The Sikh Temple at Shujatpur
The Sikh Temple at Shujatpur Dhaka
This Sikh temple is situated on the right side of the road which goes from Ramna Race Course towards Nilkhet just behind the Public Library (now given to the University.)
About its history Guru Bakhsh Singh writes: “It is said that sixth Guru (in Jahangir’s time, early 17th century A. D.) sent a very zealous missionary and a holy Sikh, Almast by name, to Jahangirabad (a mistake for Jahangirnagar), as Dhaka was then officially known and it was this Almast who established this monastery. Third in succession to Almast was Nathi Saheb, after whose name the Sangat is known among the Sikhs. A stone inscription in the well of the temple tells us so, and reads as given below:-“In the name of True God, the Creator, and of Guru Nanak, (attached to) the Guru Gaddi at Nanakmata of Almastraj. Babu Natha Sahib’s Sangat at Shuja’tpur. Mahant Premdas. Well repaired in 1890 (Vikramaditya corresponding to the Bengali) current Shak 1240=A.D. 1833.” Another Bengali inscription was fixed on the top of the well, now no longer traceable.
This Sikh organisation is located in a big compound, which can be entered through an arched gateway from the northern bylane. The interior falls into two parts —the temple-cum-residential complex on the east, and the western half containing a masonry tank, a well and other samadhis (death memorials). The eastern half consists of a rectangular court, on the northern and southern sides of which range residential rooms, and its western side is occupied by the temple. In the court was a vedi (raised seat), on which was set a black stone containing foot-print (probably of some Guru), now disappeared. The temple consists of multiple rooms arranged round a central square room,- four rooms on its four sides and other four at the corners.- in all nine. All these are interconnected by arched doorways. The roof is a flat vault resting on coping arches at the sides. In the central room is a small platform, on which used to be kept the Guru Granth Sahib.
The ground-plan of this temple exactly follows the arrangement of rooms in Bibi Pari’s tomb. In other respects it differs from the latter. It seems that this temple was erected in the early 18th century A.D. probably by Natha Sahib.
The last representative of this Sangat, Sri Chand Yati, whose inscription is, dated 1915, found on a marble slab fixed in the wall on the southern side, left this place after 1947 partition. The temple is now in a neglected condition. Most of the old materials have disappeared.