The main building of Gurdwara Bal Leela Sahib at Nankana Sahib in Pakistan has been thrown open to the pilgrims after a 10-year-long renovation.
The gurdwara holds great importance for Sikhs and Hindus around the world. It was here that Guru Nanak used to play with his childhood friends in an open field. It was here that the guru—born in Nankana Sahib in 1469—would enlighten his friends about God.
The gurdwara is located 300 metres south-east of Gurdwara Janam Asthan. The Nanaksar Sarovar on the gurdwara premises was built by Rai Bular, the ruler of Rai Bhoe Ki Talwandi, currently known as Nankana Sahib.
The gurdwara management before 1921 was with the Nirmala Sikhs. Between 1921 and 1947 Sikhs managed its affairs. After Partition, the management was transferred to the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) of Pakistan. The dilapidated building was closed for visitors around 17 years ago.
'Now, the gurdwara has once again been thrown open to the pilgrims after completion of the ‘Kar Sewa’ with the joint efforts of the UK-based Jatha Guru Ka Bagh, Baba Jagtar Singh Kar Sewa Wale of Tarn Taran, the ETPB and the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee,' Sukhbir Singh Maan, the head granthi of the gurdwara, said. The langar hall, Parkash Asthan and Sukhasan Sthan had been renovated over a period of 10 years, he said.
'The old sarovar adjacent to the gurdwara is lying dried-up and needs renovation. The gurdwara is now open to pilgrims after completion of the Kar Sewa,' Maan said, adding that the ‘Parkash’ of Guru Granth Sahib is held there daily.
The sixth guru, Guru Hargobind, had reportedly visited the town and had the shrine premises enlarged. Dewan Kaura Mal, a Hindu noble, had got the holy pond renovated and brick-lined after his victory over Multan in 1748. Maharaja Ranjit Singh was behind the renovation of the holy shrine building and enlargement of the sarovar in the early 1800s.
The last renovation of the gurdwara was held under Sant Gurmukh Singh Sewa Wale between 1930 and 1940.