Gurdwara Dera Sahib is located just outside of the Walled City of Lahore, and is part of an ensemble of monuments which includes the Lahore Fort, Samadhi of Ranjit Singh, Hazuri Bagh quadrangle, Roshnai Gate, and the Badshahi Mosque.
The gurudwara marks the spot where Guru Arjan is believed to have vanished into the River Ravi, which at the time flowed just outside Lahore’s city walls.
The Guru had undergone torture on the orders of the Mughal emperor Jahangir, at a site in Lahore’s walled city that is commemorated by the defunct Gurdwara Lal Khoohi – which has been repurposed into a Muslim shrine by the name of Haq Chaar Yaar. The Guru’s torture infuriated his close friend and Muslim mystic, Mian Mir. On the fifth day of torture, the Guru’s request for a bath in the river was granted after intercession from Mian Mir. After submerging himself in the river, the Guru reportedly did not reappear, and a Mughal search party was unable to retrieve him.