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SMI Lecture: The Lost Sikh Heritage in Pakistan


Saturday 25th June 2016
Ramgharia Board Gurdwara Leicester

After the partition of India many sacred shrines of the Sikhs were lost to Pakistan. As a result over the many decades the history and heritage of the Sikhs in Pakistan has been disappearing due to neglect, and the forcible possession of sacred areas. So it becomes more imperative that the heritage of the Sikhs is further understood. A special lecture on Lost Sikh heritage of Pakistan was organised by the Sikh Museum Initiative in Leicester.

2016-06-25 15.13.30

Gurinder Singh Mann explained the aims of the SMI.

The head of the SMI, Gurinder Singh Mann introduced the lecture by explaining the aims of the SMI and gave examples where Sikh modelling was a key in preserving Sikh heritage. He cited the recent 3d recreation of the Charaina of Guru Gobind Singh. The SMI project: Anglo Sikh Wars, Battles, Treaties and Relics was also discussed. Mann went through how manuscripts, buildings and Gurdwaras had been neglected in India which led to the main lecture.

The main lecture was undertaken by Amandeep Singh from Singapore had spent many of years in the corporate world and now was taking a keen interest in Sikh heritage. His book Lost Heritage: The Sikh Legacy in Pakistan charts his experiences in travelling around Pakistan on a 30 day tour to discover Sikh places of interest. The lecture focused on Gurdwaras, Tombs and Havelis which have crumbling, vandalised or completed disappeared. Lahore had been the capital of the Sikh empire during Maharaja Ranjit Singh as a result many places where associated with him and his family. However the endless list of places in Pakistan was also associated with the Sikh Gurus (Guru Nanak, Guru Arjun. Guru Hargobind) as well as the Sikh misls and the generals of Maharajah Ranjit Singh (Hari Singh Nalwa, General Avitable).


Amardeep Singh gave an exceptional insight into the Lost Sikh heritage of Pakistan.

Amardeep pointed to the secular nature of many structures where frescoes of the Sikhs, were next to those of Hindu and Muslim ones. Whereas Sikh heritage in India had been white washed, what has been left in Pakistan shows the secular position of the Sikh empire. There were many important facts alluded to including how a workshop had now taken over the Historical Gurdwara of Bhai Mani Singh to a obelisk created to the fallen soldiers of the Anglo Sikh Wars.


Amardeep Singh receives his certificate from the Ramgharia Board Gurdwara. 

The lecture ended by Kirpal Singh from the Ramgharia Gurdwara praising Amardeep for his interesting perspective on Sikh heritage. Amardeep Singh was presented with a certificate from the SMI for his research in this important area.

The book can be bought at: http://lostheritagebook.com/

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