How To Reach Nanded: One can reach Nanded from Hyderabad either via NH7 bypassing Medak Town and then joining the NH16, then taking a left turn from Nirmal on NH 222, the other way is through NH 9 till Sangareddi and then taking the state roads. Since the roads in Andhra Pradesh were good we decided to go through Sangareddi as it was shorter by almost 50 KM. The roads were good but the moment we entered Maharashtra, it dawned on me why the sales of SUVs is increasing in India. If things remain similar India may have to abandon its mission to moon as all you will need to do is drive on the Maharashtra section of road to Nanded (This was in month of August), please check the road conditions before you start the journey. Here is the link to the google map.
One of the problems in the state highways is that you do not have any kind of dhaba etc to eat and rest. We did not see any petrol bunks also (but we could have missed them), so please ensure that your vehicle has enough fuel to drive the distance you are looking for.
Once challenge in travelling with your kids is that they have a very different taste in music compared to you and there is no way the two of you could relate to same kind of music. Normally for the sake of peace in a moving car I bow down to the wishes of our daughter and listen to whatever she fancies. Since AK does not have any kids as of now and his only experience of dealing with kids have been bullying his younger brothers he was in for a tough time trying to convince our 8 year old to listen to the melodious gazals from 80s. Our 8 year old had no desire to be educated on the nuances of gazals and tolerating the lecture for some time she declared that all she wants to listen to is the CDs that she has packed and will keep on screaming till we bow down to her wishes. You can not do much when you are driving at 60+ KM/hour on a state highway when every bend can be an emerging point for a rouge buffalo or a drunk cyclist. Finally I simply switched of the music player and told both AK and the 8 year old that since both of them are not agreeing to what to play only thing that will play in the car now will be my singing. This scared every single occupant in the car except or 2 year old who cheered at the idea. This led to a compromise between the kid and the pseudo kid and they agreed to play their respective CDs one by one. Thus peace was restored in car and we continued on our journey.
Nanded is a unique place in more ways than one. It is hundreds of kilometers away from Punjab the birthplace of Sikhism. But since the last Guru spent his final days on earth in Nanded it is revered by Sikhs all over the world. Sri Hazur Sahib Nanded is one of the 5 main takhts of Sikhs, and people of all faith from all over the world visit here. For a town of its size it has a good airport, railway station and good number of accommodation choices. But my recommendation will be to not worry about the same and simply book the accommodation online and stay in Guru Gobind Singh Jee NRI Yatri Niwas. There is another NRI Yatri Niwas which looks better but you cannot book it online as of now. There are more than 15 Gurudwaras in Nanded but the main 2 are in the city center and are within walking distance of each other.
At this place I must write about the contribution to the nation building by the sikh gurus. They were not just religious reformers I believe Sikh Gurus were some of the earliest social reformers in this country. The first guru- Guru Nanak Dev who preached peace and harmony and encouraged the concept of community kitchen which evolved in the Langar of today, then we have Guru Gobind Singh who brought the concept of armed struggle against the tyrants ruling during those day. He wanted every family to give the eldest son to the guru to learn and fight. This son was to be “disciple, student” of the guru hence called “Sikh” coming originally from ” Shishya” in Sanskrit i.e somebody who is a student and learning.
Sikh gurus were totally against any kind of discrimination between human beings and believed all have been created equally by and from the same god.
” Ek noor ton sub jag upja”
You will be surprised to know that “Guru Granth Sahib” the holy book of sikhs has not only works of Sikh Gurus but also from most of the contemporary Sufi and Bhakti movement poets of that time including Kabir, Tulasidas, Meera Bai, Baba Farid etc. It must be the only holy book followed by a religion which has work of followers of other religions.
These ideas of equality of mankind preached by Sikh Gurus were even before the French or the American Revolution and just because they were in India never received the due credit. But the Sikhs are taking the message every where in the world and we have a saying in India that in all parts of the world you can find 2 things” Potatoes and Sardars”, sardar here meaning a Sikh.
Thanks for reading in the next post I will write about our experiences in the town of Nanded.
The first part in Sri Hazur Sahib Nanded Series is here.
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Thanks for reading.