encouraged Bhai Balbir Singh to take care of Bapoo Jee's Tap-Asthaan as a memorial to him. After 1961, Bhai Bava Singh, Bhai Atma Singh and Bhai Harsaroop Singh began to take care of the Tap-Asthan. According to need, the building was extended a bit.

Today at that place is Gurdwara Tapoban which still is a place for meditation for the Sangat and the sangat still gathers to do naam and keertan.

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