Plans afoot to restore Sikh general Hari Singh Nalwa’s haveli in Pakistan
The Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) and Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) have planned to restore the Sikh General Hari Singh Nalwa’s haveli (mansion) located at Katasraj in Chakwal district of Pakistan’s Punjab province.
PSGPC chief Satwant Singh said, “We have decided to restore the historic structure to pay tribute to one of the great military commanders of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The restoration work will be carried out by PSGPC and ETPB jointly.”
Nalwa was the commander-in-chief of the Sikh Khalsa Fauj, the army of the Sikh Empire. He is known for his role in the conquests of Kasur, Sialkot, Attock, Multan, Kashmir, Peshawar and Jamrud.
The fortified haveli was built by him in the 1800s and overlooks the holy Hindu ponds believed to be Shiva’s tears. The haveli is built at the place which is a prominent Hindu shrine, with a typical military design, including kill holes.
Notably, a jatha of Hindu pilgrims visits the Hindu shrine twice a year as per the India-Pakistan bilateral pact.
With cooperation of US Sikh body Ranjit Nagara, historic Sikh shrine Gurdwara Choa Sahib is under restoration. Built in 1834 under the command of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the gurdwara was lying closed since the Partition.
Located on the northern edge of Rohtas Fort — a UNESCO world heritage site — near Jhelum, it fell prey to neglect. The gurdwara commemorates the site where Guru Nanak is believed to have created a water spring during one of his (udasi) journeys.
However, the PSGPC and ETPB are silent over Gurdwara Nanaksar Sahib associated with Sikhism’s founder Guru Nanak and situated in Chakk Fateh Bhinder village in Daska tehsil of Sialkot district.