ASI team for preserving structure found underneath Golden Temple
Amritsar The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has termed the structure, found underneath the premises of the supreme Sikh shrine Golden Temple on July 17 as ‘old’ and ‘historic’. A team of the ASI had examined the structure on July 20 on the request of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and the district administration and has submitted its report to deputy commissioner Gurpreet Singh Khaira. Deputy archaeologist AK Tiwari had led the ASI team.
Khaira said, “The ASI report says that the building remains are not on its list of declared heritage sites. It has asked the Punjab government to look into it under the Punjab Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1964. The tourism department has been asked to start the steps that the team has recommended.”
A senior ASI official said, “These are remains of the building which were constructed in the late medieval period of the Indian history of 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. It is made of Lahori brick with lime plaster.”
Notably, Sikh Gurus’ period, the era of Sikh Misls and the Sikh empire coincide with this period. The official added, “The Punjab government must preserve these remains. We will be available for any help.”
The government had razed this structure in 1988. Historians consider this structure as the temains of Gianian Da Bunga which was gifted by Maharaja Ranjit Singh to the family of Giani Sant Singh, the then head granthi of Golden Temple. Descendants of Giani Sant Singh have also claimed that this was their residence till 1988.
SGPC chief Bibi Jagir Kaur said, “The tourism department will send its team for a survey. We will act according to its report. We have also written to Guru Nanak Dev University’s historians and heritage experts for support. We want no confusion on the issue.”