458.The Man in Blue – Nanaksar Thath Isher Darbar; Mander Street Wolverhampton

Discussion ?

Nanaksar Thath Isher Darbar; Mander Street Wolverhampton

A while ago I published a picture of the Nanaksar Thath Isher Darbar and wrote underneath it : If you are a Sikh please do not visit this Thath. This is not a Gurdwara, what is practised here has nothing to do with Sikhí. If you are curious and want to have a look, fine, but behave as you would in any mandr.

I received a comment from somebody calling himself  Khalistan4 Panjab : You truly are an idiot. I have spent the best part of my life engrossed in Sikh history and Politics. I could type an essay explaining your lack of understanding. But i’m tired and only come by your site by accident. I do not consider you a Sikh, rather one of the growing number of trouble causing morons in our community. Spend more time in Naam Simran, sangat and Gurbani vidhiya, less time typing rubbish.

I answered : Thank you for your kind words. Seeing that they were caused by my posting on the Nanaksar Thath Isher Darbar I suspect that you follow Sant Babé instead of Guru Gobind Singh’s Guru Granth, Guru Panth. I hope that the Babé will make you truly happy, and will encourage you to be useful member of the society. Gurfateh, God Bless, Harjinder Singh.

Wonderful isn’t it. It shows you the level of a lot of the discussions between Sikhs. Carefully avoid discussing issues, just declare that those that disagree with you are in the pay of the ISI or the GOI, or call them idiots or morons.

I am not a fan of self declared sants, not even if they run their deras more efficiently than many parbandhaks. It is not that I deny the existence of holy people. But as Guru states very clearly in Sukhmani Sahib, a sant should have utter humility. I just cannot see any humility in declaring yourself to be a sant, the spiritual leader of the Sikhs in the UK or of the Sikhs in the western hemisphere.

To my understanding the panth and Sikh institutions should be run on the Guru Granth/Guru Panth principle, and not led by single man or woman, however holy. The fact that the people behind this place of worship call it a Thath is a sure pointer to the fact that this is not a Gurdwara.

And even its counterpart off the Lady Margaret Road in Southall, which does use the word Gurdwara in its name, is known for practices that do not fit in with Sikhí. Sikhs worship The One, Sikhs follow the Guru Granth Sahib and the word of God as comes to us through truly holy men like our Gurus and Bhagats.

The Nanak of the Guru Granth Sahib is the humble spokesman of God. Our eternal Guru does not tell us to follow people, but instead worship the Guru of Gurus, the Formless One, the Immaculate, the All-Pervading, the All-Powerful.

Equally the simran which I have to do is on God, Gurbani Vichar is trying to understand God’s word, not the word of Sant Babé. I am pretty sure that the above is true, but I feel no need to call my ‘opponent’ an idiot or a moron.

360.The Man in Blue – Yatra to the West Midlands II

Walsall, Lozells, Sparkbrook, Small Heath, Highgate and Balsall Heath

On the second day of my yatra I got up later than normal as I got to bed later than normal too. But although I was up later than some, I was up earlier than most. After breakfast I walked to the Guru Nanak Gurdwara on West Bromwich Street, where I liked the new building and liked listening to the Akhand Path, but was shocked to find a table and chairs langar.


After that I was met by the nephew of my friend and we went to the Nanaksar Gurdwara in Pleck. This is the only Walsall Gurdwara that I visited before. Since my first visit it has acquired an impressive new entry although mostly the sangat uses the old entry. Here the Akhand Path had progressed a bit more and we listened to the bhog.


I got a lift to Wheeler Street in Lozells, paid a quick visit to the divan of the  Dasmesh Sikh Temple, took pictures of it, the Panjabi school and the Prajapati Sabha. Does anybody have more info about this community ?


I walked from there to Constitution Hill where I got a bus to Digbeth and from Digbeth a bus to Stratford Road and Showell Green Lane. Sangat was still in the dismal divan and langar at the back of the old building but the new Gurdwara on Stratford Road seems to be almost finished.


I part walked and part bussed from there to Small Heath where I soon discovered the third Ramgarhia Gurdwara of my two day yatra, housed in an old church and right behind the Central Jamia Masjid. As I was running out of time I just had enough time to take pictures of the Gurdwara, the community hall and the neighbouring Masjid and to take a bus to Moseley Road.


I first walked north to see the Gurdwara Guru Nanak Bhatra Singh Sabha in High Gate. From there a frequent bus took me south down Moseley Road to Balsall Heath and the two last Gurdwaré on my list for the day.


I first walked (carefully due to snow and ice) to the Guru Gobind Singh Gurdwara Mary Street, where I was just in time for ardás but too early for langar. I took pictures inside and outside and walked (carefully) back to Moseley Street to photograph the last Gurdwara of the day.


Guru Ram Das Singh Sabha is in a converted private house. I have no further information about this Gurdwara, does it serve a particular community ?  


Many of the pictures of this trip are already on my blog, and pictures of all the Gurdwaré visited will appear on my Flicker account from the 1st of March. If you have any additional information on Gurdwaré mentioned or not mentioned, please contact me !  

Please click on the link underneath
to visit my Flickr account
for more Gurdwara pictures


359.The Man in Blue – A Yatra to the West Midlands I

On my blog you can see some of the pictures that I took during my trip to the West Midlands on February 7 & 8. I took pictures of 14 Gurdwaré and also some of the Wolverhampton tram. Together with those I made when I was working for the Sikh Times I have now pictures of all but 5 of the West Midlands (excluding Coventry) Gurdwaré.

I went from Marylebone Station to Snow Hill in Birmingham by Chiltern Railways, which takes about 2½ hours and cost me only £ 5.00 ! From Snow Hill I took the Wolverhampton tram to Smethwick and a local bus from there to Walsall. I stayed too long with my friends (we enjoyed talking to each other) and got to Wolverhampton later than planned.


I first went to the Ramgarhia Sabha in Newhampton Road East (next to the Wolverhampton Wanderers Stadium) and the Ramgarhia Board and Temple in Westbury Street. Do not ask me why there is a need to have two Ramgarhia ‘Temples’ so close to each other, do not ask me why we have these caste based Gurdwaré, they are there and I took pictures.


I decided to leave the Cannock Road Gurdwara for my next visit, as it is well outside central Wolverhampton. So off to Upper Villiers Street taking a bus that dropped me just outside the Guru Teg Bahadur Gurdwara. It was amazing to see how many people attended on a Saturday afternoon, just around the corner from one of the biggest Gurdwaré in the UK.


The Guru Nanak Sikh ‘Temple’ in Sedgley Street is not a massive building like the new Singh Sabha in Southall, but I think that the total floor space in the Sedgley Road Gurdwara is bigger. Here no money has been wasted on costly building material, it is mostly ordinary bricks and mortar.


My final call in Wolverhampton was the Guru Nanak Gurdwara on the Lea Road. This is a house converted to a Gurdwara, with a grumpy young man on the ground floor reading a Panjabi Newspaper and upstairs a nice looking older man reading from the Guru Granth Sahib. I bet their Akhand Paths are a bargain compared with what the big Gurdwaré charge.


From Lea Road I took a bus to the Wolverhampton Bus Station, from where I took a bus to Walsall. I got off in Willenhall to take some pictures of the Guru Nanak Parkash Gurdwara, designed by the same architect that designed the Guru Nanak Gurdwara on the West Bromwich Road in Walsall. 


Although I did not enter all the Gurdwaré I saw, my yatra was very enjoyable. You get a feeling of what happens in Sikh communities when you visit the areas where the Sikhs live and where the Gurdwaré are. By the way, I saw many open beards in Wolverhampton and Walsall.

Click on the link to see my collection of Gurdware pictures !


Published in: on February 14, 2009 at 2:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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