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Written by Sruthi on November 16, 2022 Share on

Baba Mandir, Sikkim -Must Visit During your Darjeeling Vacation

The Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple is popularly known as Baba Mandir. The Baba Mandir, Sikkim is located at an altitude of 12,123 ft above sea level. This is around 52 Km from Gangtok and is between Jelepla and Nathula pass. Baba Mandir is usually part of the itinerary when visiting Nathula Pass and Tsongmo Lake.

The History behind Baba Mandir

The story behind the temple is sentimental for many. Harbhajan Singh was part of the Punjab Regiment as Sentry. He was posted at the China border as part of the border patrol force. It is said that in October 1968 he disappeared without a trace. People have contemplated and many stories have been doing the rounds. The most popular among them is that he drowned. Harbhajan Singh used to escort mules that carry provisions. He could have fallen in a stream and drowned. A fellow sentry personnel had a dream about him after a few days and asked him to construct a memorial in his name

The sentries build a tombstone and a few years later a temple was built on it. It is believed that Harbhajan Singh’s spirit is still alive. They pray and wish that Harbhajan Singh will protect them when they traverse the difficult terrain.

Also, Read – Ultimate Trekking Guide to Sikkim

View of Baba Mandir
Image Source: Wikimedia

The Eerie Sightings

You will be surprised to know that there have been rumours that the Chinese soldiers have sighted a turbaned sentry walking around the borders, guarding the area on multiple occasions. The soldiers in the camp, till the day, believe that Harbajan Singh visits the camp every night to be part of the patrolling force. There were even instances where his polished shoes become dirty and his neat camp bedsheet is crumpled by morning.

Some might feel that the blind belief that his spirit is still alive is slightly weird. You will be even more surprised to know that after his death Harbajan Singh has been promoted to the rank of Honorary Captain. His family still receives a monthly salary.

The Temple Structure

Over many years the memorial has slowly turned into a pilgrimage place. People worship the large photo of Harbajan Singh inside the temple. You will see many people leaving a bottle of drinking water that will be collected at a later time. They believe that drinking this water will bring them good luck. The army trucks passing the temple stops and pays their homage.

Also, Read: Monasteries in Sikkim

Inside Baba Mandir, Sikkhim
Image Source: Wikimedia

The Office

Harbajan Singh has a dedicated office in the grounds where he is believed to carry out his day-to-day activities. In it, there is a dining place, a bed, his shoes and uniform.

The Locality of Baba Mandir

There is a souvenir shop and a cafe near the Baba Mandir. Beautiful mountains surround the temple on all sides. There are chances of seeing snow, particularly during the winter.

Also Read: Silk Route Sikkim

How to Visit Baba Mandir

The temple of Baba is part of the itinerary when visiting Nathula pass or Tsomgo Lake. This being a protected area you need a Protected Area Permit. You will need to go through a registered tour operator in Sikkim to visit the place. Please remember to carry your Photo ID proof and two passport size photographs.

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