Kuala Lipis gurdwara solid as ever 100 years later

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| Kuala Lipis, Pahang, Malaysia | 17 Sept 2016 | Asia Samachar |
SWEET 100: Some of the Sanggat members present at the 100th year anniversary of Gurdwara Sahib Kuala Lipis. The three-day programme ended today (17 Sept 2016). Harminder Singh is seated, while Pritam Singh is standing on the extreme right - PHOTO / BALBIR KAUR
SWEET 100: Some of the Sanggat members present at the 100th year anniversary of Gurdwara Sahib Kuala Lipis. The three-day programme ended today (17 Sept 2016). Harminder Singh is seated, while Pritam Singh is standing on the extreme right – PHOTO / BALBIR KAUR

By Balbir Kaur

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.

History

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.”

THEN AND NOW: Gurdwara Sahib Kuala Lipis contruction began in 1910 and was completed in 1916. - PHOTO / SUPPLIED
THEN AND NOW: Gurdwara Sahib Kuala Lipis contruction began in 1910 and was completed in 1916. – PHOTO / SUPPLIED

Reflections

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

 

RELATED STORIES:

Gurdwara Sahib Kampar turns 100 (Asia Samachar, 23 June 2016)

Roles and functions of a gurdwara (Asia Samachar, 11 Dec 2015)

 

[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs / Punjabis in Asia. How to reach us: Facebook message or WhatsApp +6017-335-1399. Our email: editor@asiasamachar.com. For obituary announcements, click here]

2 COMMENTS

  1. READERS SHARED THEWSE COMMENTS AT THE ASIA SAMACHAR FACEBOOK PAGE:

    Muhammad Abdullah: During British Raj..sikh boys appearing for senior Cambridge examination stayed at this gurdwara..many of them are no more around.. This “monument”helped the pahang sikh boys at those difficult times..Waheguru…..My late dad was one.

    Savinder Manjit Randhawa: Main thing is that the sangat is as solid as rock in its sewa to the Gurdwara.Keep it up.Waheguru will keep you blessed.

    Balraaj Preet: Congratulations to the sangat of Kuala Lipis for the centennial celebration of their Gurdwara.

  2. I’m delighted to read about the 100 yr old Sikh Temple in kuala lipis. In 1963 I cycled past the Gurdwara from school.
    I heard recitals & drumming from the temple.
    Last Aug my siblings together made a trip to lipis. This temple is close to my memory.
    Most times I lived near Gurdwaras. Next was Sentul Gurdwara in Jln haji salleh.

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