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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple


In a land where faith is part of the social fabric, Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple stands out as a peaceful shrine for people from all walks of life. According to official records, Harbhajan Singh died in battle at Nathu La during the Sino-Indian War in 1965. However, the mythology surrounding his death offers an absorbing narrative.
Legend has it that Harbhajan Singh drowned in a melting glacier while transporting supplies to an army outpost. His spirit guided fellow soldiers to locate his body, and he even appeared in a soldier’s dream instructing him to create a memorial shrine.
Since then, the legend has grown, and soldiers posted at Nathu La believe that Baba Harbhajan Singh protects them in this physically demanding region, and even warns them of an impending attack from across the border.
It is said that during flag meetings between India and China, the latter always reserve an empty chair for Baba as a sign of respect. As a traveler, a visit here offers a sight of the belief that brings people together. For the soldiers posted in the region, Baba Harbhajan is a guide of hope amidst the beautiful, yet exhausting, forces of nature.

What to see

Faith seems to be the guiding light for soldiers stationed at the Nathula Pass on the Indo-China border. This faith stems from the Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple located at an altitude of over 13,000 ft. Fact and myth weave to create a narrative that gives hope to soldiers posted there and an interesting tale for travelers.
The miraculous achievements of Harbhajan Singh have received myth status and you should visit this place to take in the scenic beauty and hear the tales that surround this place. The perfect traveling experience is when you come away with life-affirming stories and Baba Mandir, as the locals call it, is one such destination.

When to reach

The best thing about Baba Mandir is that no matter when you land up, you’re bound to be met with enchanting views.
In the monsoon, the rain makes the surrounding forests glisten and the region is completely transformed into a gleaming panorama of trees, beyond which tower the mighty mountains.
April to November is the best time to visit the temple. The summer months are the most pleasant and you can have a good time simply strolling around this area.
Since Nathu La Pass is closed during winters, reaching Baba Mandir might not be possible.

How to reach

Baba Temple is a stop on the way to the Nathu La Pass. The shrine is located around 55 to 60 km from Gangtok. As the road turns towards Kupup Valley toward Tukia, there is a fork in the road from where your car will take you to the temple. One needs a Protected Area Permit before visiting this location that is strategically vital to Indo-China relations.
Since this shrine is immensely popular with travelers, finding a local jeep to take you up there will not be a problem.

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