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Africa's Oldest Gurdwara (Video/ਵੀਡੀਓ)

Inderjeet Kaur

Oct 13, 2011
Seattle, Washington, USA
The First Singh Sabha Gurdwara Sahib at Kilindini (Mumbasa), Kenya,1898.

In "Through Open Doors", Cynthia Salvadori has given extremely useful information. She explains on pp 282 that----"The oldest Sikh Association in Kenya is the Sri Guru Singh Sabha (Association of Guru's Lions), an organization founded in India in 1873 to revitalize the Khalsa movement. Singh Sabha organizers came out with the first indentured labourers in 1898 and, together with their fellows in the Police and Army, were responsible for the construction of the first Gurdwaras, not only in Mumbasa and Nairobi, but also in several other towns. They were also responsible for the organization of the main Sikh educational system in Kenya, the Khalsa Schools". Bhai Jawahar Singh Kapoor was the Vice-President of Lahore Singh Sabha. He was Head clerk in Northern Railway. He talked with Professor Gurmukh Singh, and Giani Dit Singh, and they thought in the long run( ref. P 233 of"Bhai Dit Singh Giani, Jivan, Rachna Te Shakhsiat", by Dr. Karnail Singh Somal). On this page the author has written about the newspaper "Khalsa Akhbar, dated May 25,1900. This Newspaper confirms that---"Jis Kaum Wich Door Andesh Ate Diragh Vichar Wale Purakh Na Hon, oh Kaum Kade Bhi Apani Unati Nahi Kar Sakdi---"

There was an agreement between the British Government and Singh Sabha organizers to construct Gurdwaras in East-Africa. Owing to this agreement, Prof.Gurmukh Singh visited Kilindini. The first Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara Sahib was opened in Kilindini literally within a few weeks of the arrival of the first shipload of indentured labourers in 1898.

This Gurdwara Sahib was opened in two small rooms, by Prof. Gurmukh Singh, Sardar Kala Singh, Jamadar Ungan Singh and other Sikhs in April 1898. Before December 1898, both Prof.Gurmukh Singh and Jamadar Ungan Singh had left for their heavenly abode in Lahore and Tsavo respectively. Original iron and wood building was replaced by a more substantial edifice. In 1961, Sri Guru Singh Sabha Mumbasa constructed a Temple in Makupa to replace the old Kilindini one. Page No. 281 of the said book says that " in Nairobi, the first Gurdwara was a tent set up in 1899 by Sirdar Kishan ingh and his company of Railway Police in Landhies and the temple of Sri Guru Singh Sabha in 1911.The Temple at Landhies had iron roof and wooden walls for just four years, and the new Gurdwara Sahib was replaced in 1903,The Gurdwara Sahib at Temple road was opened in Khalsa School in 1911.


(1)---Through Open Doors,by Cynthia Salvadori, published by Kenway Publications,Nairobi,Kenya,1989.

(2)---My Photo-Album of East-Africa.

(3)---The Man-Eators of Tsavo,by Lt.Col.J.H.Pettersons, published by,Macmillan And Co. Limited, St. Martin's Street,London, 1910.(Its First Edition appeared in 1907).

(4)---Mahima Prakash Vartak, by Sarup Das Bhalla,1776, published by Singh Brothers, Amritsar, 2004.

(5)---Bhai Dit Singh Giani,Jivan, Rachana Te Shakhsiat, by Dr. Karnail Singh Somal,published by Singh Brothers, Amritsar,2005.
(6)---Sikh Kaun Han, By Dr. Harjinder Singh Dilgir. printed by Sikh Univrsity Press, Belgium,2005.

(7)---Janamsakhi Meharban, edited by Shamsher Singh Ashok, published by Khalsa College, Amritsar,1962.

Copy Right 2010 by Bhai Harpal Singh Kasoor.

Inderjeet Kaur

Oct 13, 2011
Seattle, Washington, USA
:whatzpointkudi::whatzpointkudi:Images in order of appearance with commentary

The old Kilindini or Lehri Port in Mumbasa.
Kalindini i called deep water or waves in Swahili whereas in Hindi language it is called "Lehran."

Kilindini Road, Mumbasa.

This old photo is taken as a courtesy of ).

The First Gurdwara Sahib in Kenya Opened in Kilindini, April 1898, by Prof. Gurmukh Singh.

A small Panthic flag on a room in Kilindini(Mumbasa), in 1898, shows that there was a temple in Kilindini. Lt. Col. J. H..Patterson and his workmen used to take weekend tea there. This Gurdwara Sahib was opened in two rooms, by Prof.Gurmukh Singh, of Oriental College, Lahore, and Sirdar Kala Singh, Jamadar Ungan Singh and others, in April 1898. Please note that both Prof.Gurmukh Singh and Jamadar Ungan Singh died in 1898.

(Courtesy of Man-Eators of Tsavo, by Lt. Col. J. H. Pstterson).

Orioginal Kilindini Gurdwara Sahib, Replaced with a New Gurdwara, in Makupa, 1961.

With the growth of the Indian Population, The original Gurdwara Sahib at Kilndini was changed to a spacious new Gurdwara Sahib, but the Sikh community forget that with Kilindini, our history was attached.

(Courtesy of Sikh Heritage in East-Africa)

Sikh community has once again shifted Sri Guru Singh Sabha to another spacious Gurdwara Sahib.

Siri Gurdwara Sahib Ramgarhia Railway Landhies, 1903.

In 1899, the first Gurdwara Sahib was opened by Kishan Singh of Railway Police and others. It ha iron roof and wooden walls. It was replaced by a concrete edifice in 1903.

(Courtesy of " Through Open Doors" by Cynthia Salvadori and published and printed in Nairobi, 1989).

Inderjeet Kaur

Oct 13, 2011
Seattle, Washington, USA
Far-Sightedness of Prof. Gurmukh Singh, Lahore.

Khalsa Akhbar, Lahore, paid a rich tribute to Professor Gurmukh Singh and others for their far-sightedness.They made an agreement with the English Govt. to supply workers, and the Government in return, helped open the Sikh Gurdwaras in India and East Africa. The founder members of Lahore Singh Sabha had rightly thought that this agreement would stop the negative preaching of Sanatanis and English Missionaries.

(This photo is taken by the courtesy of ).

After about five months from the opening of Gurdwara Sahib in Kenya, Prof. Gurmukh Singh left for his heavenly abode on September 24, 1898.

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