Oldest Sikh Heritage Structures Of 16th Century At Khadur Sahib Opened For Public

KHADUR SAHIB – Khadur Sahib is a historical place sanctified by the visit of eight Sikh Gurus. Sri Guru Angad Dev Ji, the second Sikh Guru of the Sikhs preached essence of Gurbani at this place.

The Guru modified and developed the Gurmukhi alphabet, Gurmukhi primer, established first of its kind Gurmukhi school,  established Mal Akhara (sports arena), got the Janam Sakhi of Guru Nanak Dev Ji written by Bhai Perra Mokha ji, had Goshati with Sidhs and served mankind for nearly 13 years during his Guruship period. His devoted wife Mata Khiwi Ji enforced the practice of “Langar” (free community kitchen) at this sacred place irrespective of ones, caste, colour and creed. The relationship of Guru Angad Dev Ji with an old building of Bara Dari and Khoohi Mata Khivi Ji was under scanner for a long time.

Recently the relationship of the authenticity of the Bara Dari Building and Old Khoohi of Mata Khivi Ji at Khadur Sahib was verified and established with the early buildings of 16th century by the Directorate Cultural Affairs, Archaeology and Museums Punjab.

On getting the heritage status under able guidance of Baba Sewa Singh, the highly precious heritage structures were opened for public by Panj Pyaras after performing Kirtan and Ardas.

It is a fact that the historical town of Khadur Sahib has cluster of Sikh heritage buildings which could not get formal recognition and identification of having heritage status for centuries together.  After long correspondence made with Directorate Cultural Affairs, Archaeology and Museums Punjab, the old ‘Barandari’ and ‘Khoohi’ (well) Mata Khivi Ji situated in the complex of Gurdwara Tapiana Sahib and basement of ‘Mata Khivi Langar’ were declared as Sikh Heritage buildings constructed during the 16th Century.

Demand for research, substantiation, verification and validation of these historical buildings was raised by Dr. Raghbir Singh Bains adviser under able guidance of Baba Sewa Singh ji. This process took a long time of 13 years to get the fruitful results. Principal Bhagwant Singh Khehra also contributed his persistent efforts by writing articles in this connection.

After little or no interest shown by the Central and Provincial authorities, the matter was freshly taken up by Dr Bains with the Directorate Cultural Affairs, Archaeology and Museums Punjab. The departmental director Navjot Singh Randhawa, archaeologist Rajinder Singh Batth and supporting staff took keen interest in verifying the authenticity of the heritage buildings. Mr Bath along with his team members visited Khadur Sahib many a times to examine the architectural time period of the buildings and material used in them.

According to the research reports of the experts, the architectural aspects, arcs, unique design of ceilings and kind of small ‘Lakhauri’ bricks used in constructing the building of old ‘Bara Dari’,  qualify the norms of heritage status.

In conformity with the beliefs of public and the final reports of the experts such kind of buildings were constructed in the beginning of 16th century coinciding with Guruship period of Guru Angad Dev ji.

The assessment of the archaeology experts suggests that Guru Angad Dev Ji might have used the facility to address his followers and preach Gurmat in this building. This was in fact the building where different Goshties were held from time to time with Sidhs and Rishis.

In addition to the above confirmation and authentication of Bara Dari, the team of the archaeology experts also verified that a close-by ‘Khoohi’ (well) in basement of the modern Mata Khivi Langar Hall  belongs to the Guru period and the ‘Khoohi’ was also constructed with the same bricks and material as that of the ‘Bara Dari’.

The departmental team established that the ‘Khoohi’ (well) was also built during the same period thereby belonging to the same period of Guru Angad Dev Ji. It is well known historical sequence that Mata Khivi Ji might have been using the Khoohi water for ‘Langar’ purposes.

Bara Dari building is 33 feet long and 12.7 feet wide. The building structure is built with ‘Lakhauri’ bricks, Choona and high profile archaeological professionalism by the artisans.

In nut shell, Archaeological department’s team had concluded with verification and certification that the old ‘Bara-Dari’ building was constructed during the times of Guru Angad Dev Ji and used by him. The water from the “Khoohi”(in basement of the newly built Langar Hall) was used by Mata Khivi Ji for Langar purposes.

The fact of closeness of the Bara Dari and Khoohi with Mata Khivi Ji will encourage our future generations to be proud of their heritage.

Baba Sewa Singh while addressing the big congregation hailing from different countries of the world said that existing old buildings are our pride and will be source of inspiration for the next generations. He pointed out that authenticity of such other buildings belonging to guru-period in Khadur Sahib will also be got verified from the archaeological department in future.

Dr Bains, who fought this case with the government under able guidance of Baba Sewa Singh for about 13 years, said that such precious buildings are our heritage pride and have the ability to inspire our younger generations not to abandon their inheritance values in the times to come. Dr Bains further said that it is pertinent upon the progeny to preserve its heritage, legacy, culture and proud history to serve the entire humanity in a truthful way for the times to come. “It is very heartwarming to see the dream fulfilled and I know that the heritage buildings will shape a part of the lives of many generations to come” said Dr Bains.

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