Friday, December 09, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

 

GURDWARA SAHIB LEMBAH JAYA, AMPANG, SELANGOR

No. A30, Batu 6 1/2 Jalan Bukit Belachan, 68000 Ampang, Selangor

Around 1936, there were about 100 Sikh families who lived around the old Ampang village area. Some of these Sikhs were attached to the Ampang Police Station while others were dairy farmers. However, a majority of these Sikhs were employed by the numerous tin mines in this area as watchmen or general workers.

A prominent resident of this Ampang village was Sardar Saudagar Singh Kaleke. He used to keep the Holy Book, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, in his residence. The Sikhs in this area used to gather in his house for weekly prayers. In addition, important religious programmes were also held at his residence until the early 1950s. The Sunday morning prayers continued to be held here until the 1960s.

In the late 1960s, prayers were also held every week in the homes of the Sikh Sangat on a rotational basis. The Sikh family holding the prayers used to bring the Sikh Holy Book, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, from the home of Sardar Saudagar Singh and return it after the prayers.

Sardar Hakam Singh Dhaliwal (Village Mari) arrived in Ampang in 1980. He played an important part in the preparation of the Guru Ka Langgar during religious programmes. In 1985, a pro-tern committee consisting of Sardar Hakam Singh Dhaliwal, Sardar Gurdip Singh Didarewala and Sardar Harbans Singh Kaleke was formed to manage the religious functions of the Sikh community.

In November 1992, an old house situated on a piece of land approximately 80 feet by 150 feet in size, was purchased for RM12,000.00 and renovated at a cost of RM3,000.00. The Holy Book, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, was respectfully brought from the home of Sardar Saudagar Singh Kaleke and placed in the Gurdwara Sahib on 3rd January 1993.

The Sikh Sangat had grown over the years. The Gurdwara Sahib building was found to be inadequate to serve the needs of the Sangat. In October 1995, the old Gurdwara Sahib building was demolished to make way for a new structure. Donations were raised from the Sikh Sangat in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.

The new Gurdwara Sahib building, a single storey structure with brick walls and a zinc roof, was completed in March 1996 at a cost of RM50,000.00. The new Gurdwara Sahib was declared open by the Panj Piyarae on 29th March 1996.

There are presently about 80 Sikh families who participate in the religious activities in this Gurdwara Sahib. Most of these Sikhs reside in the Ampang, Cheras, Pandan Jaya and Taman Maluri housing estates. The usual weekly prayers are held on Sunday mornings from 8.00 a.m. to 9.00 a.m. Other religious programmes are held as and when required at the request of the Sikh Sangat. The Management Committee comprises of the President, Secretary, Treasurer and their assistants as well as ten committee members.
P.S. This Gurdwara Sahib was damaged in a fire on 12'" January 2004. Plans to repair it are in progress.

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

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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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