Sikh Temple Landia, Kenya
Sikh Temple Landia
Sikh Temple Landia was the first Gurdwara established in Nairobi, Kenya in 1903. The Gurdwara is built in the vicinty of the main train station in Nairobi. It was built by the pioneering Sikhs who had worked on the East-African Railway Line during Kenya’s colonization by the British. At that time the entire area around the Gurdwara was occupied by Sikh rail workers and their families. As times changed the Sikhs moved to other parts of the growing city but the Gurdwara Sahib remained. As the Sikh community grew in Nairobi, the Gurdwaras location and space prompted the community to build a new Gurdwara which today is known as Gurdwara Ramgharia South C, Nairobi. Landia Gurdwara was still there but divans were only held once a week and on Punia di raat.
Recently in 2002/2003 the Gurdwara was told to shut down by the Railway commision since it was built on their land. They’re primary reason for asking the Sikh community to shut down the Gurdwara was its limited use. In simple terms, the railway commission asked the Sikhs to use the Gurdwara more frequently or shut it down so they could develop the land. Amazingly, in a city where 6 other massive Gurdwara’s had already been established, the community came together to save the first Gurdwara in the country. The community in order to have more frequent use of the Gurdwara planned 101 Akhand Paths to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Gurdwara Sahib. With Guru Ji’s kirpa even after the 101 Akhand Paths finished, continous Akhand Paths have been going on to this day and more are planned. The Sikh community of Kenya has saved the Gurdwara from shutting down ensuring a bright future for the Gurdwara Sahib and preserving the roots of Sikhs in Kenya. –
article by Jasmeet Singh Bansal