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The city of Muktsar is revered by the Sikhs as Sri Muktsar Sahib and is also referred to as “Khidrane dee dhab”. Situated in south-west Punjab and bordered by Haryana and Rajasthan on the south, Muktsar boasts of a rich heritage. The name “Muktsar” literally connotes “the pool of liberation” and is famous as the final battlefield of the mighty Guru Gobind Singh. “Mukta” or “mukt” etymologically means emancipated, delivered or liberated. Spiritually, “mukti” means emancipation or liberation from the endless cycle of birth and death and in Sikhism it is the most coveted spiritual aim of the human life. The “mukta” or “mukt” is the one who has reached the state of ultimate sanctification and “mukta” also refers to a pearl and thus signifies an epithet or title of distinction. It is believed that it was in this connotation that the 5 Sikhs who had received the Khalsa vows on March 30, 1699 were blessed and conferred distinction with the title of “mukta” or “mukte” (plural).

“Mukte” also refers to the “Chali Mukte” or the troop of forty courageous Sikhs who fought a Mughal army that was chasing Guru Gobind Singh and sacrificed their lives on December 29, 1705. This incident that took place near Isharsar or the lake or “dhab” of Khidrana is remembered in the Sikh religious services and prayers. Guru Gobind Singh had witnessed this battle and, touched by the valor of the 40 martyrs, had named them the “forty immortals” or “Chali Mukte”. Thus Khidrana came to be known as “the pool of liberation” or Sri Muktsar Sahib. The brave act by the forty martyrs was considered even more special as by this they had redeemed their earlier defection of being disloyal towards their Guru and deserting him.

Muktsar today is famous for the “Mela Maghi”, a fair organized around the 13th of every January, which commemorates the valor and bravery of the forty “muktas”. This elaborate fair takes place on open spaces on the Malout and Bathinda roads and tourists from every corner of the world visit Muktsar on this day with the intention of taking a holy dip in the sacred “sarovar”.In the past, the mela included a big Horse Fair.

The Gurudwara Shahidganj Sahib marks the spot where Guru Gobind Singh cremated the slain Sikh martyrs. It was built by Raja Wazir Singh in 1870. It is also known as “Arigitha Sahib” and is located on the west of the “Sarovar”. The Gurudwara Tambu Sahib stands where the “muktas” were believed to have taken position behind the shrubs and trees that were camouflaged to appear like “tambus” or tents. The old building was built by Maharaja Mohinder Singh of Patiala while the new building was constructed during the 1980s. Sri Darbar Sahib, Gurudwara Rakabsar Sahib, Gurudwara Tibbi Sahib, Mukta Minar and Angooran Wali Maseet are the other popular tourist destinations in Muktsar. The famous Muktsar Mosque is another big attraction and attracts the devout from near and far. 


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