Dec. 6, 2018

A proposal by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) Delhi president for a 6th Sikh takht at Guru Nanak Dev’s birth place in Nankana Sahib in Pakistan has sparked a debate in the Sikh community.

Sikh takhts: An Overview

  • Takht is a Persian word that means imperial throne.

  • Number of Takhts: At present Sikhs recognise five places as takhts (Refer Table below). Apart from Akal Takht, the rest four takhts are linked to Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru.

  • Role of takhts:
    • Takhts are known to issue hukumnamas from time to time on issues that concern the community.

    • Akal Takht is the supreme Takht. So, any order concerning the entire community is issued only from Akal Takht. Also, it is from Akal Takht that Sikhs found to be violating the Sikh code of conduct are awarded religious punishment (declared tankhaiya).

  • Governance:
    • The three takhts in Punjab are directly controlled by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), which is dominated by Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) party.

    • The two takhts outside Punjab have their own trusts and boards.

List of Sikh Takhts:




Religious significance


Akal Takht

Amritsar, Punjab


Akal Takht is considered supreme among the five.

It is the oldest of the takhts. It was set up in 1606 by Guru Hargobind.

It houses the Guru Granth Sahib.


Takht Keshgarh Sahib

Anandpur Sahib, Punjab

It was here that Guru Gobind Singh raised Khalsa, the initiated Sikh warriors, in 1699.


Takht Damdama Sahib

Talwandi Sabo, Punjab

Guru Gobind Singh spent several months in Damdama Sahib.

It was the last one to be recognised as a takht, through a resolution of the SGPC in 1966, after Punjab became a separate state.


Takht Patna Sahib


Patna Sahib is the birthplace Guru Gobind Singh.


Takht Hazur Sahib

Nanded, Maharashtra

Guru Gobind Singh spent his final days in Hazur Sahib, where he was cremated in 1708.


Proposal on declaring a new takht at Nankana Sahib:

  • In November 2018, a gathering of Sikh devotees at Nankana Sahib in Pakistan adopted a proposal presented by Shiromani Akali Dal (Delhi) president Paramjit Singh Sarna to declare Guru Nanak Dev’s birth place as the sixth Takht of Sikhs.

  • Arguments against it:
    • It’s location in Pakistan has led to questions being raised about its independence, as gurdwaras across the border are not controlled by the community as is the practice in India, but by a department of the government called Evacuee Trust Board.

    • Even gurdwaras are not independent in Pakistan. So, how can a takht be independent there?

  • Way ahead: As this issue relates to the entire community, the proposal has to be deliberated upon by the head priests of the five takhts.