Located on the road between Nathula Pass and Jelepla Pass, Baba Mandir attracts hundreds of visitors everyday. It is believed that this temple is blessed with wish-fulfilling powers. It is perched at an altitude of 13,124 feet and is about 52-54 kms away from Gangtok. Tourists usually cover this temple when they are on their visit to the Nathula Pass. If you’re planning a trip to East Sikkim, this is a destination that shouldn’t be missed out as you will be awestruck to know the touching story and little bit of history associated with this temple.
A poignant story associated with the shrine of Baba Harbhajan Singh
Baba Harbhajan Singh was a Sentry of Punjab Regiment and he was posted there as a part of border patrol force. The China border is near this shrine. It was in October 1968 that Harbhajan Singh suddenly disappeared. It was then believed that while he was supervising a pack of mules which were carrying provisions, he fell into a stream and was carried away due to the heavy current. After few days, he again appeared in the dreams of one of his closest colleagues where he asked him to build a memorial on his name.
The sentries abided by his wish and made a Samadhi and built a temple. Though Baba Harbhajan Singh is no more alive, his colleagues and other army staff believe that his spirit is still alive and hence he is still deemed as a human being. They also believe that Harbhajan Singh will safeguard them during all odds.
Is it a myth or a fact?
Tourists who first hear the story of Baba Harbhajan Singh find it hard to believe in the story. But you will be rather surprised to know that the Chinese soldiers across the China border have reported to have seen a turbaned sentry doing his duty at night. Majority of the sentries believe that Harbhajan Singh comes every night to do his duty as his bed sheet is seen to be crumpled and his polished shoes turn muddy by night.
In spite of not being alive anymore, his live memories lead to different actions from the staff of army. Out of their belief, Baba has been promoted to hold the rank of honorary Captain. During his annual leave every year, he visits Punjab, his hometown and 2 soldiers accompany his uniform through a jeep in Siliguri. He still receives his salary.
The temple becomes a place of pilgrimage – What you’ll find inside it?
Eventually, this temple has become a worthy place of pilgrimage. You will find a large photo of turbaned Harbhajan Singh which people worship. Many leave a bottle of water and it is said that people can fulfill their wishes by drinking water. Soldiers often offer quick prayers before they proceed.
On the other side of the shrine is his office where his daily work is being carried out and next to his office is his rest room. It has a bed, his uniform and his shoes. The temple is surrounded by mountains on all sides and if you seem to be fortunate enough, you may even get snow during October-November.