| Kuala Lipis, Pahang, Malaysia | 17 Sept 2016 | Asia Samachar |
By Balbir Kaur | MALAYSIA |
The design of the Gurdwara Sahib Kuala Lipis has remained the same since 1916, and remains ‘as solid as ever’.
The 100th year anniversary of the gurdwara in the state of Pahang, about 170km from Kuala Lumpur, was completed today (17 Sept 2016).
“The celebration went on beautifully, with a large Sanggat present,” said retired headmaster Pritam Singh, who was married at the gurdwara 43 years ago in 1973.
“The gurdwara is of the same shape as when it was built a century ago, and remains as solid as ever,” Pritam, a former Jathedar of the Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia (SNSM), tells Asia Samachar.
He was one of the about thousand Sikhs nationwide who took part in a three-day celebration at the gurdwara.
The construction of the gurdwara began in 1910, with contractors brought in from Punjab. It was completed six years later, powered mainly by Sikh policemen.
The three-day event began with an akhand path, the continuous reading of the Guru Granth Sahib. A kirtan darbar was held at a make-shift stage next to the gurdwara building.
Sikhs came in busses from gurdwaras in Titiwangsa, Selayang and Kampung Pandan Settlement. Sikhs from Kuantan and Singapore were also present.
“The committee and families from Kuala Lipis would like to thank everyone for making this celebration a wonderful and memorable moment. We hope the Sanggat will keep coming back,” gurdwara management committee president Harminder singh told Asia Samachar.
The gurdwara plans to organise monthly Satsang programme.
Kuala Lipis was a gold-mining centre before the British arrived in 1887. In 1898 it became the capital of Pahang until 1953 when the state capital was shifted to Kuantan.
For nature love, Kuala Lipis is about 10km to Kenong Rimba Park, a forest reserve suited for trekking and caving, accessible by train or boat.
A train station operated by Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) is located near Jalan Pekeliling which is the main road of Kuala Lipis. The rail tracks run just beside the gurdwara.
“The gurdwara is located on one of the higher points in the town. It used to front a police station, which was since been relocated,” said Pritam.
“The toilets are the only structure still standing at the original level, the rest have been raised.”
When asked to reflect on the earlier days at Kuala Lipis, Pritam said: “My jaanjh (wedding party) was received miles before we hit the town. Back then, this was the way the Sanggat would welcome the wedding parties. It’s their way of showing respect.”
His janjh, numbering only 19, was the smallest ever for the town then. “We were housed at an old rest,” he said.
Among the prominent local Sikhs were Dal Singh, a local businessman who controlled a local cinema, ran a provision and a liquor shop, and was also an estate owner.
Pritam’s father-in-law Joginder was a watchman at the Merchantle Bank branch in Kuala Lipis.
“Many of Sikhs were in the government service. They were attached to JKR (Road Works Department) and Survey Department,” said Pritam.
FOR MORE PHOTOS, GO TO EVENT FACEBOOK PAGE: Gurdwara Sahib Kuala Lipis 100th Anniversary Akhand Path
Gurdwara Sahib Kampar turns 100 (Asia Samachar, 23 June 2016)
Roles and functions of a gurdwara (Asia Samachar, 11 Dec 2015)
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