The Five Holy Takhats & the Guru Granthi Today In India today there are five historical Thrones of the Guru called Takhats which are ruling centers for the Khalsa.

 1.Akal Takhat in Amritsar (beside the Golden Temple)
 2.Takhat Keshghar Sahib in Anandpur Sahib(Birthplace of the Khalsa)

 3.Takhat Patna Sahib (Birthplace of Guru Gobind Singh)
 4.Takhat Damdama Sahib (in Batinda district of Punjab) 
 5.Takhat Sachkhand in Hazur Sahib (place where Guru Gobind Singh breathed his last breath) 

1.Shri Akal Takhat

Akal Takhat (Punjabi: ਅਕਾਲ ਤਖ਼ਤ, Akāl Taḵẖt) means the Throne of the Immortal and is the highest political institution of the Sikhs. "Akal" means "The Timeless One" - another term for God. "Takhat" means "throne" in Persian. The Akal Takhat is an impressive building that sits directly in front of the causeway leading to the Golden Temple in Amritsar. The Akal Takhat was founded by Guru Hargobind on June 15, 1606 (now celebrated on 2 July). 
                  It stood as a symbol of political bulwark against the Mughal Emperors in the 17th and 18th century. Various attacks on the Akal Takhat and Harimandir Sahib have been led in past by Ahmed Shah Abdali and Massa Rangar in the 18 century. On June 4, 1984, the Indian Army did more than just damage the outer facade of the Akal Takhat, they destroyed the sancitity of the Akal Takht with tanks and reduced it to rubble, while attempting to take out Sikh militants in a controversial military operation known as Operation Bluestar. 

The Role of the Akal Takhat

The original structure of Akal Takht was built by Guru Hargobind ji, Bhai Gurdas ji and Baba Buddha ji, with their own hands. No other person or artist was employed to build the platform. Guru ji remarked that the seat of guru would serve the panth for eternity. Guru ji raised the height of the platform to twelve feet, defying the royal edict of Jehangir that no other person except the Emperor himself can sit on a raised platform of more than three feet. Guru Hargobind would regularly sit on the raised platform, Takht, with all marks of royalty and dispence justice for all disputes of Sikhs.

               On the original plot of land of the Akal Takhat, there only existed a high mound of earth across a wide open space, where Guru Hargobind as a child used to play. The Gurus original Takhat is said to have been a simple platform, 3.5 metres high, on which the Guru would sit like a king at court, surrounded by insignia of royalty such as the parasol and the flywhisk, and perform kingly tasks of receiving petitions and administrating justice. Today’s Akal Takhat is a large 5-storey modern structure (3 storeys were added by Maharaja Ranjit Singh) with inlaid marble and a gold-leafed dome, that does not convey the design of Guru Hargobind’s simple Takht or plinth. However, recent restoration work has uncovered a layer of lime plaster, with painted decoration, that may have been part of the original Takhat. That plinth was far higher than the plinth of the Harimandir; yet the absence of a superstructure kept the original Akal Takhat at a level lower than the shrine.

Akal Takhat Martyrdom

Known as Ghallugaara (Great disaster), on June 6, 1984 the Indian Army stormed the Golden Temple, even bringing its main battle tanks onto the Parikarma. Untold numbers of Sikhs, both the armed contingent of Sant Jarnail Bhindranwale and Innocent Pilgrims and visitors to the Harmandir Sahib were killed. The Akal Takhat, the supreme seat of authority for the Sikhs bore the brunt of the attack suffering severe damage. Like the Martrydom of Guru Arjan which had lead Guru Har Gobind to Erect the Takht the severe damage to the Takhat served to awaken a sleeping spiritual nation.
           May the anniversary of the 'Attack on the Harmandir Sahib and the Akal Takht always serve to remind us of those who died in order to uphold and protect the Sikh Panth (Faith). 

2. Shri Keshgarh Sahib 

     Gurdwara Shri Keshgarh Sahib is located in the center of the city of Anandpur Sahib. It is also known as Takht Shri Keshgarh Sahib and is the city's main shrine. The city began as Chakk Nanaki, which was founded by Guru Tegh Bahadur in 1665. His son Guru Gobind Singh ji, who spent 25 years of his life in the city, added greatly to the city's size, giving it the new name of the City of Bliss (Anandpur).

            Its foundation stone was laid on March 30,1689. In fact, It was here that the Khalsa was born with the first initiation of Khande Di Pahul, when the young Guru called for a special congregation on the Baisakhi day of 1699 with thousands of Sikhs in attendance. One can only imagine how large the area was around Keshgarh Sahib then to accommodate the many thousands of Sikhs in attendance on that historic day. 



Keshgarh Sahib fort was built in 1699. The neighboring hill armies attacked Anandpur Sahib several times between 1700 and 1705, but were never able to reach Kesgarh Sahib because the fort was seemingly impregnable and besides, before reaching the gates of Kesgarh the armies would have had to capture the forts at Taragarh, Agamgarh, Fatehgarh and Anandgarh and that never happened. It was only after the half starved occupants of the city and its defensive forts, convinced Guru Sahib to agree to leave the city, under the promise of safe passage from their attackers. It was only when the great Guru and his Sikhs were about to forge a nearby river, that the hill armies entered the fort and began to demolish it.

         The Sikhs were unable to return to Anandpur Sahib until Baba Banda Singh's efforts to retake the city proved successful. Banda Bahadur also subjugated the ruler of Bilaspur, who had been behind the siege of the city in 1705. But all to soon the Sikhs had to face another wave of persecution after the fall of Baba Banda Singh.

           Within the next ten years most of the Sikh homeland was once again under the rule of Sikhs. With Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the other Sikh Misls and the Patiala dynasty, becoming the de facto rulers of Punjab, a period of peace and prosperity allowed the scattered Sikhs to begin making frequent visits to Anandpur Sahib. Anandpur Sahib became the safest place for Sikhs. Baba Baghel Singh of the Karorasinghia Misl, who had taken charge of Delhi and constructed many Sikh shrines in the city, visited Anandpur Sahib in the 1780s and decided to construct, repair and renovate the shrines of the city.
In 1812, Mahan Chand, the ruler of Bilaspur, attacked Anandpur Sahib only to suffer heavy losses.

3. Shri Patna Sahib 


It was here at Takhat Patna Sahib, that Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru was born in 1666. He also spent his early years here before moving to Anandpur. Besides being the birthplace of Guru Gobind Singh, Patna was also honored by visits from Guru Nanak as well as Guru Tegh Bahadur.

This is one of only five Takhats or Seats of Authority of the Sikhs. The Gurdwara Patna Sahib is in remembrance of the birthplace of Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru of the Sikhs. Like many historical Gurdwara's in India and Pakistan, this Gurdwara was built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

Originally, at this place stood the haveli of Salis Rai Jouri, who was a great devotee of Guru Nanak. He was so much influenced by the teachings of the Guru that he converted his palatial home into a dharamsala (place where dharam is learned).

The following worth seeing historical relics/articles are preserved at Takhat Patna Saheb.
  1. "Sri Guru Granth Saheb" called Bare Saheb containing signature of Sri Guru Gobind Singhji Maharaj.
  2. "Chhabi Saheb" oil painted very big picture of Sri Guru Gobind Singhji Maharaj of his young age.
  3. "Panghura Saheb" a small cradle with four stands covered with gold plates on which Sri Guru Gobind Singhji Maharaj used to sit or sleep, when he was a boy.
  4. A small "Saif" (Sword) of Sri Guru Gobind Singhji Maharaj.
  5. Four iron "Arrows" of Sri Guru Gobind Singhji Maharaj.
  6. One earthen round "Goli" of Sri Guru Gobind Singhji Maharaj.
  7. One small iron "Chakri" of Sri Guru Gobind Singhji Maharaj.
  8. One small iron "Khanda" of Sri Guru Gobind Singhji Maharaj.
  9. One small iron "Baghnakh-khanjer" of Sri Guru Gobind Singhji Maharaj.
  10. One wooden "Comb" of Sri Guru Gobind Singhji Maharaj.
  11. Two iron "Chaker" of Sri Guru Gobind Singhji Maharaj.
  12. One pair "Sandal" made of elephant teeth of Sri Guru Gobind Singhji Maharaj of his boyhood.
  13. One pair "Sandal" made of sandalwood of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadurji Maharaj.
  14. Three wooden spinning instruments of Sri Kabir Saheb.
  15. One book containing "Hukumnamas" of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadurji Maharaj and Sri Guru Gobind Singhji Maharaj and their pictures, writings etc.  
    4.Shri Damdma Sahib 
          Takhat Sri Damdama Sahib, Talwandi Sabo, Bhatinda, is the fifth seat of the authority of Sikhs. This place owes its importance to the literary work of Guru Gobind Singh Ji done here during his stay in 1706. It was at Damdama Sahib that Guru Gobind Singh Ji prepared the revised & authentic version of the Adi Granth which is now being honored by the Sikhs as Guru Granth Sahib ji. He added to the original version prepared by Guru Arjan Dev Ji the verses of Guru Teg Bahadur Ji. A large number of new converts joined the fold of the Khalsa here. Guru Gobind Singh Ji stayed at Damdama Sahib for nearly a year. 
                One of the Five Takhats or Seat of Authority of the Sikhs. This takhat is situated at Batinda in Punjab, India and is the place where Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru of the Sikhs prepared the full version of the Sikh Scriptures called Sri Guru Granth Sahib in 1705. The Damdame Wali Bir as it is sometimes called was completed here by Guru Gobind Singh. It was transcribed by Bhai Mani Singh. The hymns of Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib, the ninth Guru and father of Guru Gobind Singh were added into the Bir.

Literally, Damdama means a place to have a break and rest. It is located at village Talwandi Sabo, 28 km southeast of Bathinda. Guru Gobind Singh stayed here after fighting battles against Mughal atrocities. Before his arrival at Talwandi, two of the Guru’s sons were bricked alive at Sarhind and two laid down their lives at Chamkaur Sahib. After writing Zafarnama, Guru Gobind Singh fought a successful battle at Muktsar and then moved towards Talwandi Sabo Ki. 
This Takhat was officially recognized as the fifth Takhat on Novemver 18, 1966. On demand from the Sikhs, a sub-committee was appointed by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Amritsar by a General Meeting Resolution No: 789 on July 30, 1960. A report of the sub-committee containing 183 pages was received to declare Damdama Sahib, Guru Ki Kashi as the fifth Takhat of the Sikhs. Kashi means a holiest of shrines and a learning centre. A general body meeting of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee Amritsar approved the recommendations through resolution number 32 on November 18, 1966. It has been declared as fifth Takhat by the government of India in April 1999 during tercentennial celebrations of the advent of Khalsa. 


      Takhat Sachkhand Sri Hazoor Sahib (19°08'49.15"N X 77°18'51.15" E) is the principal Sikh shrine at Nanded in the Indian state of Maharashtra. It marks the site where Guru Gobind Singh had his camp in 1708, after the departure of the emperor Bahadur Shah and where in October 2008, the 300th anniversary celebration of the Guruship of Guru Granth Sahib took place.

The tenth Guru held his court and congregation here. It is the site of his own tent where he was convalescing after he was attacked by assassins and the place at which Guru Gobind Singh ji 's light rose to rejoin the light of the Creator. 

   In 1708 being prescient of the end of his earthly role, the Guru had dispatched Banda Singh with five of his Sikhs to Punjab and Mata Sahib Devan under a separate escort to Delhi before the stabbing incident. He told the rest of his retinue to retire to their homes if they so wished, but he bade one Bhai Santokh Singh to stay on here and keep Guru ka Langar going. 


Sachkhand (literally "region of Truth") had been used by Guru Nanak Dev to mean the abode of God. Maharaja Ranjit Singh had the present building of the Takhat Sahib constructed with money, artisans and labor sent from the Punjab during the early 1830s. Around the same time the Nizam of Hyderabad raised a contingent of Northern Sikhs as part of his army. Most of these men settled permanently in Hyderabad State. Many militant and righteous Hindus embraced Sikhism in the 18th century.

The control of Takhat Sachkhand Sri Hazoor Sahib, which had formerly passed into the hands of Udasi priests was regained by the Sikhs under the influence of the Singh Sabha Movement of the late nineteenth century. Some of the rituals and ceremonies connected with working are peculiar to this Takhat Sahib. In 1956 an Act was passed by the legislature of Hyderabad under which the management of the Takhat Sahib and other historical Gurdwaras was legally placed under a 17 member Gurudwaras Board and a five member Managing Committee.