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HindustanTimes Sun,13 Jul 2014

NRI Oberoi’s trust may soon get management of Nepal gurdwaras

Vishal Joshi, Hindustan Times  Karnal, September 03, 2013
First Published: 11:00 IST(3/9/2013) | Last Updated: 11:02 IST(3/9/2013)

After fighting a long legal battle on a foreign soil, Dubai-based Punjabi entrepreneur SP Singh Oberoi’s charitable trust may get the management of three lesser-known gurdwaras in Nepal by the end of September.

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These shrines are associated with first Sikh master Guru Nanak Dev and Oberoi plans scientific preservation of the shrines while maintain maryada (Sikh code of religious conduct).

Better known as a person who had helped save lives of 17 Indian youth sentenced to death in Dubai, Oberoi told Hindustan Times on Monday that he had managed to access the original revenue documents that helped him to stake the gurdwaras’ claim on land.

He is elated that the Nepalese apex court accepted the 500-year-old royal donation papers and the Nepal government has agreed in principle to allow the restoration work of the shrine to the trust, a registered body in Nepal, and other local people.

The land of Guru Nanak Math is still in the name of Guru Nanak Dev.

“The supreme court of Nepal is expected to hand over the control of the land and shrines to Sarbat Da Bhala Charitable Trust in the next few days,” said Oberoi, who was in Karnal to launch a rehabilitation programme of street children by National Integrated Forum of Artists and Activists (NIFAA).

Oberoi has plans to set up a Sikh museum and an orphanage at Thapathali.

In 1516, the then Nepal emperor Raja Jai Jagat Malla of Malla dynasty had donated 1,600 acres of land for religious services to Guru Nanak Dev.

As there was no one to take care of the Guru Nanak Math, the land was encroached upon by various people. Now only 34 acres of land is in possession of the math.

“With the help of local population and officials, our team got access to the original papers duly signed by the king Malla under his official seal. To make the offering a non-disputed, Malla had taken his son as a witness,” he said.

Guru Nanak’s Nepal udasi

Oberoi said that as per the history, Sikh's first master Guru Nanak Dev had visited Kathmandu in 1516 AD during his 3rd udasi (journey). The Guru had spent about one-and-half months there.

During his stay he had spent first night on the banks of Bishnumati river.

Sikh museum

After spotting a ‘rabab’ believed to be belonging to Bhai Mardana, a close disciple of Guru Nanak Dev, and an ancient 1,554-page manuscript of Guru Granth Sahib at Guru Nanak Math, SP Singh Oberoi has plans to construct a Sikh museum at Thapathali.

He said that more such belongings of the Guru would be searched and put on display after scientific preservation. An orphanage is also planned where 100 children would be adopted and given free education by the trust.


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