Khalsa Heritage Memorial Complex

Religious

800
Ram Rahman
 

The Khalsa Heritage Memorial is a new museum of the Sikh people located in the holy town of Anandpur.

Af Kirsten Kiser

The museum celebrates 500 years of Sikh history and the 300th anniversary of the Khalsa — the scriptures written by the tenth and last Guru, Gobind Singh, founder of the modern Sikh faith.

Deeply rooted in the surrounding landscape and resonating with regional architecture, the Centre seemingly rises from nearby sand cliffs. Clad with local sandstone and evoking the fortress cities of Rajasthan, Gwalior, and Punjab, the Centre acknowledges Sikh history as a culture of celebrated warriors. The upward-curving roofs of the museum’s tower-like galleries are covered in stainless steel, designed in contrast to the rich tradition of gold domes that crown sacred Sikh buildings such as the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

The museum campus is composed of two functional sets of buildings. The western complex — forming a gateway to Anandpur Sahib — houses exhibition galleries, a two-level library centered on a grand reading room that overlooks water gardens, a facility for storing rare archival materials, and a 400-seat auditorium.

A 540-foot bridge from the western complex crosses a network of reflecting pools and provides access to the eastern complex, which houses permanent exhibitions on Sikh history and culture. Arranged in groups of five, the galleries reference the Five Virtues, a central tenet of the Sikh faith. The symbolic themes of earth and sky, mass and lightness, depth and ascension are represented by the museum’s sandstone towers and reflective silver roofs and are further echoed inside the museum’s galleries.