The living spirit of Baba Harbhajan Singh

Near the deep blue waters of the Tsomgo lake is a temple dedicated to an Indian soldier who is said to have been martyred in the hills. People say that after his death, his spirit continues to linger and save his army men.
The living spirit of Baba Harbhajan Singh. Image Credit - Amarujala

The living spirit of Baba Harbhajan Singh. Image Credit - Amarujala

There was once a soldier named Harbhajan Singh. He was given the task of transporting a consignment from one post to another. However, during this process, he went missing. No one knew where he went. At this point, the armed forces got concerned. Some say that Harbhajan Singh appeared in the dreams of a man who was a part of the search party and led them to where his body lay buried. According to another story, Baba Harbhajan Singh was martyred in Nathula, Sikkim.

However, the young soldier died at the age of 22 and became a legend in the Army. People say that his spirit protects soldiers and forewarns them of the dangers ahead. If he finds any person stuck in a situation, Baba Harbhajan Singh comes to their rescue.

A samadhi was built in his honour, and after a few years, a temple was constructed around it.

Many people, including the Chinese Army, believe that Harbhajan Singh's spirit is very much alive. There have been instances when the Chinese Army reported seeing a soldier with a turban on patrol at night. Soldiers in the Indian Army believe that the spirit of Harbhajan Singh visits the camps every night and sleeps in a bunk. Many times they have seen crumpled sheets in the morning and muddy shoes in the evening.

The temple of Baba Harbhajan Singh, also known as the Baba Mandir, is located near the Nathula pass in Sikkim. Many pilgrims visit the shrine to seek the blessings of the holy martyr. The Old Mandir, situated in the Nathang Valley, is a tedious trek. Keeping the logistics in mind, the New Temple was constructed in 1982.

The temple has an office space, and a picture of Harbhajan Singh is worshipped regularly. It is said that if one leaves a bottle of water here for a few days and drinks from it, all their wishes come true.

Although Harbhajan Singh died in the prime of his life, soldiers believe that his spirit is very much alive, and he has been promoted to the rank of honorary captain. Every year, a reservation is made for Baba in the Indian railways so his uniform can be taken to his hometown Kapurthala in Punjab. Harbhajan Singh's mother continues to receive his salary.

The legend of Baba Harbhajan Singh is kept alive by the Chinese Army and the Indian Army guarding the Indo-Chinese border. His spirit will live forever.


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