Modern Era

Time Marches On

Sikhs finally gained administrative control over Darbar Sahib from the British with the passing of the Sikh Gurdwara Act of 1925. For the first time, Sikhs could now govern their places of worship relatively free of British interference.  The gothic clock tower remained an eye sore for the people of Amritsar but it would be another 20 years before it would finally be demolished.

The number of pilgrims visiting Darbar Sahib continued to grow in the years following Sikh control. After the partition of Punjab in 1947 and the mass ethnic cleansing that took place, Sikhs lost access to all of their places of worship within the newly created country of Pakistan. Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of Guru Nanak which had been an important center of Sikh visitation was now no longer accessible.  This only led to the increased number of Sikhs visiting Darbar Sahib at Amritsar.

To accommodate the growing crowds at Darbar Sahib a new project to widen the parkarma around the sacred pool was undertaken in 1947. Under the hand of Sant Gurmukh Singh and Sant Bhuriwala Singh [1] work now began in demolishing the much hated gothic clock tower and many of the remaining bungas to widen the parkarma. Finally the eye sore of the gothic clock tower was eliminated from the serene landscape of Darbar Sahib and the sacred pool of nectar. This construction project would continue for another 20 years before final completion in the late 1960’s.



1. The Golden Temple Past and Present,
Madanjit Kaur Guru Nanak Dev University Press, Amritsar, 1983, pg. 167