Restoration of 122-year old Penang gurdwara to finish in two years


A view of the historic Wadda Gurdwara Sahib in Jalan Gurdwara, George Town in Penang. Photo: The Star/Filepic

Restoration work began yesterday on the 122-year-old Wadda Gurdwara Sahib in George Town, Penang, with an expected completion time of two years and a budget of RM6mil. The Penang state government has contributed RM1mil towards the restoration of this Sikh temple, the oldest gurdwara in Malaysia.

Santok Singh Ranjit Singh, president of Wadda Gurdwara Sahib, explained its historical significance, originating from Fort Cornwallis in the 1880s when Sikhs were brought in by the British to serve as policemen in Penang.

"During Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee (in 1897), they requested and were given 50,000sq feet (approximately 4,700sq m) of land. Policemen at that time gave up a month's salary to build this gurdwara,” Santok told Bernama at the gurdwara in conjunction with the Vaisakhi celebration today.

As a Category One National Heritage in South-East Asia, it's crucial to restore the gurdwara without demolition. Contributions from all communities are encouraged to support this endeavour.

In other news, Penangites are invited to the annual Vaisakhi Open House on May 4 at Fort Cornwallis. Entertainment will include performances by Kamal Chopra, winner of the Best International Artiste at the 2022 UK Bhangra Awards, alongside Punjabi cultural showcases and an array of Sikh cuisine such as jelebi and chapati.

Vaisakhi is a major Sikh festival commemorating the spring harvest festival and marking the birth of the Khalsa order by the 10th Guru of Sikhism, Guru Gobind Singh Ji. - Bernama

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