Historic Delhi Gurudwara gets an iconic doorway
Delhi-based architects create a philosophical and metaphorical gateway for the historic Gurudwara Bangla Sahib
The Gurudwara Bangla Sahib in Delhi and its Sarovar (a pool inside the complex) are revered by the city’s Sikh community. This place of worship is known for its association with the eighth Sikh Guru, Guru Har Kishan, who stayed here during his Delhi stay in 1664.
Designnotion’s recent renovation and redevelopment of the Complex evokes the spiritual philosophy of the Sikh people. Miri and Piri create arches above the grilled gates welcoming devotees while a Khanda rises above the two.
Architects Rishikesh Lokhande and Prakash Majaria, Designnotion, said, “The Gurudwara Committee required us to renovate and redevelop three entry points to the premises: Baba Kharak Singh Marg, Bangla Lane and the Ashoka Road entry, the Jodaghar (shoe keeping area) plus the renovation of the Prasad Ghar and the present canopies.”
The brief given to the duo for the Ashoka Road entrance was very simple: develop a modern abstract interpretation of the Sikh Community keeping in mind the history of the place.
Lokhande and Majaria have architecturally expressed Sikh philosophy. Thus, the arches are ‘Miri’ (worldly power) and ‘Piri’ (spiritual power) and rising above them is a pole bearing the Khanda, or the Supreme Power that is above all.
A small space for the Sevadar (guards) has also been provided, merging with the structure.
The architects wanted to create an ‘iconic structure’ that maintained religious sanctity while yet being evocative and relevant. Lokhande and Marjaria said, “Today, the idea has been adapted for the Kartarpur corridor passenger terminal building.”
- The arch was made with 11 tonne of steel and 72 cum of concrete. The structure was then cladded with pure white Makrana stones and brass works which are the basic materials inside the Gurudwara Complex. Craftsmen from makrana were roped in to clad the structures in the most conventional way.
- Rupee Coin joinery was used to bind stone pieces together.
- Makrana powder was used as a binder to keep the stones in place and maintain whiteness of the material. Traditional stone inlay pattern and carving create the decorative elements.