Picture Story : Going Going …nearly GONE !



One of the t famous Gurdwaras, rich in heritage and lavish art work gets the best toilet tiles that money can buy.Baba Atal Gurdwara March 2006. Another example of the total disregard for originality or expression of Sikh art. The once beautiful marble inlay and gold and mirror work on the ceilings (an art form peculiar to Sikh buildings of this period) are simply replaced with green bathroom tiles and tacky white borders. How boring and destructive! Above the tiles the precious art work has simply been scrapped off!

It appears that they ran out of paint! It won’t be long before this beautiful story painting of Guru Nanak’s life is cemented and plastered over and painted.Will that make “Kar Seva” baba ji and a few jathas happy.

Bathroom tiles, aggressive electrification, recent plastering are all encroaching on what little of the original decoration exists. One more push from the “kar sevaks” and all this will be gone.

A detail from some of the remaining frescoes that depict life-stories from the Gurus. Beautifully rendered, this is a lost art form which only survives in these few examples.

Doorway entrances that were once richly decorated with floral borders and with depictions of Nihangs armed to the teeth painted in the doorway as door guards have been whitewashed over and are lost forever.


The original painted door guardians only survice in afew of the entranceways.

A final note of twisted irony. Having finished a job of vandalism they don’t want anyone else taking any credit for it !

As you read this you may think I sound a bit bitter, well the answer is YES! I do feel bitter, and helpless and frustrated. Once again, the Sikh’s once glorious heritage is being steadily destroyed by the very guardians of these fine buildings.

Once again readers will wring their hands in frustration, close their browsers and allow the destruction to continue.

Photographs by Taran Singh with commentary by Sodhi Singh

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