Punjab Research Group

In the Master’s Presence: The Sikhs of Hazoor Sahib: History v. 1 by Nidar Singh Nihang and Parmjit Singh (Kashi House, 2008)

Posted in New Publications by Pippa on October 2, 2008
History v. 1
This landmark two-volume work explores the history and traditions of Hazoor Sahib, the fourth Sikh takht or throne of temporal and spiritual authority, situated near Nanded town in Maharashtra State, India.

Spanning three hundred years of Hazoor Sahib’s history, this first volume traces the shrine’s development, from the founding of very the first modest structure built over the ashes of Guru Gobind Singh in 1708, to the shameful and insensitive destruction of its unique built heritage in the name of modernisation and beautification three centuries later.

The authors have drawn upon a wealth of written materials and oral tradition to evoke a vivid and often startling account of the empires, events and characters– maharajas, warriors, mendicants, emperors, nizams, politicians and policemen–that are intertwined with the fortunes of the last resting place of the tenth Sikh Guru.

Here is the story behind one of the last bastions of early Sikh tradition that has now all but disappeared, an exotic and unfamiliar world brought to life with over 150 sumptuous illustrations of paintings, photographs, portraits, maps, artefacts and documents from archives and private collections from around the world. Published to coincide with the tercentenary celebrations beginning in October 2008 to mark the pivotal decision taken by the tenth Guru to transfer the Sikh Guruship to the sacred scripture and body of loyal disciples, In the Master’s Presence presents, for the first time, a significant but little-known aspect of Sikh history.

From the Authors

At the end of 2006, news reports from India highlighted the wilful destruction of Hazoor Sahib’s built heritage in preparation for the tercentenary celebrations slated for October 2008.

As the story unfolded, it became worryingly clear that the shrine had become a victim of a fatal cocktail of ignorance, arrogance and apathy, and made worse by the corrupting influence of `new’ money injected by the central and state governments for infrastructure projects in and around Nanded.

The actions of the takht’s custodians, the Gurdwara Board, surprised many observers and heritage lovers. Supposedly charged with protecting and preserving the shrine complex, a brash Board ignored calls made by conservation experts and concerned members of the global Sikh community to stop the demolition. As their pleas fell on deaf ears, several important historical structures in and around the Takht Hazoor Sahib complex were flattened in the name of modernisation. These events crystallised our intention to act, giving rise to this book in the hope that the sad scenes recently witnessed at Hazoor Sahib will never repeat themselves.

It gives us great pleasure, therefore, to present In the Master’s Presence, the story behind one of the early pillars of Sikh tradition that has now all but disappeared in its original form. In this first volume of two, we delve into the history of the built heritage of Takht Hazoor Sahib and trace the major milestones in the growth of the colony of Hazoori Sikhs.


2 Responses

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  1. inderjit singh athwal said, on September 27, 2009 at 12:47 am

    this book has only recently been brought to my attention and has allready overwhealmed me with intrest. i can not wait to read it. my first day off from work is monday and i will definatly be looking at purchasing this book.

    Waheguru ji ka Khalsa
    Waheguru ji ki Fateh

  2. Jagmeetsingh Granthi said, on October 21, 2009 at 7:38 am

    WKKWKF.i was returning to A’bad after attending the recent traditional programs organised by Takht Sachkhand Sri Hazoor Sahib via Sachkhand Express.i was lucky that Baba Shersingh ji Ambala Cantt.. Wale was in the next compartment. i visited him and a singh with him was reading the book.Shersingh ji explained me all the pics of the books in every possible detail.i wanna buy the book but its cost is un affodable something around Rs.2400. but at the same time very rare pics from 1708 to 2006 are explained with astonishing paper quality.i would like to have 1 ebook of this masterpiece if any one has it pls provide me with the same …..

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