(Last Updated on : 17/09/2009)
Poanta Sahib is located at an elevation of 389 meters in the Sirmaur district of Himachal Pradesh. It is a Sikh pilgrimage built in the memory of Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru of the Sikhs. The word 'Poanta' means 'Space for a foothold', and legend has it that Poanta Sahib received its name because it was believed that the Guru had set his foot in this place. Another story states that the Guru had lost an ornament that he wore on his foot called a 'paonta' while bathing in the waters of Yamuna. The sacred city of Poanta Sahib houses the Gurudwara Paonta Sahib and the Paonta Fort.
Guru Gobind Singh
had visited the city on the invitation of Raja Maidini Prakash of Sirmour after he left Anandpur Sahib
at the age of sixteen. The guru had left the city of Poanta Sahib after a period of four years on defeating Raja Fateh Shah in a 30 days battle. According to historical accounts it is said that the Guru had written a significant portion of the Dasam Granth
while his stay in Gurudwara Paonta Sahib. During the time of the guru, poetry sessions and conferences were common events in the Poanta Sahib Gurdwara. The Gurdwara also houses the Shri Talab Ashthan (a place where the guru distributed salaries), the Shri Dastar Ashthan (a place for judging the turban tying challenges) and the Kavi Durbar (the venue of poetic conferences). The Poanta Fort built by the guru stands on an area of hundred acres and was used to provide protection to all the supporters and the poets of that time. There is also a museum that exhibits pens of the Guru and weapons of the erstwhile times and a memorial is also dedicated to Kalpa Rishi.
Apart from the Gurdwara and the Fort the sanctified city of Poanta Sahib also houses two Hindu temples known by the name Dei-ki-mandir dedicated to Lord Ram and was built by a princess. The second is a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna. As a result the holy city of Poanta Sahib attracts a large number of tourists throughout the year.
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