Darbar Shri Guru Ram Rai Ji Maharaj situated in the heart of Dehradun city is a magnificent monument of great historical and religious significance. In fact, the city of Dehradun itself derives its name from the historical fact that Shri Guru Ram Rai Ji, the eldest son of the Seventh Sikh Guru Har Rai Ji, set up his "dera" (camp) in "dun" (valley) in 1676. This 'Dera' 'Dun' later on became Dehradun.
The Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb was highly impressed by the miraculous powers of charismatic Guru Ram Rai Ji. Hence he asked the contemporary Raja of Garhwal, Fateh Shah to extend all possible help to Shri Guru Ram Ji. Initially a Gurudwara(temple) was built in Dhamawala. The Construction of the present building of Darbar Sahib was completed in 1707. There are portraits of gods, goddesses, saints, sages and religious stories on the walls. There are pictures of flowers and leaves, animals and birds, trees, similar faces with pointed noses and big eyes on the arches which are the symbol of the colour scheme of Kangra-Guler and Mughal art. High minarets and round pinnacles are the models of the Muslim architecture. The huge Talab in the front measuring 230 x 80 feet which had dried up for want of water over the years and in which people had been dumping rubbish, has now been renovated and revived. Now whoever pays a visit to the Shri Darbar Sahib would definitely notice this change.
After Shri Guru Ram Rai Ji left for his heavenly abode in 1687 his only surviving wife Mata Punjab Kaur managed the affairs of the Shri Darbar Sahib. She established the tradition of Shri Mahant for looking after the property of Shri Darbar Sahib. Shri Aud Dass Ji was the first Mahant of Darbar Sahib who ascended the Holy Seat in 1687. The present ShriMahant Devendra Dass Ji is the tenth Mahant in the sacred tradition of Darbar Sahib. Under his dynamic and visionary leadership, large scale repair and restoration work has been undertaken at Darbar Sahib for preserving the rare mural paintings of Rajasthani, Mughal and Pahari style. Darbar Sahib is rendering yeoman service in the field of education, health and social welfare. In keeping with its philanthropic ethos, Shri Darbar Sahib has been running a community kitchen (Langar) where nearly 1000 persons partake of prasad daily.
Shri Darbar Sahib is a unique blend of tradition and modernity. Under its aegis, SGRR Education Mission has been providing quality education and health care to lakhs of people. It has well-equipped 700 bed Hospital, 100 MBBS seats of Medical College, a College of Nursing, a College of Para Medical Sciences, a PG College, an Institute of Technology and Science, a B.Ed. and M.Ed. College, a College of Agriculture, a Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya and more than 120 Hindi & English Medium Public Schools.
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