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Central Sikh Museum in Golden Temple set to get a facelift

Established in 1958, the Central Sikh Museum exhibits paintings of Sikh gurus, saints, Sikh warriors and other prominent Sikh personalities who have contributed to the enhancement of Sikhism.

punjab Updated: Nov 13, 2017 11:14 IST
Hindustan Times, Amritsar
Central Sikh Mueseum,Golden temple,Amritsar
Visitors viewing the paintings and rare items at Central Sikh Museum at Golden Temple in Amritsar on Sunday.(Sameer Sehgal/HT)

The Central Sikh Museum, housed in the premises of the Golden Temple, is set to get a facelift as the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee(SGPC) is working out plans to revamp and expand the 59-year-old museum.

For this, SGPC has invited proposals from national and international organisations that specialise in museum planning. “Advertisements have been released to hire consultancy services from reputed international and national firms in the fields of museum planning, design, architecture and interiors,” said Roop Singh, chief secretary of SGPC.

SGPC has invited proposals from national and international organisations that specialise in museum planning. (Sameer Sehgal/HT)

Even though the project is at its nascent stage, Roop Singh said it will be finished soon and the revamped museum will be dedicated to the sangat by Baisakhi, a festival which is also celebrated by Sikhs as the foundation day of the Khalsa Panth.

Established in 1958, the Central Sikh Museum exhibits paintings of Sikh gurus, saints, Sikh warriors and other prominent Sikh personalities who have contributed to the enhancement of Sikhism. It also has a rich collection of coins, arms and ancient manuscripts.

Speaking about the project, Iqbal Singh, in charge of the museum, said, “Paintings and relics of the Sikh gurus will be displayed in a better way in six galleries. The museum will also be digitised and touch screens and other equipment will be installed.”

“Paintings and relics of the Sikh gurus will be displayed in a better way in six galleries. The museum will also be digitised and touch screens and other equipment will be installed.” - Iqbal Singh, museum in charge

Museum area to be doubled

Besides revamping the museum, the SGPC is also working on expanding it. Presently, the museum spreads in an area of 6,000 square feet. It is housed on the first floor of the rooms situated along the Parkarma of the Golden Temple.

Under the expansion project, the ground floor will also be merged with the museum, thus doubling the area.

The construction work has started and around Rs 15-20 lakh have been spent so far. Flooring and construction of stairways is on. Besides these, two lifts have also been installed in the museum for the convenience of the elderly and differently abled. “The total cost of the project will be estimated after hiring a consultant. We are working in this direction,” said Sukhjinder Singh, executive engineer of SGPC.

President of SGPC, Kirpal Singh Badungar said, “Once the project is completed, this museum will play a bigger role in spreading the Sikh ideology as people from across the world visit the Golden Temple in large numbers everyday.”

The museum’s wealth

The Central Sikh Museum’s collection is enriched by the wooden comb (kangha) of Guru Gobind Singh, rare musical instruments associated with noted gurbani exponents Baba Sham Singh and Bhai Samund Singh who contributed in promoting Gurmat Sangeet, pencil sketches by Princess Bamba (daughter of the last Sikh ruler Maharaja Duleep Singh), arms used by Sikh warriors, among others.

The museum has been divided into different sections based on Sikh history, with each housing artifacts from the corresponding period.

Recently, portraits of Lt Gen Harbaksh Singh (retd), hero of the 1965 Indo-Pak war, Lt Gen Jagjit Singh Arora (retd), known for his services during the 1971 Indo-Pak war, and Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh were also put up in the museum.

First Published: Nov 13, 2017 11:01 IST