Thursday, 21 June 2012

Khalsa Heritage Memorial


Sikhism was founded by Guru Nanak Dev in 1499 which had its root beliefs and values in humanism, liberalism, universalism and pluralism. The faith in Sikhism was further articulated by the 9 Guru’s who followed after him thereby making Sikhism a part of life.
SikhismAt Anandpur Sahib 200 years later on the day of Baisakhi the 10th master Guru Gobind Singh Ji formally instituted the Khalsa Panth of saint-soldiers which would ensure peace, justice and equality to all human beings. Today the site has Gurudwara Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib.
Khalsa Heritage ComplexThe year 1999 was the 300th year of the formation of the Khalsa and this event was celebrated by followers of Sikhism all over the world. To commemorate this the government of Punjab decided to make a Khalsa Heritage Complex at Anandpur as a tribute to the heroic and emotional saga of Sikhs and Punjab.
The Memorial and Museum
Khalsa Heritage Complex - MapThe heritage memorial is built on a site that is 100 acres in area. The complex is envisioned to be two functionally integrated sets of buildings. Western complexes form the gateway of the building and there are houses that will cater directly to the needs of the people. ThePedistrian bridge leading to Southern Complexbuilding will have facilities like a library for research and reference which will be two storey’s. There will also be an big reading room with rare archival books, material, journals and audio visual resources.
Seminars and cultural events can be held in an auditorium which would seat over 400 people. The western complex and the eastern complex are connected by a 165 m bridge which also acts as a pedestrian access.
The Heritage complex is a permanent exhibit gallery which has scriptures and exhibits which give us a glimpse of the 500 year heritage of Sikhism. There are a series of reflecting pools which create a seven acre water body in between the western and the eastern complex.
Khalsa Heritage ComplexThe pool is surrounded by arcaded walkways and gardens on either side. The complex also has facilities for the public as well as a cafeteria at the base of the bridge.
Heritage ComplexThe foresight of the government was to make the heritage complex into the finest and the world’s foremost. The skilled labor and craftsmanship used to make the structure were deployed to create a structure that was worthy of the Sikh traditions and aspirations.
The complex is popularly also termed as ‘Ajooba’ which means a miracle. The heritage complex is one of a kind storytelling museum which is fully air conditioned and provides a deep spiritual, emotional and passionate experience and place for the people who visit it.
The architecture of the place is such that people can transcend into a different world all together. The museum has a multi layered communication strategy to receive all the intended communication. A visit to the complex will leave you emotionally moved.
The technology used in the interior of the place is cutting edge and highly modern which is integrated with original artifacts which date hundreds of years old.
Although the heritage site belongs to Sikhs it does not restrict anybody from visiting the place. Apart from catering to Sikh from rural areas, urban areas, and around the world it is open to everybody irrespective of their faiths.
Khalsa Heritage ComplexThe serene space within the complex encourages the visitors to contemplate on their experiences and the Ardaas – “ Nanak Naam chardi kala, tere bhane sarbat da bhala’ that reverberates in the summation space gives a message of universal good for humanity.
The first level of the museum is devoted to the Guru’s and their teachings and the story of their lives. The gallery describes significant events leading to the birth of Khalsa and the visual narrative and special effects shows the events in a more realistic manner.
The Heritage complex is situated in Anandpur Sahib which is 80 kms from Chandigarh the capital of Punjab. The last 11 kms of the road that leads to the complex is four laned and decorative entrance gates with green parks and huge trees welcomes the visitors into the town.
Anand Pur SahibAnandpur Sahib is an overnight journey by bus from Delhi the capital of India and there are also railway links which connect major cities in India to Chandigarh. Flight service is available to Chandigarh from major cities in India.
Naina DeviTourists could easily add Khalsa Heritage Complex to their travel itinerary since it attracts a large number of tourists to the Sikh Gurudwara’s and temples of Sri Naina Devi. On an average about 5000 pilgrims visit various Gurudwara’s on weekends alone.
Anandpur Sahib is also known to be home to nearly 320 herbs. The Nature Reserve Park is also a major attraction in the town.
Architecture and Design
The Khalsa Heritage complex is designed by Boston based architect Moshe Safdie and Ashok Dhawan who is his associate in India. L&T India’s major construction company has designed the Museum.
Adjoining Attractions
The Kila Anandgarh Sahib is one of the five forts constructed by Guru Gobind Singh the tenth Sikh Guru. The fort attracts a large number of tourists.
Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib Gurudwara is one of the five most important religious places for Sikhs and hence attracts many pilgrims all year round. Sri Keshgarh Sahib Sarovar is a holy lake situated near the main temple where devotes take a holu dip before paying a visit to the holycomplex.
Where to Stay
The FortThe FortThe Fort (Bharatgarh, Rupnagar) set in the foothills of Shiwaliks is a small hilltop homestay. The fort of Bharatghar is a heritage site which is hundreds of year old. A stay at Fort Bharatghar is something that you will cherish for the rest of your life. Not only will you enjoy the scenic view but the closeness to history and royal lifestyle and rich heritage will be an added value for your stay.
The FortThere are various rooms available according to your preferences. The rooms are well equipped to cater to your requirements. Bharatghar is well accessible from all the religious destinations around the town and hence is a preferred choice of stay.
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