Nepal: Historic Kathmandu gurdwara to get a facelift


Nov. 19, 2012, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol. : 06 No.-10 Nov. 09-2012 (Kartik 24, 2069)

The dilapidated building of the 400-year-old gurdwara -- Guru Nanak Math -- in Kathmandu will be preserved and "Prakash" ceremony will be held therein. In a meeting with Sarbat Da Bhala Charitable Trust managing trustee S P S Oberoi in Kathmandu on Saturday, Nepalese PM Baburam Bhattari assured that the Sikh maryada would be implemented in the historical shrine.



Oberoi, who was instrumental in saving the lives of several Indian prisoners in foreign jails, said he met the Nepalese PM along with Indian ambassador in Nepal Jayat Prasad, president of a local gurdwara management committee Pritam Singh and A K Singh at Bhattari's house. The delegation urged the Nepalese PM to conserve the gurdwara building besides constructing another complex, a langar (kitchen) and a 100-room inn for visiting devotees. He also suggested setting up of a committee comprising prominent Sikhs from Kathmandu besides representatives of the Nepal government for giving a facelift to the gurdwara.



Guru Nanak Dev, the first Sikh Guru, visited Kathmandu in 1516 AD for his third "Udasi" or journey. He stayed the first night on the banks of Bishnumati river and started a "sangat" for saints. The then king of Nepal, Jaya Jagat Malia, donated land in the name of Guru Nanak, which is still in his name.



Oberoi pointed out that the hand written "saroop" of Sri Guru Granth Sahib was not receiving due respect. "It was painful to see the 'saroop' lying as a book since there was no 'prakash' of Sri Guru Granth Sahib in the gurdwara," he said. Oberoi added that the management of the gurdwara used to be in the hands of "mahants" from Varanasi and Punjab. The present "mahant" Neema Muni Usasi was the 31st in the line. Earlier, the gurdwara was known by several names such as Charbaksh Sathan, Sangat Bari, Sankha Bari and Guru Nanak Math.


Pointing out that the gurdwara only had 35 kanals of land at present, Oberoi said minister of state for external affairs Preneet Kaur had evinced keen interest in restoration and upkeep of the shrine. She spoke to the ambassador who arranged a meeting with the prime minister.


The Times of India

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