Tuesday, December 06, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism



(No longer exists)

In the 1930s, there were about 200 Sikhs in Batu Arang. Most of them were employed in coal mines, saw mills and plywood factories as watchmen and general workers. Some of these Sikhs were bullock cart drivers or dairy farmers.

Around 1937, these Sikhs decided to build a Sikh Gurdwara Sahib in Batu Arang to serve their religious needs. The Gurdwara building was a single storey wooden structure with a zinc roof. It was built on slightly higher ground and was surrounded by trees. The cost of this building came to Straits Settlements $600.00. Giani Ran Singh Ji was the first Granthi in this Gurdwara Sahib.

Batu Arang was a name familiar to many Sikhs in Punjab. Newly arrived Sikhs at Port Swettenham and Penang port used to travel to Batu Arang in the firm believe that they would be able to find some form of employment there.

Some of the early Sikhs who resided in Batu Arang were Sardar Subha Singh, Begah Singh, Bishan Singh, Asa Singh, Gurdas Singh, Bhan Singh and Santa Singh.

In the late 1940s, the coal mines were gradually closed partly due to lack of demand for coal and the depleting supply. Most of the Sikhs left for other towns in search of employment.
Finally, around 1954, the Batu Arang Gurdwara Sahib had to be closed as all the Sikhs had left for other areas in search of jobs. The Holy Book, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, and other assets as well as kitchen utensils were transferred to the Gurdwara Sahib Rawang.

The author is grateful to Sardar Bhan Singh s/o Late Sardar Dewa Singh and Sardar Jernail Singh Demru, both of whom provided information on the Batu Arang Gurdwara Sahib.

Sikh Gurudwaras in Malaysia&Singapore
Saran Singh Sidhu AMN,PNM,FRNS

Worldgurudwaras.com will strive to be most comprehensive directory of Historical Gurudwaras and Non Historical Gurudwaras around the world.

The etymology of the term 'gurdwara' is from the words 'Gur (ਗੁਰ)' (a reference to the Sikh Gurus) and 'Dwara (ਦੁਆਰਾ)' (gateway in Gurmukhi), together meaning 'the gateway through which the Guru could be reached'. Thereafter, all Sikh places of worship came to be known as gurdwaras.
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