Thursday, September 29, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

 

GURDWARA SAHIB MENTAKAB, PAHANG

No. 221 Jalan Puding (Jalan Pekeliling), 28400 Mentakab, Pahang

In the early 20ffiCentury, Mentakab was just a small village situated on the banks of the Mentakab River. With the construction of the railway line through Mentakab as well as a road to Bentong. Mentakab became a boom town. A few Sikh police were posted to Mentakab to maintain law and order. Later, Sikh arrivals were dairy farmers, bullock cart owners and enterprising self employed individuals.

In the late 1930's, Sardar Lall Singh Dhillon and his brother Sardar Pall Singh Dhillon used to keep the Holy Book, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, in their home. The Satsang programme used to be held in their homes. Whenever, any Sikh family wished to hold a religious programme in their own homes, the Holy Book, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, used to be taken very respectfully from the homes of Sardar Lall Singh and Sardar Pall Singh.

Around 1945, Sardar Harnam Singh Khosa, donated a part of his land, which was 1/4 acre in size, to build a Gurdwara Sahib. Sardar Budh Singh, who had an adjoining piece of land, also donated a small portion of his land with a six feet frontage to the Gurdwara Sahib.

The new Gurdwara Sahib building was constructed in 1945 at a minimum cost. The Sikh bullock cart owners provided timber, sand and stones for free. The rest of the Sikh sangat volunteered their services in whatever way they could. This Gurdwara Sahib was officially declared open at the end of 1945, which coincided, with the arrival of a Sikh Regiment in Mentakab. The Sikh Regiment donated the provisions for the jormela thereby affording the local Sikhs a taste of authentic Punjabi food. This was most welcome as food had been a scarce commodity during the four years of the Japanese occupation of Malaya. This Gurdwara Sahib served the needs of the Sikh community for the next 20 years before it was demolished to make way for the present building.

In 1965, the Gurdwara Sahib Mentakab was rebuilt, largely through the efforts of Sardar Shamsher Singh and Sardar Kabal Singh. It is a single storey brick structure. The front of the Gurdwara Sahib consists of the Darbar Sahib where the Holy Book, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, is kept. The back portion of the Gurdwara Sahib building consists of the langgar (dining) hall, kitchen, Granthi's quarters and one room for Sikh visitors. The cost of this building was RM60,000.00 out of which RM45,000.00 was donated by the Government. This Gurdwara Sahib was officially declared open by Y.A.B. Tan Sri Yahya bin Mohd Seh, the Menteri Besar (Chief Minister) of the State of Pahang in 1965.

Bhai Magar Singh Village Bhathey, Amritsar served as a Granthi in this Gurdwara Sahib from 1948 to 1976, a period of nearly 28 years. Bhai Megh Singh Village Baba Bekala was a Granthi in this Gurdwara Sahib from 1994 to 1999.

About 30 Sikh families residing in Mentakab and the nearby areas of Temerloh, Jerantut, Triang, Jengka and Lanchang participate in the religious activities in this Gurdwara Sahib.
The Management Committee comprises of the President, Secretary, Treasurer, their assistants and six committee members. The present Trustee of the Gurdwara Sahib is Sardar Charan Singh Sandhu.

The normal weekly prayers are held on Sunday evening from 6.00p.m. to 8.00p.m. The Isteri Satsang programme is held on Wednesday afternoon from 3.00p.m. to 5.00p.m. Other religious activities are held at the request of the Sikh sangat e.g. jormelas for births, anniversaries, deaths, Sehaj Path, Sukhmani Sahib Path, Akhand Path etc.

(Note: Some of the information on the early history of the Gurdwara Sahib Mentakab has been obtained from the present Trustee, Sardar Charan Singh Sandhu, Village Bhathey Bhaini, District Amritsar.)

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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