Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

Tosha Khaana

Maharaja Ranjit Singh's contributions to Harimandir Sahib

Maharaja Ranjit Singh and his family members as a token of homage used to offer precious and rare things to the Harimandir Sahib. On the demand of the devotees the Jewellers prepared these gifts in gold and silver and studded with them rubies and diamonds. From this we can understand the devotion of the Sikhs for this holy shrine. Each article has its own background history. On the ceremonial days these articles are taken to their respective places in Harimandir Sahib, Akaal Takhat and Gurdwara Baba Attal Rai.
Following are the ceremonial days.
1.The birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.
2 The birth anniversary of Guru Ram Dass Ji.
3.The birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
4.Guru Gaddi Nashini of Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji.
5.Installation anniversary of Guru Granth Sahib Ji

All the valuable articles meant for display are kept in Tosha khaana (treasury) on the first floor of Darshani Deori. Maharaja Ranjit Singh and his family members

often visited. All the valuable articles meant for display are kept in the Tosha khaana (treasury) on the first floor of Darshani Deori.' Maharaja Ranjit Singh and his family members often visited Darbar Sahib. They always presented precious articles be fitting the occasion. Following articles presented by the members of the royal family have been preserved in the Tosha Khaana. These articles are as under

1. Four pairs of gold-plated doors.
These are actually four golden doors of the Golden Temple. These are fitted on ceremonial occasions. There are paintings on gold-plates on panels of the doors It is said that the two pairs of the doors were presented by Maharaja Ranjit Singh and other two were got prepared by the management more than hundred years ago. It is estimated that on each door plank gold would Rs. 35000/- was embedded then The pair of gates have on them beautiful mouldings and etchings in relief depicting episodes from the lives of Ten Gurus The other two pairs have on them carving of the floral designs.

2. Gold umbrella beset with Gems.
It is made from twenty pounds of pure gold. At its top is a peacock of exquisite workmanship. The neck of peacock is made of sapphire, its beak holds a string of pearls, while the rest of the body is bedecked with precious stones. According to an expert jeweller, only one piece of stone may cost one crore rupees. The Jhaalar around the Chhatar is studded with one hundred and eighty pure pearls of rather larger and uncommon size. It was presented by Maharaja Sher Singh. The Chhatar has more than two hundred diamonds of finest quality identified as almahire.

3. String of pearls.
The string of pearls has got 108 pearls. One pearl is bigger than the rest. It is said that once Maharaja Sher Singh reached the Golden Temple earlier than his cashier. He had no cash to offer, so he offered this string of pearls.

4. Jewel-bedecked head band (Sehra)
This bridegroom's Sehra had been prepared for the marriage of prince Naunihal Singh, grandson of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The Maharaja presented it to the Golden Temple. It is said that when Maharaja looked at the gold pearl bejwelled head band at the time of sahrahandi ceremony of the prince, he felt dazzled with its gracious splendour. This Jaraaoo Sehra had in it pearls diamonds and emeralds The total number of pearls strung in the Sehra are 2953 The hanging downward oftha strings having beautiful pearls in it, make it very beautiful. It is estimated that this Sehra cost the Maharaja more then one million rupees at that time

5. A Canopy

It was made of rare, rich cloth with embroidery work in gold and silver.It had several frills made of strings and precious pearls of various hues.It was presented to Maharaja Ranjit Singh by the then Nizam of Hyderahad. The Maharaja subsequently presented it before the Golden Temple.

But Maharaja was ignorant about the fact that article once used by mortal, could not be presented for use in the Harimandir Sahib. The Maharaja was reprimanded for this lapse by the Jathedar of the Akaal Takhat. According to verdict of the high priest, the Maharaja had to pay a big amount as fine. Maharaja also granted permanent Jagir of two villages namely Bhanauri, District Kangra and Narianpur, District Gurdaspur. The canopy once presented was not to be returned. It was kept in the Tosha Khaana. There are other happenings related with this canopy. A Maharaja of native state of India presented canopy to Lord Curzon the then Viceroy of India. When Lord Curzon took it to England the people there wrongly throught it to be the same canopy of Darbar Sahib. Another incident connected with the canopy is linked with the visit of the Prince of Wales to Amritsar. It is said that the Deputy Commissioner of Amritsar through Arur Singh fixed the canopy adjacent to clock tower, where the prince of Wales and other high British officers were gathered for a visit to Golden Temple It is said that a great resentment prevailed but Arur Singh and the Deputy Commissioner did not care about that irritation Actually the canopy was not used anywhere in the Temple and was kept in lock up in a glass case in the Tosha Khaana. It was demaged during the Operation Blue Star in 1984.


6. Fly Whisks

There are two fly whisks which are shown during the Jalau. The handle of one fly whisk is of silver and this was presented to the Golden Temple by the head priest of Dargaah Ajmer Sharif on the occasion of eighth birth centenary of Shekh Farid.The second fly whisk has a golden handle and it was presented to the Golden Temple by Chairman of Punjab and Sindh Bank.

7. Sword of Maharaja Ranjit Singh

It is very beautiful sword. Its handle is made of pure gold and it is studded with rubies, emeralds and jewels.

8. Chandan da Chaur

This fly-whisk was made from Sandal wood. It is said that Chaur has one lakh and fortyfive thousand hair like fibres taken out of Sandal wood weighing 9 mounds and 14 seers. It was prepared by a Muslim Faqir Haaji Mohammed Maskeen, who had a great regard for Guru Nanak Dev and his followers. Faqir prepared the Chaur himself in five years and seven months. The Chaur was presented to Harimandir Sahib in a congregation held in front of Akaal Takhat. The Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee honoured the faqir and conferred on him one hundred pounds in cash together with a saropa. This Chaur is kept in a teak wooden case having glass panes It is also said that Haji Maskeen prepared two Chaurs out of a load of twenty eight maunds of Sandal wood and he presented one Chaur at Mecca.

9. Pearl Chhaabaas

There are nine gold Chhaabaas, which are decorated with embedded pearls and emeralds.

10. Golden Ganchha Mukaishi

There are ten tassels of pure sold having embedded with costly emeralds.

11. Tile di Jhaalar

It is a beautiful peace of craftsmanship.It is frill made of pure gold.The weight of this Jhalar is 19 tolaas and 6 mashaas

12. Gold-coated Kamaanees

These are two beautiful arches coated with layer of gold.

13. Gold-plated Thamms

These are two wonderful pillars coated with the layer of gold.

14. Golden spades

These spades are five in number. The blades of these spades are made of gold, but their handles are made of silver These were procured by the Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee in 1923 at the time of First Kaar Sewa.

15. Silver Baatas

These five Baatas or pans were procured by the Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee at the time of Kaar Sewa in 1923.

16. Articles presented to GoldenTemple during the Kaar Sewa of 1973.

These precious articles include silver spades, silver pans and a Khaada. It is said with this Khanda Nectar (Amrit) was prepared and about 20000 Sikhs were baptised in Aligarh and other towns of U.P.

Two beautiful Kirpaans and a Chakar made of white gold were also presented. This Chakar was offered by a Sikh from Africa who requested to keep it for Jalau.

There are thirteen precious articles that are displayed at Akaal Takhat during the ceremonial days There is one gold canopy made of pure gold and weighs twenty pounds Other articles include twenty one Chhaaba Muqqalshi (Golden tassels),One Tila di Jhaalar (Golden frill),one Chhaaba Sunehri (Golden Tassel), five Golden Asaas (frames), two Thamm Sunehari (golden pillars), One sunehari pankhe di dandi, one Chandan di Chaur, a Ring having a big sapphire with eight small precious diamonds (supposed to be presented by Princess Bamba daughter of Maharaja Daleep Singh), A Pearl Necklace having three pearl stnngs (presented by an American Sikh) A few precious jewels (offered by grand daughter of General Dharma Singh Malwai).

There are six articles which are displayed at Baba Attal at the time of Jalau.These articles include a small Canopy made of gold weighing one seer nine chhatanks, Motian da Jaraaoo Sehra, one golden Chhaaba with gold frill, nine golden Chhaabas with out frills, one Chhaaba decorated with pearls and one golden Kamaani (arch).

Maharaja Ranjit Singh's contributions to Harimandir Sahib

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