Sahib, a city sacred to the memory of Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru of
the Sikhs, is also a bustling township with growing industries. It retains
tangibly memorials to the martial Guru in the form of his weapons and a
majestic Gurudwara and recalls his presence even in the name of the city
which is derived from "paon" meaning "foot" either
because he set foot in this place or according to an alternative story,
because he lost an ornament which he wore on his foot called a "paonta"
while bathing in the river Yamuna which flows here.
Overlooking the river is the Gurudwara where Guru Gobind Singh held court and wrote the major portion of the "Dassam Granth". The Guru also built the Paonta Fort in over hundred acres of land, which housed not only his followers, but as many as 46 famous poets. Regular poetry reading sessions and symposiums were organised to encourage the sort form. The guru left Paonta Sahib after the battle of Bhangani with Raja Fateh Shah, in which he defeated the errant ruler's army after thirty days of battle.
Paonta Sahib is distinguished by its association with the Sikhs and attracts them by the thousands at the spring festivals of ' Baisakhi' and ' Holi '. There are also two Hindu temples, one dedicated to Lord Rama called Devi Ka Mandir and built by a princess, and the other is sacred to Lord Kishna.
Gurudwara Paonta Sahib (200m): This site was Guru Gobind Singh's home for over four years and it was here that he wrote the 'Dasam Granth'. Within its precincts are the 'Sri Talab Asthan', where he disbursed salaries and the 'Sri Dastar Asthan', where he judged the turban-tying competitions. At the Kavi Darbar Asthan, poetic symposia were held. There is also a memorial of 'Kalpi Rishi' and a museum that displays pens of the Guru and weapons of the time.
Yamuna Temple (200m): This ancient shrine is immediately below the Gurudwara and is dedicated to the Goddess Yamuna.
Gurudwara Bhangani Sahib (23-km): This commemorates Guru Gobind Singh's first battle when he defeated Raja Fateh Shah and his allies.
Gurudwara Tirgarh Sahib (22-km): This Gurudwara is built on the hillock from where Guru Gobind Singh shot arrows at the enemy.
Nagnauna Temple (16-km): Built in a hollow near the village of Puruwalla, this temple is closely allied with the legend of Sirmour's erstwhile ruling house.
Gurudwara Shergarh Sahib (12-km): At this spot Guru Gobind Singh beheaded a dangerous man-eating tiger with a single swipe of his sword.
Shiva Temple, Patlian: 5-km from Paonta Sahib, surrounded by fields and sal trees, the 'linga' in this temple is supposed to be steadily increasing in size.
Katasan Devi Temple: 30-km from Paonta Sahib, also known as Uttam Wala Bara Ban, this is on the Paonta Sahib-Nahan road. The shrine is revered by local people. At this spot, the forces of Sirmour defeated the marauding armies of Ghulam Qadir Khan Rohiolla.
Balasundari Temple, Trilokpur: Legend has it that the Devi's 'pindi' appeared in the bag of salt brought by a local trader, Raja Deep Parkash of Sirmour in 1573. Close by is a recently built Shiva temple. more..
Ram Temple: Within Paonta Sahib and also known as the 'Mandir Shri Dei Ji Sahiba', this is located near the Yamuna bridge. With exquisite marble work, this was built in 1889 in the memory of Raja Partap Chand of Kangra by his wife, who originally belonged to Sirmour. The Kirpal Dass Gurudwara is just past the temple.
Simbalwara Wildlife Sanctuary: 12-km off the main Paonta Sahib-Nahan road, this is known for a variety of bird life. more..
Assan Lake: 4-km from Paonta Sahib, this beautiful lake has all facilities like speedboats, rowing, paddle and sailing boats. In addition, one can enjoy water skiing and hovercraft rides. A fast food restaurant is also available.
Fossil Park: 60-km from Paonta Sahib, this was the site of the largest fossil find in the Shivalik hills. The park has a museum and life-size models of the animals that once roamed these tracts.
Shrine of Baba Garib Nath: 8-km from Paonta Sahib, located in a sal forest and with an excellent view of the area, the shrine is revered by childless women.
Road: Paonta Sahib is connected by road. From
Renuka, it is 81-km via Nahan and 60-km via Rajban. From Dehradun it is
Rail: The closest railheads are at Ambala, 95-km, Dehradun, 126-km and Chandigarh, 95-km.
Air: The nearest airports are at Chandigarh and Dehradun. Taxis/buses are available for Paonta Sahib at all places.
In winter, the temperature can hover around freezing point when heavy woollens are required. Summer temperatures are quite high and cottons are recommended.