The expansion and renovation work at the 19th century Gurdwara Dera Sahib is under way in full swing, and the historic worship place of the Sikh community would be able to accommodate more yatrees after completion.
The expansion work includes construction of an elevated platform at the basement to fortify the ground floor housing ‘Diwan Sahib’, Langar Khana in the basement and a prayer hall on the ground floor. White marble tiles will adorn the floors while several small domes are being constructed to compliment the gilded dome of the Gurdwara Dera Sahib. The expansion and renovation work is due to complete by end of December 2022.
This gurdwara was constructed on the martyrdom spot of the fifth guru of Sikh faith, Guru Arjan Dev, who, according to the Sikh lores, is believed to have disappeared while taking a dip in the Old Ravi waters to soothe his wounds, caused by the Mughal forces during his confinement in the early 17th century.
Talking to APP, Additional Secretary (Shrines) Evacuee Truest Property Board (ETPB) Rana Shahid said the expansion was long-desired, adding that the arrival of Sikh yatrees from abroad had always put pressure on the existing housing capacity. He said more than 5,000 yatrees congregate on different holy occasions of the Sikh community and it becomes necessary to provide the visiting yatrees accommodation at the gurdwara for security reasons.
The additional secretary said that the ETPB had plans to build a basement under the lawns of the gurdawar to increase accommodation capacity for the yatrees under the ‘Card Projected Plan’, adding that the project would ensure foolproof security and excellent lodging facilities.
On the masonry work, Rana Shahid said that all work had been undertaken by the Hindu or Sikh masons from India, adding that the labourers were hired from the local Sikh community.