The ‘Guru Ki Nagri’ Sri Amritsar Sahib wore a different festive kind of a look today. Shining beautifully in all its splendor, there was a visible change in the way Amritsar witnessing. The person behind this visual treat-the Deputy Chief Minister Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal took it upon himself to perfectly showcase the beautified look of the city with light thrown on the various phases in history the city has been through.
In the media walk conducted today with leading lights of journalism from all corners of the globe the Deputy Chief Minister first showcased the plaza at the Main Entrance of Shri Harmandir Sahib Amritsar which has been developed at a cost of Rs. 250 crores by the Punjab Government. The services of the best architects and consultants from all over the country were hired for undertaking this project of great importance. S. Badal said that Sri Darbar Sahib remains the single biggest magnet for tourism in not only Amritsar but the entire globe and therefore it is of prime importance to manage these huge footfalls.
He also specially mentioned that Sri Durgiana Mandir would also be beautified and renovated on the similar pattern. The Deputy CM announced that in the 2nd phase all streets leading to Darbar Sahib would be given heritage look similar to the heritage street. He also said that it was a god gifted ‘Sewa’ for him to have undertaken task of giving unique cultural look to the street. He also said that he feels blessed to have contributed something to society.
He also announced that in next 5 years the whole city would witness a facelift and transformation in true traditional style. He also visited partition museum at townhall which brings together memorabilia in shape of photos, files, recorded memories, artefacts and documents related to partition. He also declared that this museum would showcase all aspects of partition for younger generation.
Disclosing more, the Deputy Chief Minister also highlighted the Narrative-based Multimedia Interpretation Centre being built at a cost of Rs. 50 crore in the Entrance Plaza of Shri Harmandir Sahib which is the first of its kind anywhere in the country, perhaps the world, to convey the story of Sikh religion and it’s humanitarian philosophy to the visitors in a comprehensive manner using latest state of the art technologies. The unique feature is that Punjabi, and two other Indian language options open up the history of the Darbar Sahib to people of other communities and faiths as they move through four galleries. The first gallery will narrate the story of the birth and establishment of Sikhism from the time of Guru Nanak Dev ji to Guru Gobind Singh ji. A massive engineered installation will use projection, lights and lasers to tell these stories. This show will serve to introduce Sikhism even to those visitors who do not have any knowledge about it.
The third gallery features a life-like model of the Golden Temple and its precincts around which visitors will gather to learn of the daily and seasonal activities of the Temple on large overhead screens from actual video footage shot in the premises. The fourth and last gallery will feature holographic and video projections, along with reproduced, artistic interiors of the Golden Temple on its walls, and narrate the philosophy and wisdom of Sikhism.
Then came the magnum opus, the very beautiful heritage street in which for the first time in the country almost 170 buildings on the Heritage Street surrounding Harmandir Sahib have been given a facelift at a cost of Rs. 160 crore. The development of this road beautifully displays art and heritage of Punjab. The Deputy Chief Minister played host in a perfect manner and explained each and every aspect and minute detail of the street.
He explained that strongly depicting the values of Indian Constitution, the model of Parliament House along with Baba Sahib Ambedkar’s Statue is one of its kind ever built in our Country. The road also represents the values of our freedom struggle by erecting a unique rock sculpture in front of Jallianwala Bagh which will be lit with an eternal flame of our freedom struggle.
Moving on to further visual spectacles, the Deputy Chief Minister showed to the media-persons the Fuwara Chowk (Fountain), which once had the statue of Queen Victoria of England but where now proudly stands the grand statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh whose reign was also known for all round development, secular values and patriotic fervor. Also it will have multilevel stone fountains carved out in beautiful art work depicting the Sikh religion of Maharaja's era. All this is packed in a huge circular and 7 multilevel structures which highlight the superb stone carving that gloriously convey the stories of Sikh battles, warriors, culture, art etc.
Level 1 is adorned with 65 lion faces, with water spouting through their mouths. This level essentially symbolizes Maharaja Ranjit Singh who is popularly known as ‘Sher-e-Punjab’ or the ‘Lion of Punjab’ in recognition of his bravery and valour. Level 2 has Series of columns and water curtain, Level 3 has Cluster of Elephants doing routine work standing near cascading water, Level 4 has Stone arm dripping water and forming caves. Also these caves like structures having back-lit floral arch with fountain jets. It also has 2 Nihang warriors standing with a lion in a guard position on either side. Level 5 exhibits scenes of the most important wars carved out in stone. Level 6 showcases the Army generals of Maharaja Ranjit Singh standing alternatively between inverted stone brackets. Level 7 has the top most level has a beautiful carved stone pedestal to mount Maharaja Ranjit Singh statue.
Mr. Badal also informed the memerised media-persons that a biggest LED screen in our country is being installed on this street at Saragarhi Parking, which will screen the gurbani recital from Harmandir Sahib to the people for one hour daily. A dilapidated building of Dharam Singh market has been face lifted to spell the grandeur of Amritsar market. Also the grand statues of Akali Phula Singh Ji and Sardar Hari Singh Nalwa in front of the Amritsar Town Hall are a true tribute to these stalwarts of Punjab.
Earlier, Mr. Badal also showcased the gateway to holy city of Amritsar has been conceived as a domed structure supported on four cusped arches resting on four piers in each corner. The four piers are supporting cupolas and the arches are further embellished with burjis on each cusp. The domed gateway structure has been painted in golden metallic colour to relate to the international image of Sri Harmandir Sahib as Golden Temple. The structure is designed by design team consisting of experts from Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar and built at a cost of built at a cost of around Rs. 9.50 crores. It represents and carries the notions of elements of Sikh Architecture in consonance with the character of holy city of Amritsar, the first and foremost centre of Sikh religion.
The Deputy Chief Minister termed these architectural wonders as the necessities in order to help connect the youth of state with their age old traditions, culture and historical roots.
Among others present on the occasion included Revenue Minister S. Bikram Singh Majithia, MLAs, Ravinder Singh Brahmpura, Principal Secretary to Dy. CM P.S. Aujla, Special Principal Secretary to Dy. CM Rahul Tewari, Advisor to Dy. CM Manjinder Singh Sirsa, Media Advisor to Dy. CM Jangveer Singh, Secretary Tourism Husan Lal, Director Tourism & Cultural Affairs NPS Randhawa