Gurduwara Nankana Sahib is named after Guru Nanak Dev Ji (1469-1539), the founder of the Sikh faith. Guru Nanak Dev Ji was born here on Baisakh sudi 3, 1526 Bk/ 15 April, 1469. The Nankana town is part of the Nankana Sahib District in the Punjab province of Pakistan. This district is adjacent to the Sheikhupura district.
The Nankana Saahib District was part of the Sheikhpura District but in 2005, the district was split off to form the New Nankana Saahib District.
The old name of town was Talvandi Rai Bhoe Ki or “Talvandi of Rai Bhoe”, a Muslim Rajput of the Bhatti clan and a retainer of the Delhi rulers of the early fifteenth century. His descendant, Rai Bular, the chief of Talvandi, was a contemporary of Guru Nanak Dev. The town has nine gurdwaras including the Gurdwara Janam Asthan which marks the birth place of Guru Nanak Dev.
The first 15 or 16 years of Guru Nanak’s life were spent at Talvandi. Later, he shifted to Sultanpur Lodhi, in present day Kapurthala district of the Punjab, where his sister Bibi Nanaki lived. From there he set out on his long preaching odysseys, visiting his parents at Talvandi only now and then, his last visit to his native place being in 1510. Several shrines in the town, raised long after his death, mark the places where he was born, where he played with other children, where he studied and where he tended his father’s cattle.
The state government has ambitious plans for the area and has prepared plans to develop Nankana Sahib with various projects including a rest house for Sikh pilgrims, a new hotel, a shopping mall, a housing scheme, a world class university, modern schools, a modern hospital and a road-link to the Lahore-Faisalabad dual-carriage way. A trans-national bus link is proposed that would operate between Nankana Sahib and Amritsar of Punjab in India. The town is located about 75 kilometres west-southwest of Lahore and about 40 km south-west of Sheikhpura.
Commemorating the birthplace of Guru Nanak Dev it is the premier shrine at Nankana Sahib. A room first built here by his son, Baba Lakhmi Das (1497-1555), more probably by his grandson, Baba Dharam Chand (1523-1618), was known as Kalu ka Kotha, lit. house of (Mahita) Kalu, father of Guru Nanak. Later it came to be known as Nanakayan, lit. Home of (Guru) Nanak. Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1780-1839), at the instance of Akali Phula Singh and Baba Sahib Singh Bedi, constructed the present building, a domed square sanctum with a pavilion in front standing on a spacious, raised platform, and made an endowment of about 20,000 acres of land for the maintenance of Guru ka Langar.
The management remained with Udasi priests until the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee took it over after the gruesome events of 20 February 1921. With the partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947 and the migration of Sikh population from Pakistan, the management of all Sikh gurudwaras in the newly created State, including those at Nankana Sahib, passed to the Waqf Board.
The Government of Pakistan later allowed 15 Sikhs to stay in Nankana Sahib to perform the daily services in the shrines. In 1968 the number was reduced to 5. Now only a Granthi or scriptural reader and a few Sindhi Sikhs stay at Gurdwara Janam Asthan. Batches of pilgrims from India are occasionally allowed to visit with special permission from the Pakistan Government.