Sikh – Portrait of Nawab Rai Kahla placed in Central Sikh Museum

Sikh24 Editors

Amritsar-Panjab-India, 26 July 2017. Portrait of Nawab Rai Kahla, a former Muslim chief of Raikot province during Aurangzeb’s empire, was placed in the central Sikh museum on July 24 by the SGPC. The portrait was unveiled by the SGPC appointed Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh and Head Granthi of Sri Darbar Sahib Giani Jagtar Singh.

Addressing the gathering on this occasion, Giani Gurbachan Singh said that not only Sikhs but also Hindus and Muslims had played a vital role for the well being of the Sikh religion during the physical times of ten Guru Sahibans.

Appreciating the SGPC initiative to install portrait of Nawab Rai Kalha, Giani Gurbachan Singh further said that the portraits of great martyrs and servants of Sikh Panth ought to be installed in the central Sikh museum so that the next generations could get inspiration from their lives.

SGPC executive member Gurcharan Singh Grewal and SGPC member Jagjit Singh Talwandi also expressed their views to the present gathering. Senior sub-editor of Ajit newspaper Satnam Singh Manak was representing Rai Azizullah Khan on this occasion.

Rai Azizullah Khan, an ex-parliamentarian of Pakistan, is the current custodian of the Ganga Sagar. It has been under his protection since 1975 and has been in the Rai family for nine generations, with Rai Azizullah Khan being a direct descendant of Nawab Rai Kahla.

After the partition of india the Ganga Sagar was relocated to Kamalia, Pakistan with Rai Anayat, the grandfather of Khan. After his death in 1953, it was inherited by Khan’s father, Rai Fakirullah, who, died four years later in 1957, leaving Khan’s grandmother as protector of the Ganga Sagar.

Before her death, she handed over the protection of the sacred relic to Rai Azizullah Khan who since then had kept it in Pakistan.

In 2004, Khan moved it to the United Kingdom, where it is now kept safe in a bank vault. Interestingly, of the nine protectors of the Ganga Sagar, each generation of the Rai family has had only one male descendant born to the family to inherit the duty as guardian of the Ganga Sagar.

Khan, too, has only one son, out of five children, who will one day inherit the duty as protector of the Ganga Sagar

Nawab Rai Kalha, who was Muslim chief of Raikot province during Mughal Empire of Aurangzeb, had welcomed the tenth Sikh master Guru Gobind Singh Ji, not only risking his position as chief but his own life and the life of his family.

Guru Ji stayed in a residence provided by Nawab Rai Kahla for three days in January 1705. While departing on January 5, 1705, Guru Ji had blessed Rai Kahla with two of his personal belongings, a sword and the Ganga Sagar, as a token of gratitude.

The sword is currently located in a museum in New Zealand, while the Ganga Sagar has been in custody of the Rai family for decades now.

Ganga Sagar, is the name given to the sacred relic which belonged to the tenth master of the Sikh religion, Guru Gobind Singh Ji. It is a traditional copper urn of the 17th century, which weighs approximately half a kilogram and is less than 1 foot in height. It has about two hundred holes carved throughout the rim of the base.


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