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Foreword of the Book 'Takhat Sri Hazur Sahib - Journey Into Eternity' By Dr. Mohinder Singh
We are singularly fortunate that we had the privilege of celebrating some of the important events of Sikh history in our own lifetime. After celebrating the tercentenary of the birth of Guru Gobind Singh in 1966, the quincentenary of the birth of Guru Nanak Dev in 1969, and the tercentenary of the creation of the Khalsa in 1999, we celebrated the quadricentenary of the installation of the Adi Granth in the holy precincts of Sri Darbar Sahib in 2004. Currently we are celebrating the tercentenary of the Gurgaddi Divas of Guru Granth Sahib and Parlok Gaman of Guru Gobind Singh.
During the tercentenary celebrations of the birth of the Khalsa in 1999, our Institute took up a major research project on "Locating, Cataloguing and Photographing Relics of the Sikh Gurus and other Historic Personalities."In the course of our fieldwork, we were able to get photographs of some rare relics in different parts of India, Pakistan and the United Kingdom. With a view to sharing the result of our research with the larger audience and creating awareness for the preservation of this endangered heritage, we published eight pictorial books under the Punjab Heritage Series in 2002-2004. Some of these books have become immensely popular and have gone into several editions. During the quadricentenary celebration of the installation of Guru Granth Sahib in the Harimandir Sahib at Amritsar in 2004, our Institute took up another major project on "Locating, Cataloguing and digitising rare Guru Granth Sahib Bir."
To mark the tercentenary of the Gurgaddi Divas of Guru Granth Sahib and Parlok Gaman of Guru Gobind Singh this year, our Institute has decided to bring out a set of four pictorical books dealing with different themes relevant to Guru Granth Sahib and Guru Gobind Singh. We have already published a pictorial book - Guru Granth Sahib: The Guru Eternal. We are happy to bring out the present pictorial book relating to Takhat Hazur Sahib and other historic Gurdwaras in Nanded while work on the remaining two books is still going on.
Celebration of the Tercentenary of Gurgaddi Divas is going to provide a major fillip to the flow of pilgrims to Hazur Sahib. Construction of a new airport and air connection from major cities to Nanded; introduction of new railway lines and improvement of connecting roads will make the journey to Hazur Sahib much easier and more comfortable. One hopes that these developments will establish a stronger link between Takhat Hazur Sahib and other places of Sikh pilgrimage in India and there will be closer ties between the Sikhs in the north and south.
We would like to offer our gratitude to Dr. P. S. Pasricha, Chairman, Administrative Committee, Takhat Sri Hazur Sahib, Nanded, for providing facilities to the team to take photographs of Takhat Hazur Sahib and other shrines and for permitting us to use some of the photographs from the collection of the Takhat. We are also grateful to Prof. Bipan Chandra, Dr. J. S. Neki, Prof. B. N. Goswami, Prof. P. S. Kapur, Dr. Amrit Basra and other scholars, for their advice and support to the project. We would like to thank S. Labh Singh Chane, S. Jasbir Singh, S. Kuljeet Singh, Ms. Rubina Singh and other friends for their input to this project. The Institute would also like to acknowledge its gratitude to the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Amritsar, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, Delhi and other institutions and individuals who have supported this project. While the text has been written by Dr. Mohinder Singh, Director of the Institute, Mr. Sondeep Shankar and S. Malkiat Singh have provided photographs for the volume.
Hazur Sahib, one of the five Takhats of the Panth, is built in memory of the tenth Guru, Gobind Singh. It is located in the city of Nanded, Maharashtra. In addition to the Takhat, there are seven other historic Gurdwaras-Gurdwara Nagina Ghat, Gurdwara Heera Ghat, Gurdwara Shikar Ghat, Gurdwara Mal Tekri, Gurdwara Mata Sahib Devan, Gurdwara Banda Singh Bahadur and Gurdwara Sangat Sahib - associated with Guru Nanak Dev, Guru Gobind Singh and Baba Banda Singh Bahadur. There are also Angeethas built in memory of Bhai Daya Singh and Bhai Dharam Singh, two of the Panj Piaras who survived the battle of Chamkaur and accompanied the Guru to the south and died there subsequently.
Over two-dozen bungas built in memory of historic Sikh personalities and the Baradari where artisans sent by Maharaja Ranjit Singh stayed while constructing Takhat Sri Hazur Sahib, are part of the local heritage now. There are other Gurdwaras such as Langar Sahib also known as Bunga Baba Nidhan Singh, Gurdwara Nanak sar and Gurdwara Ratangarh located in Nanded. This book provides glimpses of the last days of Guru Gobind Singh and the historic Gurdwaras associated with his sacred memory. While Dr. Mohinder Singh, distinguished historian and Director of the National Institute of Panjab Studies, has written the text, Sondeep Shankar and Malkiat Singh, two of India's leading photographers have provided photographs for the book.
|Author||Dr Mohinder Singh|
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