In my previous article, I took you on a visit to a historic gurdwara in Rawalpindi, gurdwara Narankari. In this article we shall visit another famous gurdwara of Rawalpindi, it is known as Gurdwara Singh Sabha. This gurwara is located in Raja Bazar, a very busy area. Currently a school Zia ul Uloom for boys is established here. The gurdwara is located at 33°36'54.6"N 73°03'21.3"E.
Singh Sabha was a reform movement and was launched in 1870s. The purpose was to restore the prestige of the Sikh religion, which the Sikhs felt was lost after the fall of the Sikh state in Punjab. Sikhs were converting to other religions and the Sikh community felt the need to start a movement to present the Sikh religion in its true and original form. Proselytizing campaigns of Arya Samaj was particularly targeting Sikh converts and attacks on Sikh religions continued.
The first Singh Sabha conference was held in Amritsar in 1873. The movement gradually became popular and by the end of century had over 100 branches all over Punjab. The movement faced opposition from many Sikhs, who held different views on some issues facing the community. However, the movement gradually became successful in its aims and met the biggest success in 1925 when its followers regained the control of Sikh gurdwaras from mahants and other elements not truly adherents of Sikh religion. For more details kindly check Wikipedia.
The passage to gurdwara is almost hidden behind shops and a mosque. A part of the mosque is extended into the premises of the gurdwara. Most of the old sections have disappeared and in that place, new structures of the school rooms have been built. However, the main Darbar Hall still exists and tells the story of its past. But the courtyard in front of the hall is covered with a new concrete structure.
The main building, Darbar Hall. (25.01.2022.)
The Beutiful veranda of Darbar Hall. (25.01.2022.)
Old wooden doors. (25.01.2022.)
The writer. (25.01.2022.)
ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਸਿੰਘ ਸਭਾ ਰਾਵਲਪਿੰਡੀ
ਇਸ ਗੁਰਦਵਾਰੇ ਦਾ
ਪੋਹ ਸੁਦੀ ਸਪਤਮੀ ਸੰ ਨਾਨਕ ਸ਼ਾਹੀ ੪੫੮
੩੦ ਦਿਸਮਬਰ ਸੰ ੧੯੨੭ ਪੋਹ ਦਿਨ ੧੬ ਸੰ ੧੯੮੪
ਸ਼੍ਰੀਮਾਨ ਸਸਰਦਾਰ ਮੋਹਨ ਸਿੰਘ ਜੀ ਰਈਸ
ਰਾਵਲਪਿੰਡੀ ਨੇ ਰਖਆ
سری گرو سنگھ سبھا راولپنڈی
اس گوردوارے دا
پوہ سُدی سپتمی نانک شاہی 458
30 دسمبر 1927، 27 پوہ دن 14 سمت 1984
شریمان سردار موہن سنگھ جی رئیس
راولپنڈی نے رکھیا
Guru Singh Sabha
The corner stone of this gurdwara was laid by Shriman Sardar Mohan Singh ji of Rawalpindi,
in 458 Nanak Shahi, Samvat Poh 14, 1984; 30 December, 1927 AD,
੧੦੦੦੦ ਸ੍ਰੀਮਤੀ ਮਾਈ ਕਰਤਾਰ ਦੇਈ ਜੀ ਨੇ
ਆਪਣੇ ਸਵਰਗਵਾਸੀ ਪਤੀ
ਚੌਧਰੀ ਕਰਮ ਸਿੰਘ ਜੀ ਸਿਆਲੀ ਦੀ ਯਾਦ
ਵਿਚ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਸਿੰਘ ਸਭਾ ਰਾਵਲਪਿੰਡੀ ਨੂਂ
ਅਰਦਾਸ ਕਰਾਈ ੧੨ ਅਗਸਤ ੧੯੨੭
10000 روپے شریمتی مای کردار دئی جی نے
آپڑیں سورگباسی پتی
چودھری کرم سنگھ جی سیالی دی یاد
وچ سری گرو سنگھ سبھا راولپنڈی نوں
ارداس کرائی ، 12 اگست 1927
Rs10,000 Shrimati Mai Kartar Dayi, rendered service to Guru Singh Sabha, in the memory of his heavenly abode husband, Chaudhry Karam Singh ji Siali. On 12 August, 1927.
Darbar Hall. (25.01.2022.)
Prakash Asthan. (25.01.2022.)
Palki in the storeroom. (25.01.2022.)
A structure at the premises, known to be a Hindu temple. But probably a Smadhi. (25.01.2022.)
Entrance of teh school. (25.01.2022.)
Once a hub of great activities this historic place is almost lost to time and its vagaries. Now seldom any visitor comes to this place and returns with a heavy heart. I wish, we could have preserved this and many other such places for our neighbours and also for our future generations to see, how was our past and how our future can be.
February 14, 2022.