The Legend of Gurudwara Pathar Sahib
situated 25 miles from Leh in Ladakh region in Jammu and Kashmir, Gurudwara Pathar Sahib stands at the place where Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikh religion and the first guru, is believed to have vanquished a demon. Though the region is predominantly Buddhist, Gurudwara Pathar Sahib is also worshipped and venerated by Buddhists. Tibetan Buddhists venerate Guru Nanak as Guru Gompka Maharaj and as Nanak Lama.
Legend has it that during his sojourn in Ladakh, Guru Nanak was attacked by a demon. The demon threw a large boulder on the guru as he sat at the base of a hill meditating. However, the rock became soft like molten wax and failed to cause any harm to the Sikh Guru. The demon was in for a surprise when he found Guru Nanak unhurt. Bristling with fury, the demon tried to crush Guru Nanak by kicking the boulder with all his might. To his surprise, the demon’s foot caused a deep impression in the boulder which had turned soft. Realizing that the man in front of him was no mortal soul, the demon stopped harassing him along with the people of the town.
The boulder and the legend associated with it was forgotten for a long time. However, in the late 1970s, the boulder was discovered again during the construction of Leh-Nimu road. Construction work was brought to a halt by a huge boulder and despite all efforts it couldn’t be removed. Though people associated with the construction had visions asking them not to disturb the rock, army official in-charge of the project decided to blow. However, when army officials were about to blow up the boulder, lamas and locals arrived and stopped the work. The lamas told the army officials about the rock and Nanak Lama.
Later, the army officials, locals and lamas helped construct the Gurudwara. The Guru Pathar Sahib is maintained by the Indian Army. It is a tradition for vehicles to stop and pay respects at the temple before continuing with the journey.
Though there are no hotels, resorts or homestays around the gurudwara, the best option for travelers is finding accommodation in Leh. There are also close to no options to eat around Gurudwara Pathar Sahib. Leh has a fair number of hotels serving mostly north Indian and Tibetan delicacies. The best time of the year to visit Gurdwara Pathar Sahib is between the months of June and October.