Markets around Darbar Sahib

The Jhootha Bazaar started in the sixteenth century and had a very narrow lane.

Another famous bazaar was the Kathiya Wala Bazaar, which was located in the backdrop of Akal Takht.

The market was started in 1620 just after Guru Hargobind Singh had passed an edict (hukumnama) to bring horses and weapons as offerings.

The Mai Sewan Bazaar started early in Ranjit Singh’s period.

It was Maharaja Ranjit Singh who dedicated this bazaar to a lady named Mai Sewan, who very sincerely did “seva”, which means service, in Harmandar Sahib. She was the wife of a military commander Fateh Singh Kaaliawaala.

 The area of the Mai Sewan Bazaar was 400 square feet.

The Jhootha Bazaar was popular among women for embroidery, lace work, Punjabi jutis, artificial jewellery, whereas the Khatiya Bazaar sold leather goods.

The Mai Sewan Bazaar had shops of drafting material. It used to have four printing presses, sweets shops and bookshops.

The Mai Sewan Bazaar even had a Haathi Khaana where Maharaja Ranjit Singh used to keep his elephant during his visit to the Golden Temple.

Today the markets that exist, though not with the same flourish, are the Mai Sewan Bazaar and the Kathiya Wala Bazaar. In fact, these markets ‘exist more in name’ in the sense that the old name has been retained, but the markets have registered numerous changes.

The Mai Sewan Wala Bazaar has Udasin Akhaara, Sangal Wala Akhara started by Guru Nanak’s son Sri Chand, and its present head is Mahant Ananta Nand. One can still visit Darshani Deodhi Gurdwara.

The residence of the Mahant of the Golden Temple, which was given by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, got demolished some years ago.

With it was also lost the building that had an archaeological value. Now an NRI serai is being constructed at that place.

 The Kathiya Wala Bazaar has become the market of paints, sanitary fittings and hardware goods. 

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