Sepoy Baba Harbhajan Singh is a soldier of Indian Army who is still doing his duty for Indian Army with complete promptness and loyalty even after this death. He is still employed in Indian Army and gets salary even after his death.
Sepoy Harbhajan Singh was born on 30th August 1946 in village Sadrana of Gujjarawala District in Punjab (Pakistan). Son of Mrs Amar Kaur, Sepoy Harbhajan Singh joined the Army on 09 February 1966, and was recruited into 23 Punjab of the famed Punjab Regiment. It was with this regiment that he served until his death on 4 October 1968 in Sikkim.
On 4 October 1968, while carrying a convoy of mules from his battalion headquarters in Tekula to Dengchukl, Sepoy Harbhajan Singh slipped his foot near Nathu La Pass in East Sikkim and fell into a fast flowing stream and was drowned. The strong current of water washed away his body and took him 2 kilometers away.
After this, A massive search operation was conducted by Indian Army for Sep Harbhajan Singh but it did not yield any result and he was declared a deserter by the Army authorities. However It is said that he came in the dream of his fellow soldier named Pritam Singh and gave information about his body. After three days of investigation, the Indian Army found the body of Baba Harbhajan Singh at the same place.
It is said that in the dream of his friend, he had expressed his wish about his Samadhi. Keeping his wish, a tomb of Sep Harbhajan Singh was also built. People had a lot of faith about this place, so keeping in mind the convenience of the devotees, the Indian Army built their Samadhi 9 kilometers down in 1982, which is now known as Baba Harbhajan SinghTemple. Every year thousands of people come here to visit. It is believed about his samadhi that by keeping a bottle of water here for a few days, it gets miraculous properties and by consuming it for 21 days, the devotees get rid of their diseases.
Indian army has given him honourary captain’s rank posthumously. It is believed by the soldiers posted around Nathu la that Sepoy Harbhajan Singh’s soul is protecting and forewarning them of danger in that area. A temple also has been constructed in his name where thousands of people visit to pay their respects to Sep Harbhajan Singh now known as Baba Harbhajan Singh.
It is said that even after death, Baba Harbhajan Singh kept informing his friends about the activities of China Army around Nathu La, which always proved to be true. And based on this fact, he was also posthumously placed in the service of the Indian Army. It has been 48 years since his death but even today the soul of Baba Harbhajan Singh is performing his duty in the Indian Army. Baba Harbhajan Singh is also called the hero of Nathu La.
Baba Harbhajan Singh still informs about the activities of opponent on the border through the dreams of fellow army men. Even Chinese army men believe to have seen a human figure doing patrolling in the night across the border.
Baba Mandir has three room structures. The central room has a large portrait of the Baba along with other Hindu deity and Sikh Gurus. To the right of the central room is the personal room of Baba. The room has every household belongings required for daily activities, from clothes, shoes, slippers and a neat sleeping bed, it is all well maintained. The uniforms are neatly ironed and shoes polished ready for use. Opposite to this room is a small room that has an office cum store room. The room is filled with water bottles, unused slippers, tooth brushes and other items offered to Baba. The followers believe that the water kept in the Mandir after a week would turn into holy water and cure every ailment. People believe that the slippers kept here would help patients with gout and other foot problems and so on. That devotee who cannot visit the shrine sends letters to Baba that is opened by the associate of Baba. These letters usually have the request for the Baba to help solve personal problems and the gratitude for being helped.
Every October 4, a special ceremony is organized by the Indian army out here to honour the role of Baba Harbhajan Singh as well as the martyrs of Indian army who laid down their lives for safeguarding the country. Every Sunday and Tuesday throughout the year puja is offered at Baba Mandir where free meals are distributed among the devotees.
Despite the blessing of the Baba the armies at Nathula border are in high alert when Baba goes on an annual leave from September 15 to November 15 every year. Even leaves for other army men during the months are cancelled and extra cautions are sought after. Every year on 11 September, a jeep departs with his personal belongings to the nearest railway station, New Jalpaiguri, from where it is then sent by train to the village of Kuka, in the Kapurthala district of the Indian state of Punjab. While empty berths on any train of the Indian Railways are invariably allocated to any waitlisted passenger or on a first-come-first-served basis by the coach attendants, a special reservation for the Baba is made. Every year a seat is left empty for the journey to his hometown and soldiers chaperone the Baba to his home
This true legend of Baba Harbhajan is only next to the significance of Lord Kanchenjunga for the people of Sikkim.