Guru Ravidass' village remembers him with devotion
Khurali (Hoshiarpur) | January 28, 2009 2:45:30 PM IST
Guru Ravidass is today remembered as one of the first social reformers who objected to caste-based discrimination that existed in Indian society during 16th century.
Ravidass's endeavour influenced a lot of people, who were motivated to raise their voice against the discrimination and looked up to him as their Guru, the master. The places visited by Guru Ravidas as a tribute have now become pilgrimage centres.
Thirty five miles from Hoshiarpur city, Khurali Village is gearing up to welcome tourists. Khurali holds great religious significance, as it is said Guru Ravidass visited the place and stayed here between circa 1515-19. The Guru, who dedicated his life to betterment of the society and in bringing the equality, has been a source of inspiration to the villagers. But, Ravidass belonged to a low caste and it caused problems with some people of the higher caste. It is said he was even jailed and punished. According to Dr. Kewal Kumar, a researcher on religion, the place is linked to a sorry tale of Guru Ravidass.
"This spot, where we are standing, was the residence of Dhanna and Devia, the guards. Ravidassji stayed here with these two Sikhs. But when the ruler of this region became aware of Guru Ravidass Ji's Punjab visit, he sent two soldiers to arrest him. The King locked Guru Ravidass and made and him to grind wheat into flour with this flourmill. He king punished Guru Ravidass because the latter being a `Shudra' (low caste), was posing as a guru. The king was against a low caste person becoming a guru of the rich people," said Dr. Kewal Kumar, a researcher on religion.
The Union ministry of Tourism is now planning to develop Khurali as a tourist destination as a tribute to the great saint of medieval India.
A Gurudwara has been built at the place where Guru Ravidass stayed and meditated.
It's a 320,000 dollars project and will include build infrastructure including Display Hall cum Tourist Facilitation Centre, Tourist Reception Centre and Washrooms. "People get their wishes fulfilled. We come here with great devotion and belief, and all wishes are fulfilled. A mile-and-half away from here is the Charan Ganga rivulet where devotees a take bath to get rid of their problems," said Paramjit Singh, a devotee.
"To popularize rural tourism, rural tourist destination for khurali, ministry of tourism, government of India has sanctioned 159.57 lacs, to construct a reception hall-cum-museum or tourist affiliation centre, so that khurali village becomes popular among tourists," said R. K. Bhatti, Asst. Director with Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India. The tourism project will provide create better roads as well as other infrastructure development in the area. The women and unemployed youth will also get self-employment opportunities in tourism support activities such as lodging, cuisine and guiding. By Sawinder Singh(ANI)
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