SGPC displays rare historic treasure in Golden Temple

Shiromani Gurudwara Prabhandhak Committee(SGPC)  on the occasion of birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Thursday displayed the rare items dating back to the fifteenth to eighteenth century inside the sanctum sanctorum of the Golden Temple amidst tight security.

Thousands of devotees across the country thronged the Golden Temple here today to seize the occasion to have the glimpse of these rare invaluable historical items.

The display of rare items, called as Jlau, has its own pristine grandeur. 'JLAU' literally means a rare glitter that fazes the eyes on its first sight.  This ancient jewelry is always kept in the well-guarded Tosha Khana (Jewellery room) of Golden Temple, but it has been displayed for the public today. This Tosha Khanna is deeply related to the life and era of Sher-e-Punjab Maharaja Ranjit Singh, as told SGPC official on duty.

The thresh hold of Tosha Khanna is attached by four golden doors. One door adorns artistic work of flowers while remaining three doors depict different aspects from the lives of the Great Sikh Gurus. Thesedoors were presented by Maharaja Ranjit Singh during his life time.

It was said each gold door was made at a cost Rs.3000  at that time, informed SGPC official on duty. There is one Canopy of gold weighing twenty pounds. On top of the canopy a peacock having its neck made of pure Sapphire Stone in a single piece is sitting.  According to the estimates of a jeweler only this piece of Sapphire shall not be less than four million rupees.

The stone is without any blemish.  In the eyes of peacock there are diamonds.  Overall, this canopy is studded with 3600 diamond stones and 101 big pearls.  Just under it, there is a diamonds headband with strings of pearls.  Jewelers of Lahore prepared this headband on the marriage occasion of Maharaja Ranjit Singh's first son Naunihal Singh.   Impressed by its art and the beauty, Maharaja presented this band as offerings to Golden Temple. Its cost at that time came around Rupees 9 lacs.

Apart from this; there is one sword of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Its hilt is of pure gold studded with pearls and emeralds. The showcase lying in the Tosha Khana is displaying five spades having silver handles and gold blades.   In 1973 the Punjab & Sind Bank presented the temple with one golden spade and five silver bowls. At that time Sant Kundan Singh from Jagron presented the temple with one silver spade, one sword with silver hilt and Sikh emblem of gold with silver stand, official described.

According to SGPC there are five necklaces, one small Canopy and one ring with a Sapphire in middle and eight diamonds around.  Princess Bamba granddaughter of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, daughter of PrinceDaleep Singh, presented it.  Besides, there are also jewels in the Tosha Khana from the house of General Dhana Singh Malwai, a General in the army of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

In the early nineties, an American Sikh who came here to pay obeisance has presented a pearl necklace of three strings and three diamonds. A box lying in the Tosha Khana contains a precious gift of a flywhisk made of pure Sandalwood presented by a Turkish Muslim Haji Maskeen. It is said, 1120 lb. of Sandalwood was used in the creation of this flywhisk.  It has 1,45,000 hair.  It took five years and seven months in its creation. Haji got two whisks prepared; one was presented to Golden Temple while other one was presented to Mecca, said official.

Official said that Haji presented this whisk to Golden Temple when he saw crack in the wall of Mecca while taking round of Mecca.  This crack was attributed to Guru Nanak's visit in Mecca.  The whisk was presented as offerings in the Golden Temple in 31st December 1925 when Haji visited here.

The last item is a canopy (Chanani) of cloth studded with diamonds. The Nizam Hyderabad presented it to Maharaja Ranjit Singh to express his gratitude for the help he had received from Maharaja Ranjit Singh.Maharaja, in turn immediately presented it to Golden temple.

In the year 1911 Sarbarh (the British Manager) of Golden Temple took this Canopy to Delhi when King George V. Prince of Wales came to Delhi Darbar.  The canopy was said to have been used in Darbar (Court).  The British kept the canopy with them for over one year. Thereafter it was again brought back to Temple.  It is believed that the real stones had been replaced with artificial ones.   As per the tradition, once used article is not put in the service of the temple.  It was therefore put in the Tosha Khana.  The smallest stone in the canopy was not less than 500 rupees to 5000 rupees of that time and a big stone may cost as much as 35000 rupees.  At the time of presentation its costs was estimated more than eight million of rupees.   In 1984, this canopy was completely gutted during the operation blue star.

The other magnificent item of Tosha Khana is ancient Holy Bir of Guru Granth Sahib with gold binding.  The fly whisker associated with it is also of gold metal.

Leave a Reply