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Lahore to have Sikh Heritage Museum


Bust of Maharaja Duleep Singh at the Lahore Fort

LAHORE – More than 500 Sikhs are in the Punjab capital city to attend their annual religious rituals on the 177th death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh. These pilgrims will carry a very good news for the Sikh community – establishment of a Sikh Heritage Museum – on their way back to India and other countries across the globe.

The Evacuee Trust Property Board has announced a Sikh Heritage Museum in the city.The setting up of museum is part of efforts to promote religious tourism in the country particularly in Punjab, which has huge potential to attract Sikh yatrees and contribute millions of rupees in the national exchequer. The museum will be built in collaboration with Fakir Khana Museum (private museum run by Fakir Syed Saifuddin).  The Museum would be the first of its kind to be set up in Lahore that would house rare and antique collection of relics and artifacts of Sikh era of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and afterwards. Maharaja Ranjit Singh was the founder of Sikh empire in Punjab who ruled from 1799 to 1849.

The Evacuee Trust Property Board chairman announced setting up of the museum during his address to Sikh Yatrees visiting Pakistan these days. Fakir Khana Museum’s Director Saiffudin said that Sikh legacy would be preserved for the coming generations with the setting up of museum.“Guru Nanak, founder of Sikh religion preached the message of humanity.
The legacy was followed later by Gurus of the Sikh religion and then in Sikh rule under Ranjit Singh. Collecting antique items related to the Sikh era under one roof would be a good effort to preserve the heritage,” Saiffudin said.

“We are hopeful that through these kinds of initiatives religious tourism in our country would definitely get good boost,” Saiffudin stressed. A book on the history of the Sikhs rule in Punjab will be written in collaboration with Faqir Khana Museum.

Fakir Khana arms

Arms and Armour at the Fakir Khana Museum

The museum will showcase the rare miniature paintings of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh, clothing and dresses, antique utensils, some of the important treaties signed between Sikh and British governments, letters, manuscripts, jewellry, weaponry and other related artifacts. Answering a query Saifuddin said that Lahore Fort which also has a Sikh Museum had number of rare antiques related to Princess Bamba Sutherland, who was the last member of the family that ruled the Sikh Empire in Punjab.

MPA Ramesh Singh Arora said that a street or a building would be named after the Maharaja Ranjit Singh on which Punjab Assembly has passed the resolution.

30th June 2016, FAIZAN ALI WARRAICH, http://nation.com.pk/

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