Dawn – Sikhs donate palanquin for holy book at museum

Shoaib Ahmed

Lahore, 25 May 2017. The Sikh community on Wednesday donated to the Lahore Museum a metallic palanquin with a wooden base for the Guru Granth Sahib, the religious book of the Sikhs, officials told Dawn.

Officials said 10 members of the Sikh Sangat donated the palanquin. The Guru Granth Sahib kept at the museum belonged to the times of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The community members performed a ritual while placing the holy book in the palanquin, which had been brought from Amritsar to be permanently placed at the museum.

The Sikh community members lauded the efforts of the museum administration for properly preserving heritage of this region, particularly of the Sikh community.

Lahore Museum Additional Director Naushaba Anjum told Dawn that the event went really well. The museum contains a rare collection of artefacts linked to the Sikh community, especially from the time of Ranjit Singh. These artefacts could not be found anywhere in the world, she claimed.

The palanquin was placed in the ongoing exhibition of Sikh artefacts, Naushaba said, adding that the museum was considering declaring the general gallery where the exhibition was taking place as the Sikh gallery.

Though the exhibition was to conclude on May 30, but after the donation of the palanquin it would remain on display in August too, she said.

The exhibition featured paintings, weapons, intricate woodwork among a host of other items.

The museum features a rich collection of Sikh artefacts, including gold, silver and copper coins, as well as Ranjit Singh’s gold medals, miniatures including portraits of Sikh spiritual and political figures, clothing, furniture from the royal court, royal decrees and Sikh holy books.

The Lahore Museum is the ‘wonderhouse’ that figures in ‘Kim’ and of which Rudyard Kipling’s father was the director. The last time I visited, the famous Zamzama gun on which Kim and his friends played was still to be seen outside the Museum



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