Sikh Mandir, the Oldest Gurdwara of Guwahati | Guwahati News

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Sikh Mandir, the Oldest Gurdwara of Guwahati

Barasha Das | November 28, 2020 20:21 hrs

Guwahati today has a significant Sikh population and a number of Gurdwaras. Did you know that the oldest Gurdwara of the city is the Sikh Mandir, located in the middle of Fancy Bazar? Although famous as Sikh Mandir, its actual name is Shri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara. 

It celebrated its centenary year in 2014 having been established in 1914.

The plan to build a Gurdwara in Guwahati was initiated in the early 1900s. The Sikh population then in Guwahati was not much, hardly a hundred.

The then Railway Station Master, Sardar Aallah Singh along with businessman S. Kissan Singh, S. Kesar Singh, S. Jiwan Singh and S, Nagina Singh felt the necessity of a Gurdwara in the city. A suitable plot of land was searched for. 

The plot of land where the Gurdwara is presently located at Fancy Bazar was availed at the insistence of Khan Bahadur Ida Khan from Danish Ali Ahmed of Lakhtokia who was the elder brother of Fakuruddin Ali Ahmed, the fifth President of India. 1 katha 4 lechas of land was donated by Khan Bahadur in 1913-14.  

The Gurdwara Committee was formed in 1914, and the institution was named Shri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara.  The earliest structure that housed this religious institution was in a CI Sheet house, constructed with contributions of a few well established members of the Sikh community of Assam. Some additional rooms were constructed for rent, and the income was used for the Gurdwara’s development.

In 1925-26, a new one-storey RCC building was made and in 1974 the committee planned to remodel the Gurdwara into a five-storey building. Work was completed on this new building the following year, and the second floor houses the main Gurdwara, where the Guru Granth Sahib is installed.

The first two floors continued to be rented out for commercial use, the income being used for the Gurdwara’s development. The first floor also houses the Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee Office. 

The third floor serves as the langar-ghar and guest house. The kitchen is on the fourth floor alongside the living quarters of the Gyani (priests).

The fifth-floor terrace is adorned with a ‘Gumbuz’ that has a ‘Kalash’ (pitcher) made of 58 tolas of pure gold, symbolising purity. The Kalash has the names of the contributors engraved on it. The contributions of S. Nanak Singh and S. Sujan Singh are noteworthy in the Gumbaz’s construction. 

Apart from the regular prayers, special ‘durbars’ are held every Sunday with prayers, kirtans and bhajans. The birth anniversaries of Guru Nanak, Guru Govind Singh, Martyr Day of Guru Arjun Dev and Guru Tegh Bahadur are the major celebrations besides Holi, Diwali and Baisakhi.

The Guru Nanak School was first started in this Gurdwara by the committee in 1965 where it ran for several years before being shifted to its present location at BK Kakati Road. 

As the premise of the Sikh Mandir is small, it became difficult to accommodate the ever-growing Sikh population of the city. So an extended wing of the Shri Guru Singh Sabha Gurudwara was established on a 2 bigha plot of land at Gopinath Nagar, adjacent to the Guru Nanak School, allotted by the Assam government.  

Source: Gurudwara Shri Guru Singh Sabha Committee

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