Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Gateway to Sikhism



No. 10 Persiaran Tun Perak, 32000 Ipoh, Perak

In the early 1930's, the Sikh railway police and the Sikh employees of the Federated Malay States (F.M.S.) Railways. requested for a site to build a Sikh Gurdwara Sahib to serve their religious needs. On 1 January 1935 the General Manager of the F.M.S. Railways, gave a permit for temporary occupation of the railway quarters Unit Number 1 Block Q. located along the main railway line near the Railway Station Ipoh. The rental of these quarters. which was to be used only for worship, was a token sum of Straits Settlements $1.00 per year. This permit was issued in the name of Bhai Jang Singh, Granthi, Railway Police Sikh Temple. Ipoh. This Gurdwara Sahib was used as a prayer hall and resting place by the Sikh Railway police personnel. The Railway Police was disbanded in 1938. The Sikhs in the Railway Police gradually left for other areas in search of new employment. The Sikh staff of the Malayan Railways took over the management of this Gurdwara Sahib Railway.

In 1957, the Railway authorities requested that the Gurdwara Sahib quarters be returned. Sardar Wariyam Singh, the President, requested for an alternative site to build the Railway Gurdwara. In 1958, the railway authorities allocated a piece of land 80' by 80' (6,400 square feet) at No 10, Persiaran Tun Perak, Ipoh.

The Gurdwara Sahib Railway was built at the present location in 1958/1959. The foundation stone was laid by the Granthi, Bhai Ram Singh in 1958. This Gurdwara Sahib was officially declared open by the railway Sikh Sangat in 1959. The cost of this single storey concrete building came to Malayan $30,000.00, which was donated by the Sikh sangat.
Bhai Ram Singh served as a Granthi in this Gurdwara Sahib from the late 1950's to 1989. Since 1989, Sardarni Jai Kaur has been performing the duties of a Granthi as well as looking after the Gurdwara Sahib.

This Gurdwara Sahib Railway in Ipoh, which is the only one still in existence in Malaysia, is managed by the retired Sikh staff of Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (Malaysian Railways), and their families. There are about 30 Sikh families who participate in the religious activities of this last remaining Railway Gurdwara Sahib. The religious proffammes are held as and when necessary at the request of the railway Sikh Sangat residim2 in Ipoh.

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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