Tribune press service
Amritsar, September 7
Most historians have ignored Sikh architecture; some have condescendingly accepted it as a syncretism of Islamic and Rajputana styles, which Dr SS Bhatti calls a historical fallacy. Dr Bhatti, former principal of Chandigarh College of Architecture, gave his opening speech at the inaugural session of the first-ever International Symposium on Sikh Architecture, which took off in a virtual format here on Tuesday.
The three-part symposium brings together many architects and other professionals from across the region and Pakistan. The event was organized to commemorate the Utsav Parkash of Guru Granth Sahib and was organized by the Saakaar Foundation, Chandigarh, and is supported by the Sikh Chamber of Commerce, Fire & Security Association of India, Indian Institute of Architects’ Chandigarh / Punjab Chapter, Ashrae, ASSOCHAM-GEM and eight schools of architecture.
Architect Surinder Bahga introduced the theme of the International Symposium on Sikh Architecture.
Dr Bhatti, in his third PhD on the Golden Temple, studied building design forms spanning 45 centuries around the world, lamenting that architects and management together ruined the glory of this holiest shrine. of the Sikh faith through sheer ignorance of its religious principles and the spiritual admonitions of the gurus.
Aurangabad-based architect Abraham Pathrose spoke about the conservation work on the Gurudwara Saragarhi and Gurudwara Chowrasti Attari Memorial in Amritsar. He said: “School trips, tourists will be encouraged to spread the great glory of these two gurudwaras. This documentation work will also continue for other heritage sites.
Pakistan-based Dr Nadhra Shahbaz Khan, Associate Professor of Art History at Lahore University of Management Sciences, spoke of “Sikh monuments in and around Lahore Fort”.
She said: “Lahore is proud of its monuments from the Sikh era and is home to several gurdwaras, havelis, samadhis and baradaris commissioned during the first half of the 19th century by Sikh royalty and nobility. Most of these monuments are unexplored or misinterpreted chapters in the history of Punjab that must be studied with fresh eyes. What they can tell us about their patrons is nowhere to be found in historical accounts!
Professor Shruti H Kapur from the CT Institute of Architecture and Planning, Jalandhar, said: “Sultanpur Lodhi, with its heritage of having historic buildings, a vital landscape, relics of various architectural styles must be preserved.”