Monday, 5 July 2010

Darshani Deodi doors removed for repair

SGPC President Avtar Singh and Jathedar, Akal Takht, Giani Gurbachan Singh perform ardas before removing the Darshani Deori gate at the Golden Temple, in Amritsar on Sunday.

Hundreds of devotees converged at the Golden Temple complex today to take part in the kar sewa intiated to remove and repair over 200-year-old, beautifully carved wooden doors of the Darshani Deodi, the main entrance to the sanctum sanctorum, and install makeshift doors in their place.

The old doors will be subjected to repairs and preservation by experts in a glass cabin in open view of the visiting devotees to the Golden Temple. Besides, the SGPC chief Avtar Singh has formed a five-member committee of top Sikh religious leaders to supervise the preservation work of doors.

Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh and the Head Granthi of the Golden Temple, Giani Jaswinder Singh, will supervise the work of the committee as its patrons. Since the repair of the historic gates of the Darshani Deodi is a sensitive issue particularly their preservation, the entire process will be recorded on micro film and will be subjected to video filming as a matter of record.

Meanwhile, the SGPC chief Avtar Singh has sought to ward off confusion lingering among a section of the people and the media over the origin of the gates. They have asserted that the doors have nothing to do with the famous Somnath temple.

“Only a few people are trying to create confusion and even a wedge between communities. The Somnath temple’s door- frame size is smaller, whereas the Darshani Deodi’s doors are bigger. The deodi doors were presented by a Sikh family of Sursingh village during the time of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and they were carved by a Muslim artisan, Yaar Mohammed Khan. Moreover, it has been a long-standing tradition that no used artifact or article can be presented to the Golden Temple. Even a ‘Chandni’ presented by Maharaja Ranjit Singh was rejected by the granthis of the time on the basis of this tradition and it was kept in the Toshakhana till 1984 when it got damaged in a raging fire,” said Avtar Singh. He said the doors were in dire need of restoration as no repair was carried out on these doors since their installation.

The mammoth task of restoration of doors has been assigned by the SGPC interim committee to Baba Kashmir Singh Bhuriwale, who has been urged to ensure restoration of the gates at the earliest by a panel of experts. “Restoration is a difficult process as doors are studded with a fine carving of silver and ivory work, which has to be restored the same way it was made at the time of the making of doors,” said Avtar Singh.

The kar sewa to remove the doors started with the rendition of the path of Sukhmani Sahib by the Akal Takht Jathedar, Giani Gurbachan Singh, in presence of the Sikh sangat, the Jathedar of Takht Patna Sahib, Giani Iqbal Singh, granthis of the Golden Temple, Damdami Taksal chief Baba Harnam Singh and a number of SGPC office-bearers.

Varinder Singh, Tribune News Service, Amritsar, July 4


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