The Story Behind Gurudwara Pathar Sahib In Ladakh

Ankita | Updated on May 23, 2022

The land of high passes, Ladakh is known for beautiful landscapes, monasteries, Buddhist stupas and prayer flags. But, did you know about Gurudwara in Ladakh? Yes! You read that right we are talking about a Gurudwara in Ladakh which is called Gurudwara Pathar Sahib. It is situated in the Himalayas and is 500 years old. 

Where is this Gurudwara?

Gurudwara Pathar Sahib is situated 25kms from Leh on the Leh-Kargil road, 12000 ft above sea level. It was constructed in the memory of the first Guru of Sikh faith, Guru Nanak Dev. 

What is the story behind Gurudwara Pathar Sahib?

It is said that Guru Nanak Dev travelled a lot, especially in distant places. One of them was Tibet. Guru Nanak Dev is well respected by the Tibetan Buddhists who considered him as their saint. Dalai Lama the spiritual leader of Buddhists in Tibet also believed in him. He was named Guru Gompka Maharaj by the Tibetans.

So, the story goes like…

There was a demon who lived in the area where the Gurudwara is not situated and that demon used to terrorize people. They prayed to God to save them from the demon and then Guru Nanak Dev came to the rescue. It is believed he travelled to Leh via Sikkim, Nepal, Tibet, and Yarkhand. He helped the people and later settled down on the bank of the river below the mountain where the demon lived. When the demon got to know about this he decided to kill Guru Nanak Dev who was also called Nanak Lama by the locals.

One day the demon threw a large pathar from the mountain on Guru Nanak who was meditating. The boulder was in speed and it rumbled down the mountain at full pace but as soon as it touched the body of Guru it turned into warm wax. It didn’t harm him and to see if Guru Nanak Dev was dead, the demon came down and he saw Guru was meditating unharmed. He tried to push the boulder with his right foot, but it was warm wax and his foot got embedded in it making a mark on the boulder. 

After this, the demon realized his powers are nothing in front of his greatness. He begged for forgiveness and Guru Nanak told him to become a good person and help others. Since then he lead a good life as a Nobel man and helped people. So, if you closely see the boulder you will find Guru Nanak Dev’s hollow imprint with his shoulders, head, and backside in it. There is also a mark of the demon’s right foot on it. 

How was the Gurudwara created?

In the 1970s when Leh-Nimu road was under construction, a large boulder was found in the middle of the road with prayer flags all over it. Bulldozer driver tried pushing it but it didn’t move. Many machines, engines were used to move it aside, but it didn’t move. That night driver had a dream where he heard a voice said not to move the stone. The next morning he narrated his dream to the army officers and the solider there asked him to ignore it. That night the solider got the same dream and he ignored it but in the morning which was Sunday, workers met Ladakhis and several Lamas who told them the story about this stone. 

It feels great to know that the stone was kept as sacred by Lamas and Ladakhis since Guru Nanak Dev visited the place in 1517 till 1965. Later, Gurudwara Pathar Sahib was constructed to commemorate Guru Nanak Dev with the stone inside it.  

How to reach Gurudwara Pathar Sahib?

You can take a flight to Leh or you can take either of the two routes, Srinagar or Manali. However, both routes are closed from November to May due to heavy snowfall and are open from June to Oct. You must also check for cheap and affordable Ladakh Tour Packages to plan your trip. One must take proper care including medicines, doctor recommendations, enough winter clothes because the temperature falls down to -20 degrees there and some people might have breathing problems because it is on a higher altitude. You can take a bus or taxi to reach Gurudwara Pathar Sahib which is located on the main road near Magnetic Hill India. 

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