Demographics of Dera Baba Nanak
The Dera Baba Nanak city is divided into 11 wards for which elections are held every 5 years. As per the reports of Census India 2011, the total population of the city is 6,394 out of which 3,331 are males and 3,063 are females. Thus, the average sex ratio of Dera Baba Nanak is 920. The population of children between the ages 0 to 6 years is 597 which 9% of the total population, with a total of 324 male children and 273 female. The child sex ratio is 843 which is lesser than the average sex ratio of 920. The literacy rate of the Dera Baba Nanak city is 87.4% which is higher than the Gurdaspur district literacy rate that is known to be of about 80%. The male literacy rate in Dera Baba Nanak is 90.36% which is higher than the female literacy rate of 84.27%. The Dera Baba Nanak Municipal Council has total administration over 1,298 houses to which it supplies basic amenities such as water and sewerage. It is also authorized to build roads within Municipal Council limits and impose taxes on properties coming under its jurisdiction.
History of Dera Baba Nanak
Dera Baba Nanak is a historical town and has many lanes and houses that have been preserved since the time of Guru Nanak. It is said that at Dera Baba Nanak of Gurdaspur, Guru Nanak discarded his sacred clothes and became a devoted householder and he earnestly believed that original renunciation can only be attained leading a family life along with practice for renunciation; this helps a person to get rid of all the worldly obligations. According to Nanak, duty was of supreme importance, so in 1515 AD when he completed his Udasi tour he settled and mingled with the Almighty near the village Pakhoke, opposite to the present town and named it Kartarpur. His wife Mata Sulakkhani and his two sons Sri Chand and Lakhmi Chand settled in their maternal home at Pakho-ke-Randhawa, which was near Dera Baba Nanak, where Lala Mool Raj, the father-in-law of Guru Nanak was working as a patwari.
Memorials in Dera Baba Nanak
There three famous gurudwaras at Dera Baba Nanak are Sri Darbar Sahib, Sri Chola Sahib and the Tahli Sahib. The gurudwara Darbar Sahib was provided with a copper gilded throne and got its canopy covered with marble by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in the late 1800s. The shrine is located in the centre of the town and consists of three memorials. The first memorial is a well which originally belonged to Bhai Ajitta Randhava and it still exists and is reverently called Sarji Sahib. Water from this well is known to be sacred and possess curative properties; pilgrims visiting this take some of the holy water home. The second memorial is the Kirtan Asthan, a rectangular hall, which marks the site where Guru Arjan had sat rapt in kirtan when visiting Dera Baba Nanak to offer his condolences on the death of Baba Dharam Das. The central shrine, called Tahli Sahib, marks the tahli, or platform, on which Guru Nanak had sat when he first came to Ajitta's well. It is also known that here Baba Sri Chand buried his father’s ashes. The Guru Granth Sahib is seated in this rectangular hall on a small square pavilion with a pinnacled lotus dome under an overhanging gilded canopy. The whole pavilion is covered with gold-plated metal sheets with some of the hymns of Guru Nanak embossed on them. The Thara Sahib is at one end of a recently constructed spacious hall, above which, over the sanctum, is a square domed room with an ornamental arched coping and domed kiosks at the corners. The entire exterior above the roof level of this room is covered with gold-plated metal sheets.
The gurdwara Sri Chola Sahib at Dera Baba Nanak is in the eastern part of the town, and is connected with a chola, or cloak, which is believed to have been presented to Guru Nanak by a Muslim devotee at Baghdad. The chola, bears some verses from the Quran along-with some Arabic numerals, arranged in the form of charms embroidered on it, which was procured from Baghdad by Baba Kabali Mal, a descendant of Guru Nanak. Thus, a gurudwara was constructed where the Chola Sahib was kept and put on display at the time of an annual fair held in early March.
Visiting Information on Dera Baba Nanak
The nearest railway station is at Gurdaspur at a distance of about 38 km from Dera Baba Nanak. The Sri Guru Ram Das Ji International Airport is the closest at a distance of 42 km from the city.