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Is It Worth Spending Resources On Golden Domes And Palkis ?


Nov 4, 2005
I just read the following news of spending meagre Sikh resources on gold-plating Gurdwara Domes, Palkis, or building gurdwaras with marble etc. instead of using these resources for urgent useful purpose of establishing a first class Sikh media of TV, Radio and Newspaper. Have we not suffered enough for the lack of Sikh's response to the biased and maligned propaganda against Sikhs from every body, for the lack of Sikh's own media to counter or reponse. ? What do you think of this?

M. S. Chawla
Producer of English language panel discussion TV programs since 1993 in Washington, DC area, with panelists of American movers and shakers of Washington, DC USA.

Date: 03/30/2006
News Source: http://www.tribuneindia.com
Email this Article

Tribune News Service

An artist gives finishing touches to the gold
plating of the sanctum sanctorum of Darbar Sahib, Tarn
Taran, on Wednesday. - Photo by Rajiv Sharma

Tarn Taran, March 29
The four-century-old Darbar Sahib is glittering more
than usual. With almost 3 quintals of gold (about Rs
2.40 crore) used for gilding, first time after Maharaja
Ranjit Singh, it is the second Sikh shrine after the
Golden Temple where a huge quantity of gold has been

The domes and outer portions of the temple have been
given new gold-gild copper sheets. This work of
exquisite craftsmanship is being given finishing touches to
mark the quadricentennial (400) death anniversary of
Guru Arjan Dev, the founder of Tarn Taran. It falls in
June this year. The main entrance to the sanctum
sanctorum called Darshani Deori has also started

The gurdwara got constructed by the Guru stands on
the side of a large tank.

According to Baba Amrik Singh of Dera Baba Jagtar
Singh Kar Sewawale, at least 35 kg of gold would be used
for the "palki" (palanquin). Mr Jaswant Singh,
foreman, said though Muslim and Hindu artistes had been
working round the clock to meet the deadline of Baisakhi, a
large number of Sikh artistes have also made great
contributions to complete the work.

More than 30 artisans have been on the job to
complete the gigantic task. Baba Mohinder Singh said
artistes from Banaras had been called for the job. The
traditional "meenakari" is also being done on the interiors
of the sanctum sanctorum while gold plates on the
exterior were also being replaced.

Darbar Sahib is an important centre of Sikh
pilgrimage 24 km south of Amritsar. It was founded by Guru
Arjan Dev in 1596. Maharaja Ranjit Singh visited the
shrine in 1802. The Maharaja and his grandson Kanvar Nau
Nihal Singh had donated large quantities of gold to
have the exterior plated with the precious metal. The
upper portion of the edifice is covered with goldplated

The lotus dome of the Darbar Sahib was damaged in an
earthquake (April 4, 1905). It was rebuilt with an
umbrella shaped gold finial on top.

A view of the frescos at Darbar Sahib, Tarn Taran,
after kar seva. - Tribune photo by Rajiv Sharma

Varinder Walia, Tribune News Service

Tarn Taran, March 30
At least six frescos of Hindu gods, including Lord
Rama and Lord Krishna, which were unique specimens of
the Sikh school of art of the Maharaja Ranjit Singh era
have been replaced with Sikh paintings during kar seva
at Darbar Sahib here.

The upper storey would be opened to the Sikh sangat
on the 400th death anniversary of Guru Arjan Dev in
June this year.

The frescos were visible on the upper storey of the
sanctum sanctorum of the Sikh shrine before launching
the kar seva. However, Baba Amrik Singh of Dera Baba
Jagtar Singh Kar Seva Wale, while talking to The
Tribune, claimed that he was not aware of any painting
belonging to Hindu gods on the upper storey of Darbar
Sahib. He said most of the paintings were beyond
recognition since these were destroyed due to seepage from the

The frescos were unique specimens of the Sikh school
of art, completed in 1824 during the regime of
Maharaja Ranjit Singh. According to Sikh history, Maharaja
Ranjit Singh got the gold-plating and interior
decoration of the Darbar Sahib completed by taking personal

The other paintings visible at the time of the kar
seva were, however, preserved after a lot of
painstaking efforts. Now, all 16 paintings which were revived by
using a similar style and colours as that of the time
of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, belong to Sikh Gurus, Sikh
warriors and religious leaders, including Baba Deep
Singh, Bhai Mani Singh, Bhai Ghanaiya, Baba Budhaji, the
first head granthi of Harmandar Sahib, four Sahibzadas
(sons of Guru Gobind Singh) and Bhai Gurdass. Some of
the paintings depict Guru Nanak Dev flanked by Bhai
Bala and Bhai Mardana. Jaswant Singh, an artist of Dera
Baba Jagtar Singh Kar Seva Wale said specified colours
were used to complete the art work and the paintings
would last long as efforts had been made to stop
seepage in the upper storey.

When Dr Kanwarjit Singh Kang, a renowned fresco
expert, visited Darbar Sahib, Tarn Taran, in June 1971 in
connection with his Ph.D thesis "Mural paintings in
the 19th century Punjab", several frescos were intact in
the upper storey of the shrine. According to Dr Kang,
though originally the paintings were executed sometime
in the middle of the 19th century, the dome of the
shrine developed cracks during an earthquake in 1905 and
was rebuilt again and embellished afresh with murals.

In June 1971, the surviving frescos depicted mixed
themes, including portraits of Sikh Gurus and scenes
from the Hindu mythology.
Dec 8, 2005
Dear CHawla JI

I agree fully with what you have to say.
we must have our media , newspaper to carry our perspective of the truth.
Truth is some times a casulity in todays biased world.



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