Gurdwara Nanak Shahi
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Gurdwara Nanak Shahi (Bengali: গুরুদুয়ারা নানকশাহী, Punjabi: ਗੁਰਦੁਆਰਾ ਨਾਨਕ ਸ਼ਾਹੀ) is the principal Sikh Gurdwara (prayer hall) in Dhaka, Bangladesh. It is located at the campus of the University of Dhaka and considered to be the biggest of the 9 to 10 Gurdwaras in the country. The Gurudwara commemorates the visit of Guru Nanak (1506-1507). It is said to have been built in 1830. The present building of the Gurdwara was renovated in 1988-1989. The parkarma verandah had been constructed on all four sides of the original building to provide protection.
Both males and females can enter the Gurdwara and take part in their prayer. The daily activities in Gurdwara Nanak Shahi include reading Granthasaheb and prayer in the morning and evening.
The Gurudwara was built originally by Bhai Natha ji, a missionary who came to Dhaka during the time of the sixth guru.The building was completed in 1830. This Gurudwara commemorates the stay of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji (1469–1539). In 1988 to 1989 the building was renovated and the outside virandah was constructed for its protection and preservation with contributions received from shri guru Nanak dev ji's followers in Bangladesh and other countries. This work was carried out under the guidance of Sardar Harban Singh.
The prayer spot is called shri Darbar Saheb. It has entrances on all four sides. Usually, a gurudwara possesses four entrances that symbolize that everybody from all the four direction are welcomed here. In each of the gurdwaras, a yellow flag is kept hoisted. It is called Nishan Saheb. It has two pictures of shords on its two sides, which are called Khanda. This is the symbol of the secular and spiritual lives of the Sikh people. The main prayer hall of Sikh religion is Gurudwara Nanak shahi. It is adjacent to the Arts Building of Dhaka University. Gurudwara Nanakshahi had an entrance in the north side in the past. In the south, there were a well, a grave-yard and a pond with paved-stairs in the west. The arrangement of residence and offices was there in the north-west, and the caretaker would live in the east. In addition, there were several rooms for the worshippers to sit in. In total, there were nine rooms. Excellently domed squarish masonry of the European style is set up on square platform. Each of its sides, which are projected outward, is 30 feet. The east-facing gurudwara has five entrances in each of the north-eastern and western wall. There is no entrances in the south; instead there is a small room adjacent to the temple. The squarish central hall has a veranda around it. There are four rooms at the corners of the veranda; on at each corner. [The veranda is about 5 feet wide. Just after veranda, there are three arch entrances. The handwritten book named shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is placed on a high altar in the central room. This very scripture is worshipped everyday. If we think about the value of this architecture, first of all we all need to see the history. This building is historic and it is one of the part of national heritage. This building is more valuable for the followers of Sikh religion. This building is the main meeting place for this religion. This is one of the part of national heritage preservation. The care-taking is done by The Bangladesh Gurdwara Management Committee.
The gurudwara is in a good condition now at present. The whole building is fully white coloured. After the renovation in 1988-1989 this building is now under good observation.
Gurdwara Nanak Shahi is open for people of all religion. Each day, recitation from the holy scripture of Sikh religion Granth Sahib and prayer takes place in Gurdwara Nanak Shahi. Weekly prayer and Kirtan are organized every Friday. On this day in the morning and after prayer, free food known as langar is served.
- Archaeological Heritage (Page-345-346), Published By Asiatic Society Of Bangladesh, (December 2007). OCLC 298612813