The Punjab government has finally decided to shift the relics of Guru Gobind Singh from Quila Mubarak here to Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib in Anandpur Sahib.
The relics will be moved in a procession that will start from May 6 and the relics will be put on display in a special bus, arranged by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC). The department of culture, archaeology and museums and the SGPC have started making arrangements to shift the relics as per the Sikh ‘maryada’.
The bus has already reached Patiala and has been parked at Gurdwara Dukhniwaran Sahib.
The relics were lying under lock and key at the Quila Mubarak since 2009 when the department of culture took its possession from the descendents of the erstwhile Nabha royal family following intervention of the Punjab and Haryana high court.
Though the court had told the department to display the relics at an open museum, it preserved them at Qila Mubarak.
The relics included three swords, a cloak, a gutka signed by Guru Gobind Singh, a robe, a turban and a comb with hair. The relics will be kept at the same place at Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib where the other weapons of Guru Gobind Singh have been kept.
The descendant of Nabha royal family, Tikka Hanumant Singh, also handed over two of the relics of Guru Teg Bahadur to the state government last week, which have also been kept at the Quila Mubarak.
The government has been planning to shift these relics for the past over one year, but Nabha resident Gurmail Singh, accompanied by Shaheed Baba Deep Singh Welfare Sewa Society, had moved the high court, demanding that the relics not be moved out and must be kept in the museum of the Nabha gurdwara. The government also planned to shift the relics to Virasat-e-Khalsa at Anandpur Sahib but failed to materialise it.
Navjot Pal Singh Randhawa, director of the department, said the preparations to shift these relics had been started.
“The route of taking the relics has been charted out and a special bus will be designed to shift these from May 6. Special cabinets will be designed to put these relics on display on the route from Patiala to Anandpur Sahib,” Randhawa said.
As per the encyclopaedia of Sikhism written by Kahan Singh Nabha, four of the relics of Guru Gobind Singh were handed over to then Maharaja of Nabha Bharpur Singh by the descendants of Pir Budhu Shah, a Muslim and an admirer of Guru Gobind Singh, during his rule from 1847 to 1863.
The relics were put on display at Hira Mahal for over 240 years, and were later taken to New Delhi by the descendants of the Nabha state. It was only after a court order that the relics were brought back and were placed in Patiala.
In December 2013, a high court division bench had directed the state to identify two gurdwaras in Nabha to display the relics. However, instead of shifting these relics back to Nabha, the government intends to hand these over to the SGPC.