Gurdwara Panja Sahib is situated at Hasan Abdal, 48 km from Rawalpindi in Pakistan. This is one of the most holy places of Sikhism because it marks the spot where the founder of the faith, Guru Nanak Dev visited and instilled an important lesson for his adherents. Still visible is the sacred rock with the hand print of Guru Nanak.
Guru Nanak along with Bhai Mardana reached Hasan Abdal in Baisakh Samwat 1578 B.K., corresponding to the summer of 1521 CE, when according to Sikh legend, Guru Nanak's handprint was imprinted onto a boulder. The Gurdwara was named Panja Sahib by Hari Singh Nalwa, the most famous general of the Sikh Empire. He is credited with having built the first gurdwara at the site.
Many thousands of faithful Sikhs from all over the globe visit this shrine. However, twice a year, during special celebrations, an enormous number of Sikh pilgrims attend this Gurdwara from every corner of the world. Special visas are allocated by the Pakistan government to cater for the increased demand.
The word "Panja" in Punjabi means an "outstretched palm" from the word "panj" which means "five".