The Sikh Gurudwara in Singapore

M G Singh By M G Singh, 27th Jul 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/2_yjazhl/
Posted in Wikinut>News>Off Beat

The Sikh Gurudwara in Singapore is functional for over 125 years. It is part of the Sikh connection with Singapore

A Sikh oasis of Worship in Singapore

There are about 15000 Sikhs in Singapore. The association of Sikhs with Singapore started from 1849 when the British conquered Singapore. The British brought in Sikhs from the Punjab to man the Colonial Police force. To cater to the religious aspirations of the Sikhs the British allowed a gurudwara (Sikh temple) to be constructed. It was initially located in the police barracks but from 1902 was given a permanent location.
Sikh policemen served in the Singapore police force for close to a 100 years. Most Sikhs who served in the Police never came back to India and settled in Singapore. Many took Chinese wives.
Presently the Sikh temple is located at Serangoon Road at the junction of Towner Road and Boon Keng Road in the Kallang Planning Area. The Gurudwara is functional at this site since 1986 and is often referred to Wada Gurdrawa.
The gurudwara is architectural marvel and was awarded the Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA) Architectural Design Award. The building has dormitories for Sikh tourists as well as accommodation for priests. It has a large hall for Langar (free Kitchen) and a large prayer hall under a dome.
The langar ( free Kitchen) functions on a 24 hour basis and free food is served to all. Eating the langar is a matter of great pleasure as it will have the distinct Punjabi taste. many Americans also eat at the Langar.
Though Guru Nanak never visited Singapore the Sikhs have made his remembrance with the gurudwara. i have visited the gurudwara many times and observed that all rituals are meticulously followed. The SGPC in Punjab ( india) regularly sends Sikh preachers as well.

Tags

Colonial Police Force, Sikh Gurudwara, Singapore

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author avatar M G Singh
A man who spent his early years in Air Force. An avid writer with over 6000 articles and 60 short stories published.Two novels on the anvil for publication.

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