VIRASAT-E-KHALSA

Virasat-e-Khalsa (formerly known as Khalsa Heritage Memorial Complex) is a museum located at Anandpur Sahib. The museum gives an insight to the events that took place in Punjab five hundred years ago which gave birth to Sikhism and finally the Khalsa Panth. The museum throws light on the vision of the great Gurus, the eternal message of peace and brotherhood which they delivered to the whole mankind and the rich culture and heritage of Punjab. 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 Guru Sh. Guru Gobind Singh Ji founder of modern Sikhism.

Virasat-e-Khalsa is conceived as a repository of the rich heritage of the Khalsa its history and culture of the Punjab so as to inspire visitors with the vision of the Gurus, emphasizing the eternal message of the great gurus for the whole mankind.

Towards the end of the fifteenth century, in the Punjab region of Northern India, Guru Nanak Dev Ji founded a faith rooted in the core values of universalism, liberalism, and humanism. The nine Gurus who followed Him built upon and consolidated His teachings, thereby establishing Sikhism not only as a belief system but also as a way of life.

Two hundred years later, in 1699, on the occasion of Baisakhi, the Tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji formally founded the Khalsa Panth at Anandpur Sahib, establishing a social order committed to peace, equality and justice for all. Today, on the same site, stands the majestic Gurdwara Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib.

The year 1999 marked the Tercentenary of the Birth of the Khalsa. To commemorate this event, the Chief Minister of Punjab S. Parkash Singh Badal laid forth the outlines of a magnificient edifice to be known as Virasat – e – Khalsa at Sri Anandpur Sahib.

The Heritage Complex is inspired by the rich natural and architectural heritage of Sri Anandpur Sahib, while also drawing heavily from Sikh and regional architecture. Contrary to the tradition of domes which crown the sacred Sikh sites, the roofs of the Museum are concave-shaped receptors facing the sky. Sheathed in stainless steel, they reflect the sun’s light towards the Gurdwara and the Fort.

After thirteen years of construction it has been inaugurated on November 25, 2011. It was opened for public on November 27, 2011.

There are two complexes at each side of a ravine, connected by a ceremonial bridge:

• The smaller, western complex includes an entrance piazza, an auditorium with 400 seating-capacity, two-story research and reference library and changing exhibition galleries.

• The eastern complex contains a round memorial building as well as extensive, permanent exhibition space, consisting of two clusters of galleries that try to evoke the fortress architecture of the region (most evident in a nearby Gurudwara) and form a dramatic silhouette against the surrounding cliff terrain. The gathering of the galleries in groups of five reflects the Five Virtues, a central tenet of Sikhism.

The buildings are constructed of poured-in-place concrete; some beams and columns remain exposed, though a great deal of the structures will be clad in a local honey-colored stone. The rooftops are stainless steel-clad and exhibit a double curvature: they gather and reflect the sky while a series of dams in the ravine create pools that reflect the entire complex at night. The building was designed by world acclaimed architect Mr. Moshe Saifde.