Sunday, December 04, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

GURDVARA SAHIB KUALA PILAH, NEGERI SEMBILAN

No. 9 Jalan Raja Melewar (Jalan Melang), 72000 Kuala Pilah, Negeri Sembilan

In the early 1900's, there were a few Sikhs employed in the Police force. Some worked in the tin mines while others ventured into dairy farming. Between 1908 and 1910, they built their first Gurdwara Sahib, which had wooden walls and a roof of zinc sheets, on a piece of land, about is 0.77O acres in size.

In the 1920's, the Sikh Granthi's were very highly respected. On one occasion during a Jormela, a Sikh hospital watchman had some jelebies' made for the Granthi Bhai Kala Singh. As he was approaching the Gurdwara Sahib, an Indian boy playfully touched the jelebies. The watchman felt that this child had desecrated the jelebies. He returned home and had some fresh jelebies made for the Granthi. The purity of the food to be served to one holding a religious post of a Granthi was foremost in his mind. Such was the high respect accorded to the Granthi.

By 1933, there were about 19 Sikh policemen stationed in Kuala Pilah. These policemen together with the Sikh sangat decided to build a new Gurdwara Sahib. The design of the new Gurdwara Sahib building was based on that of Gurdwara Sahib Mantin. The new Gurdwara Sahib building was started in 19O6 and completed by March 19O7 at a cost of about Straits Settlements $5,000.00. To mark the completion of the building, the Sri Akhand Paath (about 48 hours of continuous reading of the Holy Book, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji) was held on 14' March 1937.

Around the 1960's, there were about 50 Sikh families from Ladang Geddes, Bahau and Kuala Pilah who used to participate in the religious activities in this Gurdwara.

In 1968, due to its age, the Gurdwara Sahib building had to be renovated. The Sikh sangat gave generously and Dato' T. Mahima Singh also managed to obtain a donation of RM9,000.00 from the Government. The total cost of the renovation came to RM10,000.00.

In 1972, two small wooden houses were built on the land at the back of the Gurdwara building. The rent obtained from these houses was used to partly pay for the upkeep of the Gurdwara.

In the 1980's, the Sikh Sangat in Kuala Pilah and nearby areas started to decrease as many of them moved to other areas.

In 1993, four small three-room brick houses were constructed at the back of the Gurdwara Sahib building at a cost of RM59.000.00. The rental received from these houses is used to partly offset the Gurdwara Sahib's expenses.

There are presently 16 Sikh families who participate in the religious activities in this Gurdwara. Out of these, 10 Sikh families are from Kuala Pilah and six Sikh families from Bahau.

The longest serving Granthi in this Gurdwara Sahib was Bhai Labh Singh, who served from 1940 to 1962.

The weekly prayers are held on Sunday mornings from 8.00a.m. to 9.00a.m.

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

WorldGurudwaras.com
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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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