Deori , chaubaras of historical gurdwara being demolished

The main gurdwara has already been rebuilt by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC). Now the three-storey entrance which comprises of the main entrance as well as halls supported by pillars and four bungas is being pulled down to make way for a parikrama around the gurdwara. A modern gate to the gurdwara constructed last year is a little away from the gurdwara . 

The six chaubaras, which surround the large modern building which has replaced the old small historical gurdwara, will also make way for the construction of a parikrama around the gurdwara. The entire exercise is being conducted to create space around it as well as modernise it, say kar sevaks. 

Baba Diwan Singh, in charge of the kar seva locally which is being carried out by Baba Harbans Singh of Delhi, says the demolition is being done as the structures have outlived their utility and were caving in. However, an inspection of the site and discussions with the staff of the gurdwara, including granthis, reveals that this is not the case. The granthis said the gate could be easily repaired and the various chaubaras were still in good condition and only needed minor restoration work.  The demolition of the deori whose nearly two-feet thick walls are made of lime and mortar is a tough job. 

The kar seva in charge was told by granthis to be careful with the windows carved in sandstone as also the extensively carved wooden doors. The gurdwara employees want these items to be reused.  Some people have expressed surprise at the SGPC giving permission for the demolition of the historical structures. Employees of the gurdwara as well as several followers of the faith did not want it. ‘It is sheer madness’, said an employee, adding that history was being ‘demolished’ to make way for a concrete marble structure. Additional Deputy Commissioner R.S. Randhawa said the deori with its painted chambers was an example of the Sikh style of architecture.  

Many people, who are pained at the kar seva want that the chaubaras circling the gurdwara should be saved. Punjabi University teacher Jasbir Singh Bhatia said the chaubaras must be saved from destruction at all cost as they were adorned with beautiful murals which were invaluable. The murals are tly in flower patterns with birds. Mr Bhatia, who is doing research on Sikh paintings, said an immeasurable loss had been done by demolishing the old gurdwara at the site in 1986. Nothing of the old structure will remain if the deori and the chaubaras also are demolished, he added. Mr Bhatia has also written to the SGPC in this regard.  The SGPC Secretary, Mr Gurbachan Singh Bachan, said he did not know about the kar seva.

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