Being referred to as the eighth wonder of the world, the Virasat-e-Khalsa will be dedicated to the nation on November 25, a day after the martyrdom day of Guru Teg Bahadur. It is being conceived as a repository of the rich heritage of the Khalsa, its history and culture of the Punjab to inspire visitors with the vision of the Gurus, emphasizing their eternal message for mankind. The project, an inspiring tribute to the heroic and poignant saga of the Sikhs and Punjab stands amidst hills on a sprawling 100-acre area.
Moshe Safdie, an internationally acclaimed Boston-based Israeli architect, has designed the heritage complex. The project, which has been shaped like hands offering prayers, unfolds Sikh history and tradition like never before. The museum is intended to commemorate 500 years of Sikh history and the 300th anniversary of the Khalsa, the scriptures written by the 10th and last Sikh master Guru Gobind Singh, founder of modern Sikhism.
The project houses a museum, which have souvenirs related to Sikh history of all 10 Sikh Gurus, Guru Granth Sahib in the first phase and the history of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur to Partition in the second phase.
The eastern complex has a north wing, also known as the Flower Building. Its other wing is called the Boat Building or the Heritage Section. The roof of the Flower Building is shaped in the form of five petals - representing the Panj Piaras. Each petal houses an exhibit tracing the life of all Gurus from birth to attaining salvation/ martyrdom. The petal at the highest altitude has information and exhibits on Guru Granth Sahib. The tops of all petals have been covered with special stainless steel sheets. At night, the entire building illuminates with its large silhouette being reflected in the seven acres of water around it. It also illuminates the night skyline of the historical city of the birth of the Khalsa.
At the entry of the museum, permanent exhibits depicting Punjab before the birth of Guru Nanak have been placed. These will showcase the climate, culture and life of pre-Nanak times. The ceiling of this heritage building has been made of glass and its floor is covered with water. The aim of this exhibit is to make the visitor introspective, who are greeted with the thought-provoking concept of “Ek Onkar”. The “mool mantar” will echo all around this exhibit. It will have special sound effects and is situated in a drum-like building where lights will create an image of “Ek Onkar” and an audio message highlighting the core principles of Sikhism. Then starts a mesmerizing journey into the lives of the first five Gurus in the flower building. These five petals tell tales from Guru Nanak to Guru Arjan. There are 15 galleries which give a peep into the religion and sacrifices.
Finance Minister Upinderjit Kaur said the first phase of this project had been completed at a cost of Rs 300 crore. Virasat-a-Khalsa complex at Ananadpur Sahib, which will be opened on November 25.