Dewan Todar Mal
UNDER ARE FEW FEATURE RELATED TO DEWAN TODAR MAL WHICH WAS ON INTERNET, BUT FEW KNOWLEDGE REGARDING THIS GREAT PERSONALTY IS NOT CLEAR OR CONTRADICTORY, FOR EXAMPLE-: SOME OF TOLD THAT DEWAN TODAR MAL WAS KHATRAY SOME ARE SAYING HE WAS JAIN OSWAL. ONE FEATURE MENTIONED THAT HIS VILLAGE WAS KAKRA NEAR PATIALA BUT THE VILLAGERS DID NOT HAVE ANY EVIDENCE FOR THIS.
I AM TRYING TO MAKE A DOCUMENTARY FILM ON THIS GREAT PERSONALTY OF SIKH ERA.
Dewan Todar Mall was a wealthy Hindu merchant of Sirhind, who on the 13 December 1705 performed the cremation of the three martyred bodies of the two younger sons of Guru Gobind Singh, Zorawar Singh aged about 6, Fateh Singh aged about 9 and their grandmother, Mata Gujari.
This incident occurred after the Sahibzade had been executed by the Mughal authorities on the 12 December 1705 for not renouncing their faith and the death from shock of their grandmother at the news of the sudden and despicable execution of the innocent youngsters. This wealthy merchant had to cover the required ground for cremation with gold coins to get the release of the three bodies.
The compassionate Sikh trader of Sirhind, according to tradition, performed the last rites for the two younger sons of Guru Gobind Singh martyred on the orders of Wazir Khan, faujdar of Sirhind, and of Mata Gujari, the Guru’s mother. It is said that landowners around the Sirhind Fort would not permit him to hold the cremation in their fields, until one Chaudhari Atta agreed to sell him a plot.
The administrator’s stipulation was that the buyer (Todar Mall) will take only as much of the space as he could cover with gold mohars (gold coins), that he would lay out for the purchase. The diwan produced the coins and bought the piece of land he needed for the cremation. It is estimated that at least 7,800 gold coins were required to buy the required land.
History tells us the Seth ji raised the required number of coins and that he cremated the three bodies and putting the ashes in an urn which he buried in the land he had bought. The site is now marked by Gurdwara Jyoti Saroop at Fatehgarh Sahib, near Sirhind.
Modern historians have tried to identify Seth Todar Mall as a son or later descendant of Raja Todar Mall, of Sirhind, who won renown as an administrator under the Mughal emperors, Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb, and who, according to Shah Nawaz Khan, Ma’asir ulUmara, lived up to 1076 AH/AD 1666. To perpetuate the memory of the noble-minded Seth, a road in Sirhind town and a hall in Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib have now been named after him.
The Haveli Todar Mal also known as Jahaz Haveli is situated on the eastern side of Sirhind-Ropar Railway Line just 1 kilometre away from Fatehgarh Sahib. These are the remains of the Haveli of Devan Todar Mal, and a fine building it must have been in its hay day. Todar Mal was a true Sikh of Guru Gobind Singh. In the dark days when Guru Sahib made his way through the jungles of Machhiwara, and his younger sons were put on trial by Zikharia Khan many Sikhs betrayed the Guru.
As the tenth Guru made his way from Machhiwara through to Talwandi Sabo many so called devotees asked Guru to leave their premises as they were in fear that if the authorities were to hear of it then they would be persecuted. But not Todar Mal, he did not shirk his responsibilities, he put the Guru’s needs before everything.
With Mata Gujri and the younger sons of the Guru – Baba Zorawar Singh and Baba Fateh Singh – shaheed (martyred) at the tender ages of 6 and 9 the despicable Mughal authorities refused their funeral rites on government land, it was decreed that there funeral rites could only be performed on land bought from Chaudhari Atta. Not only this, but the land could only be bought by laying gold coins (ashrifs) on the required area, possibly vertically.
Todar Mal did not shun his responsibility and laid down the required coins and made arrangements for the cremations.
Let us look at this in a little detail, say that a gold coin has a diameter of around 3cm and would take up an area of (3 x 3 ) 9cm squared. The land required for the martyred children would be approximately 2.0m by 2.0m a total area of 40,000 cm squared if laid next to each other. Add to this the area required for Mata Ji (2.0m by 1.5m) if the coins were laid horizontally then to cover this area would require around 7800 gold coins. Now, if the coins had to be stacked vertically then possibly 10 coins would be needed to cover the 9cm squared area, so vertically 7800 x 10 coins would be required, or 78,000. That is an awful lot of gold coins today, one can only imagine how much they were worth three hundred years ago. It is safe to say it was probably his life’s savings. Maybe he had to beg and borrow to raise the total amount, who knows, but the fact remains this was truly a noble deed. Todar Mal forsake everything for his love of Guru Gobind Singh, which is the reason why Sikhs hold Dewan Todar Mal in such high esteem.
A splended Gurdwara, Gurdwara Jyoti Saroop, now stands at the place where these three martyrs were cremated. This Gurdwara is at a distance of about a mile to the east of the main Gurdwara at Fatehgarh Sahib and the road connecting the two Gurdwaras is known as Diwan Todar Mal Marg and a commemorative gate called the Diwan Todar Mal commemorative gate has also been built on this connecting road. A spacious congregation hall has been constructed by the sikhs at Fatehgarh Sahib to commemorate his noble service which is a symbol of the great respect the sikhs have for the Dewan.
Diwan Todar Mal Jain of Sirhind, a local businessman, was an ardent follower of the Sikh Gurus. His richness could be gauged from his lavish haveli “Jahaz Mahal”. Constructed just outside the Mughal Governor Nawab Wazir Khan’s palace, Diwan Todar Mal’s haveli boasts of a grand reception area to receive and entertain guests and a well laid-out ground complete with a pool and fountains.
Immediately a royal order was issued, stating that the last rites could not be preformed on Mughal land. The Diwan had to buy land for cremating the Sahibzadas. He ensured that the last rites of the two were performed with full respect. But for this he had lose the peace and prosperity for his own family. Bankrupt and a victim of Nawab Wazir Khan’s wrath the family fled their beautiful home and eventually faded into oblivion.
The only palpable testimony to their existence is the haveli, which stands forlorn. Diwan Todar Mal gained immortality with this act and became a legend. The haveli has withstood the ransacking and destruction of Sirhind by Banda Singh Bahadur. The Sikh Confederacy left the haveli untouched out of great respect for Diwan Todar Mal. Unfortunately, the respect did not endure down the ages and unscrupulous people occupied its gardens and started taking away wood and bricks, causing the fall of certain portions. Nature too left its mark on the beautiful haveli in the absence of any caretaker. Successive governments too could not find time, effort or money to spare on the historical building.
Now Punjab Virasat Charitable Trust under Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner, has formed a charitable association to acquire and restore the haveli to its former glory and to acquaint the people about the sacrifice and selflessness behind it.
The Haveli Todar Mal popularly known as Jahaz Haveli or Jahaz Mahal is the 17th-century residence (haveli) of Todar Mal Jain, a local businessman from Sirhind, and an ardent follower of the Sikh Gurus, who became the diwan in the court of Nawab Wazir Khan, the Governor of Sirhind, under Mughal Empire. Today, he is most remembered for defying the Mughals by arranging for the cremation of young martyred sons of Guru Gobind Singh and his mother.
The haveli is situated in Harnam Nagar, on the Eastern side of Sirhind–Rupnagar Railway Line just 1 km away from Fatehgarh Sahib, and is now being taken over and restored by SGPC with the help of Punjab govt and INTACH
The lavish haveli constructed with made of Sirhindi bricks stand just outside the Mughal Governor Nawab Wazir Khan’s palace, once boasts of a grand reception area to receive and entertain guests and a well laid-out ground complete with a pool and fountains.
Diwan Todar Mal Jain was an Oswal Jain businessman, and as per account in the Phulkian state gazetteer, he belonged to Kakra village, a few miles from Patiala. Villagers have no proper evidence for this.
In Sikh history, he is remembered for buying a small piece of land for the cremation of the dead bodies of Mata Gujri, the mother and Sahibzada Zorawar Singh and Baba Fateh Singh, the two younger sons of 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh in 1704 A.D, by paying an exorbitant price to the owner of the land. He had to cover the whole piece of land with gold coins (ashrafis) in a vertical position, as he was asked to vertically place gold coins on the land and only that much land was given to him which he could cover with gold coins. He later also made arrangements for their cremation.
Todar Mal, however had to bear the brunt Wazir Khan wrath, and he and his family had to abandon the haveli soon after, and themselves faded into oblivion, with dilapidated building being their only reminde. In the coming years, the haveli fell into rapid disrepair, and collapsed at many place. Though it survived ransacking of Sirhind by Banda Bahadur and during the reign of The Sikh Confederacy, the haveli was left untouched out of respect for Diwan Todar Mal.
Today, Gurdwara Jyoti Swarup, now stands at the place where these three martyrs were cremated and the road connecting the two Gurdwaras is known as Dewan Todar Mal Marg. Even today Diwan Todar Mal is deeply respected by the Sikhs and a Diwan Todar Mal Jain Memorial Hall, congregation hall has been constructed at historic Gurudwara Fatehgarh Sahib by SGPC
Restoration of Todar Mal’s Jahaz Haveli begins
Restoration work of dilapidating historical Jahaz Haveli of Diwan Todar Mal has begun. The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has initiated the work with help of England-based Virsa Sambhal organisation.
Diwan Todar Mal had relinquished his entire wealth to get a small piece of land to perform last rites of Sahibzadas of Guru Gobind Singh and his mother Mata Gujri. Nawab Wazir Khan (Nawab of Sirhind) had ordered to brick alive both Sahibzadas. The SGPC had stated that efforts were being made to restore the haveli to its original shape and glory. Major portions of the building collapsed over the years due to lack of care.
Restoration work will be done in a phased manner under the supervision of the Punjab Conservation Department. The work of first phase will be completed in next one month. The SGPC took charge of the haveli after it passed resolution to conserve Sikh culture-related heritage. Over the years, the haveli fell victim to the government’s apathetic attitude and mostly people around took care of it. Interestingly, in the year 2003, a private trust got the haveli’s egistration in its name without even paying its stamp duty. A local NGO and Jain community had also claimed its stake over the haveli and demanded that the haveli be given to them.
The SGPC brought the entire matter to the notice of Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal. On interference of the SGPC, the private trust and the local NGO withdrew its claim. The trust, in fact, handed over all documents of the haveli to the SGPC in 2007. Since then the SGPC is in possession of this haveli and has been making plans for its restoration work.
Jahaj Haveli Restoration stoped
The Restoration of the legandery Jahaaz Haveli of Dewan Todar mal has Stoped.
Present Kar seva Did not work on the norms of SGPC
Elections of SGPC, May be it Starts after elections