Painting Details

Akal Takht & Nishan Sahib Banners

Located at the extreme right hand side of the painting is the Akal Takht, at that time referred to as the Akal Bunga. Across from the causeway it is the second most sacred site in the Darbar Sahib complex. Representing the symbolic seat of temporal authority this is where the Guru Granth Sahib was stored at night time and where the Sikh baptism ceremony of amrit was administered. The Akal Bunga was also the headquarters of the Nihang sect.

Immediately to the left of the Akal Takht is the old red-brick building where the two tall Nishan Sahib flag posts appear. With the reconstruction of the Darbar Sahib complex starting in 1864 onwards following the earlier destruction by Ahmed Shah Abdali the first wooden flag post was erected by Udasi Pritam Das and broke in 1823 A.D. During Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s reign this was replaced with a iron stand with gold plates on it by Desa Singh Majithia but it eventually fell down in 1841 A.D. Desa Singhs son Lehna Singh Majithia raised another golden standard in its place. Maharaja Sher Singh on his enthronement in 1841, placed another flag by its side, with more costly gold plating [1]. These were the two Nishan Sahib posts that Schoefft saw and painted on his visit to Darbar Sahib.


1. A History & Guide to The Golden Temple,Amritsar
Sodhi Hazara Singh, Amritsar, 1938 pg. 131