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Four New Galleries To Open In The Virasat-e-Khalsa Museum

HARPREET SINGH BAJWA

 

 

 

 


Anandpur Sahib, Punjab

More than 5.2 million people visited the Virasat-e-Khalsa museum at Anandpur Sahib within little more than three years of its opening, making it one of the most popular museums in the country.

Little wonder then that promoting Anandpur Sahib, the birthplace of the Khalsa Panth in Rupnagar district of Punjab, as a tourist hub is on the top of the Punjab Government’s agenda.

Four new galleries of the 17 planned are coming up under the second phase of the museum. The construction work is expected to be completed by June.

According to Virasat-e-Khalsa Chief Executive Officer N S Randhawa, Rs 3.27 billion will be spent on making this facility.

These four galleries will be opened to the public in June, in time for the celebration of the 350th anniversary of the founding of Anandpur Sahib.

The museum acquaints visitors with the history of Sikhism and the culture of Punjab. It was first opened to the public on November 27, 2011.

The first phase displayed Sikh history till the investiture of Guru Granth Sahib as the final and permanent Guru.

The second phase will acquaint visitors about Sikh history from thereon to the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh as Emperor of Punjab, until the year 1848.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and ambassadors of many countries have visited it so far. Prince Charles with his wife Camilla Parker came here during its construction in 2006. It is also an attraction for students of architecture and civil engineering.

During the 72-minute round of the museum, history is narrated through a series of paintings and installations. The museum sees traditional crafts and oral narratives integrated with state-of-the-art technology.

It is divided into two parts with an artificially created cascading lake flowing in between. A pedestrian bridge links the two sections. The western section contains a large auditorium, a two-storey library, a cafeteria and a space for organising temporary exhibitions. The eastern houses the permanent interpretive exhibition space and consists of two blocks of galleries.

Five acres of land have also been acquired for setting up the Bhai Jaita memorial as part of the complex. More land will be procured, we are told, as and when needed. A reception centre is scheduled to be set up shortly near the Punj Pyarey Park. The estimated cost of this project is Rs 2 million.

A five-star hotel is also in the works for the area.

Approximately 8000 visitors, including schoolchildren and tourists, both local and from abroad, throng the museum on an average day.


[Courtesy: The Sunday Standard. Edited for sikhchic.com]
March 17, 2015
 

Conversation about this article

1: Harinder Singh 1469 (New Delhi, India), March 17, 2015, 9:10 PM.

It's the Number Two address in Punjab, the place which is a must to visit after the Darbar Sahib in Amritsar, no matter if you are a local or coming from any part of the world. Yes, it has a wonderful expansion plan, specially covering the complex' environment, air ventilation, water harvesting, use of solar energy ... and, as exciting, its landscaping. Don't forget to pick your "I love Panjab" souvenir from the 1469workshop.com pro shop within the Museum complex.

2: Sunny Grewal (Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada), March 18, 2015, 2:52 AM.

If they are opening a new phase which will cover the heroic age (the period after the Gurus up until the annexation of Punjab into British India) then they will most likely show the Chhota and Vudda Ghallughara (Holocaust), also prominent Sikhs of that period. But I wonder, will the exhibits ever expand to encompass the Third Ghallughara which commenced in 1984?

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