Virasat-e-Khalsa proves to bea boon for Anandpur Sahib
Virasat-e-Khalsa, a world class museum built in Anandpur Sahib to depict Punjab culture and history of Sikhism, has proved to be a boon for the town, which is otherwise considered to be a backward area.chandigarh Updated: Sep 18, 2014 09:21 IST
Virasat-e-Khalsa, a world class museum built in Anandpur Sahib to depict Punjab culture and history of Sikhism, has proved to be a boon for the town, which is otherwise considered to be a backward area.
The museum was thrown open to public on November 27, 2011. It has not only become the main tourist attraction but also helped in boosting economy of the town. While the rents of shops in the area have increased manifold during the last couple of years, the annual business of banks has crossed over Rs 500 crore attracting various banks to open their branches in the town.
The income of Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib at Anandpur Sahib has registered an annual increase of `15 crore since its opening and the shopkeepers and banks in town have seen a boom in their business. The annual rent of land auctioned by Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) to set up vends near Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib has increased to Rs 3.5 crore from Rs 75 lakh during the last three years, Sukhwinder Singh Grewal, takht manager, said.
More than 49 lakh people, including nearly 20% non resident Indians (NRIs) and foreigners, have visited the museum, so far.
"The museum was built considering that 4,000 people will visit it every day and the staff was employed accordingly. However, the number remains nearly double to it and many a times nearly 25,000 visitors visited the museum on a single day," Karamjit Singh Sra, chief executive officer, Anandpur Sahib Foundation, said.
He said Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and ambassadors of many countries were among the dignitaries who had visited the museum and Prince Charles with his wife Camila Parker came here during its construction in 2006.
He said it was perhaps the only such museum in the world which displayed religious exhibits without asking the visitors to follow any religious norms while entering and that might be one of the reasons behind such a big footfall.
Sra said it was an attraction for the students of architecture and civil engineering who came here to study from different parts of country. A visitor could know about Punjab culture and Sikh history within 72-minute round of the museum, he said.
He said 14 more galleries would be constructed in the second phase for which Anandpur Sahib Foundation had allocated a budget of Rs 70 crore.
It may be mentioned that in the first phase, the Sikh history till the installation of Guru Granth Sahib is displayed and in the second phase, the history from installation of Guru Granth Sahib to present day will be exhibited.
Work on second phase of the Virasat-e-Khalsa was going on in full swing and four of the 14 galleries of this phase would be opened for the visitors by May next year. The first of these four galleries was related to Guru Granth Sahib, second to Baba Banda Bahadur, third to the establishment of Sikh identity (Maharaja Ranjit Singh era), while the fourth gallery was related to the fight for Sikh identity leading to independence struggle, he added.