‘Kar sewa’ to refurbish Golden Temple’s interiors soon

Amritsar, Punjab: Preparations are being made to launch “kar sewa” for the repair and replacement of damaged gold-plating and artwork inside the Golden Temple’s sanctum sanctorum soon. This is the first time that such an exercise will be performed inside the holy shrine.

Earlier, gold-plating on the outer walls of the Golden Temple was replaced for the first time in 1999.

The gold-plating and the artwork inside the shrine date back to the Maharaja Ranjeet Singh era.

Sources said the gold-plating inside the shrine had suffered a damage of up to 40 per cent, mostly around the arches of the doors. But, gold-plating on only 15 per cent of this area was required to be completely replaced while the remaining would need only gold work.

Similarly, only the artwork, which was severely damaged, would be repaired or replaced. The sources said all attempts would be made to maintain the originality and uniformity in the interiors of the shrine during the “kar sewa” which had been entrusted to Baba Kashmir Singh Bhuriwale.

They said besides experts working under Baba Bhuriwale, the SGPC would also hire experts who would provide guidance in carrying out the intricate work which was likely to take a long time.

Interestingly, the SGPC had passed the resolution for carrying out this “kar sewa” way back in 1995. At that time, UK-based Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha had replaced the gold-plating on the outer walls of the shrine, completing it in 1999. However, the work on the interiors somehow got delayed.

According to ‘Sri Harmandar Sahib Da Sunehri Itihaas’, a book penned by former Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Kirpal Singh, the gold-plating and the artwork inside the shrine was first done during the period of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, who had allocated Rs 5 lakh for the purpose. The work was performed under the supervision of Sikh intellectual Bhai Sant Singh while craftsmen led by Mohammad Yaar Khan and Badru Mohiyuddin came from a place called Chanyot.

Earlier, a minor research project sponsored by the UGC had highlighted the status of the artwork inside the Golden Temple in 2001. After studying, analysing and documentation of various art forms, the authors pointed out certain “grey areas”. Dwelling on the “present status”, it had read: “Due to age and weathering effects, these magnificent art forms require special attention to be restored to their original splendour …. It is pertinent for the present generation to give this valuable treasure to its progeny in its true form …” The study of these artworks had shown that each of these required a technical examination to either protect these from further damage or to restore to their original form.

Intricate exercise

  • This is the first time that such an exercise will be performed inside the holy shrine
  • Earlier, gold-plating on the outer walls of the Golden Temple was replaced for the first time in 1999
  • The gold-plating and the artwork inside the shrine date back to the Maharaja Ranjit Singh era
  • The gold-plating inside the shrine has suffered a damage of up to 40%, mostly around the arches of the doors
  • The “kar sewa” has been entrusted to Baba Kashmir Singh Bhuriwale

Source: The Tribune

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