After almost 15 long years of renovation, the majestic hall of the Dukhnivaran Sahib Gurdwara in Ludhiana was opened to the public on Sunday.
Close to 40,000 people visit the Gurdwara, which was built around 1932, everyday. The belief is that anyone who prays here will have their wish granted.
Chandeliers hang from the ceiling of the rectangular hall adorned with intricate floral design. The “palki” is made of 8kg pure gold donated by devotees. Artists from across the country were called in to design the hall based on the Rajasthani design.
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Energy saving designs have been incorporated to reduce the need for lighting during daytime. Even otherwise, the hall is fitted with LED lighting systems, which saves power and also gives off a cool and soothing radiance when lit. White Makrana marble costing crores have been used as flooring and on the walls.
The hall derives inspiration from the Gurdwaras in San Jose, USA and Gravesend in UK.
“We organised a competition of architects in 2000 to choose the design for the shrine. Around 17 architects participated and H S Sehgal’s design won it,” said Prithpal Singh, head sewadaar.
Tragically, however, H S Sehgal, who was from Ludhiana, did not live long enough to see his design completed.
“We did not stop the work. We hired two others and got the job done. Artists from Rajasthan, Delhi, Amritsar, Saharanpur and Kartarpur have spent more than 15 years to complete the carvings and roof domes and today we opened it for public,” Singh said.
During its initial days, the Holy Guru Granth Sahib was read from a small room here.
The shrine has a unique rule – no managing committee members or workers are allowed to ask for donation. Whatever money is used for the Gurdwara’s expenses is to be collected from the ‘golak’ installed inside the shrine.
“The minute ‘meenakari’ design on the marble windows and grills is still on,” said Prithpal Singh. “People donate gold, dollars and what not on daily basis, so it had to be used judiciously. We never counted exact figure spent on renovation since 15 years but it is close to Rs 30-35 crore,” he said.