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View inside the shrine OF Baba Harbhajan Singh

CAPTAIN "Baba" Harbhajan Singh (August 3, 1941 – October 4, 1968) (Punjabi: ਹਰਭਜਨ ਸਿੰਘ) was an Indian army officer who died near the Nathula Pass in eastern Sikkim, India. He is revered by the soldiers of the Indian army, who have built a shrine in his honour. Baba is reported to have granted favours to the soldiers, and guard each one in the inhospitable terrain.

Harbhajan Singh was born into a Sikh family on August 3, 1941 in the village of Batthe Bhaini in Punjab (India). He completed his preliminary schooling at village school, and then did his matriculation from DAV High School in Patti in March 1955. In June 1956 he enrolled himself as a soldier in Amritsar and joined the Corps of Signals. On June 30, 1965 was granted a commission and posted to the 14 Rajput regiment. During the 1965 Indo-Pakistan war he served as an Adjutant of his unit. Later he was transferred to 18 Rajput. It was with this regiment that he met his end on October 4, 1965 in Sikkim.[1]

A shrine was built at his samādhi, at an elevation of around 4,000 metres (13,123 ft). According to army folklore, Baba is a stickler for discipline and is known to admonish those who do not tow this line. A camp bed is kept for him and his boots are polished and uniform kept ready every night. The sheets are reportedly crumpled every morning and boots muddy by evening. The Major continues to draw a salary and takes his annual leave.

According to legend, Major Harbhajan Singh drowned in a glacier following the 1962 Sino-Indian War in 1968 while escorting a column of mules to a remote outpost. He was the first casualty of the 23rd Punjab Regiment, and a manhunt was launched to find him. He was found after three days and cremated with full military honours. According to legend, it was Major Harbhajan Singh who led the search party to his body, and later, through a dream, instructed one of his colleagues to build and maintain a shrine after him.

Legend also has it that in the event of a war between India and China, Baba would warn the Indian soldiers three days in advance. During the flag meetings between the two nations at Nathula, the Chinese set a chair aside for the saint. Every year on September 14, a jeep departs with his personal belongings to the nearest railway station, New Jalpaiguri, where it is then sent by train to the village of Kuka, in Kapurthala district in Punjab. A small sum is also sent to his mother each month.

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