Guru Teg Bahadur was the first martyr for human rights
ANANDPUR SAHIB: Its history pieced together through a series of paintings, depicting the lives of the Gurus, their struggle, the heritage they left behind and the pride of their followers in the way of life laid down. The Virasat-e-Khalsa, set to be thrown open 13 years after its foundation stone was laid, lends an insight into the turbulent events that unfolded in the previous three centuries in Punjab that gave birth to Khalsa.
Envisaged as a repository of the rich heritage of Khalsa, its history and culture of Punjab, to inspire visitors with the vision of Gurus, the building has cost over Rs 350 crore and has survived multiple controversies. The first phase of the complex has been politicized right from the foundation stone laid by Congress to its completion by the SAD-BJP government.
The complex contains a 400-seat auditorium, double storied library, galleries to put up exhibitions, a walk-through ramp, a series of water bodies -- conceptualized by US-based Israeli architect Moshe Safdie and spread over 100 acres at the foot hills of Shivalik ranges.
"It has taken a long time to make the building and we hope we have brought alive the inspiration of the gurus. I am satisfied with the work so far. Of course, there are more phases to come up," said Moshe Safdie.
The lives of Gurus, right from 15th century to the early years of Guru Nanak Dev, Guru Angad Dev, Guru Amardas, Guru Arjan Dev, martyrdom of Guru Teg Bahadur, setting up of Harminder Sahib and more are depicted through paintings and videos.
The place is not without its critics, though. Made of sandstone, the building departs from the original Khalsa designs. Contrary to the tradition of domes, which crown the sacred Sikh sites, the roofs of the museum are concave-shaped receptors facing the sky. The exterior supports a striking resemblance with synagogues, especially due to the shape of the building and does not match with the old Sikh buildings of Anandpur Sahib, sources said.