Anandpur Sahib is one of the holiest places of the Sikhs, second only to Amritsar.It is closely linked with Sikh religious traditions and history. The ninth Guru, Guru Teg Bahadur, purchased the site from the ruler of Bilaspur in the year 1665 and founded Anandpur Sahib near the ruins of ancient Makhowa. He called it Chak Nanki after the name of his mother. The town became prosperous and reached its zenith in the times of Guru Gobind Singh, who spent 25 years of his life here.
On March 30,1689 Guru Sahib laid the foundation of a new town and named it Anandpur Sahib. To Defend Anandpur from external threats, Guru Gobind Singh constructed five forts around the town and joined them with earthworks and underground tunnels. The construction began in 1689 and took over ten years to complete. It was here that Guru Gobind Singh baptised the first five Sikhs called the Panj Piares, the five beloved ones in 1699. The Panj Piare had offered him their heads to uphold Dharma, thus creating the nucleus of the Khalsa. Chak Nanki and Anandpur Sahib as well as some adjoining villages form the present city of Anandpur Sahib.
Major Attractions: There are many sacred sites near Anandpur Sahib. Guru-Ka-Lahore, which is situated about 11 kilometers from the ShriAnandpur Sahib-Ganguwal route leading to Himachal Pradesh, India. Gurudwara Mata Jito Ji is the shrine where Mata Jito Ji was cremated and is quite near Anandpur Sahib. The best time to go to Anandpur Sahib is during the occasion of Holla Mohalla. It is a unique attraction of Anandpur Sahib. The city comes to life every year during this auspicious occasion. This tradition goes back to the times of the tenth Guru, Shri Guru Gobind Singh. The guru decided that the occasion of colors, fun and frolic, be the occasion for the display of the warrior like spirit of his people. He gave the name Holla Mohalla to the festival of Holi. Each year Holla Mohalla marks the congregation of thousands of devotees from all over the country for a festival of color and gaiety. The highlight of the festival is a huge procession by the nihangs, clad in their traditional costumes and weapons. Baisakhi in 1999, at Anandpur Sahib, marked the completion of 300 years of the birth of the Khalsa. On Baisakhi day, Guru Gobind Singh baptized the Panj Pyaras at the place where Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib stands.
Virasat-e-Khalsa formerly known as Khalsa Heritage Memorial Complex) is a museum located in Anandpur Sahib. The museum gives an insight to the events that took place in Punjab five hundred years ago that gave birth to Sikhism and finally the Khalsa Panth. The museum aims to illuminate the vision of the Gurus, their message of peace and brotherhood and the culture and heritage of Punjab.The museum is intended to commemorate 500 years of Sikh history and the 300th anniversary of the Khalsa, the scriptures written by the 10th and last living Guru of Sikhism, Guru Gobind Singh.After thirteen years of construction it was inaugurated on November 25, 2011 and opened to the public on November 27, 2011.