29 November, 2020

Grand Truncated History

In felling its iconic trees, gurudwara ‘modernisation’ is also uprooting a part of Sikh heritage

Tribhuvan Tiwari
Grand Truncated History

Trees Of Life

  • Some 59 gurudwaras are named after 19 species of trees, as listed in D.S. Jaspal’s book
  • At Gurudwara Amb Sahib in Mohali, the original mango tree is now a dried-up stump
  • For the first time, the kalpavriksha at Attari gurudwara has no leaves.


“Air is the Guru Water the father and Earth the great mother”

—Guru Granth Sahib

And now marble is king. Sikhism is the world’s youngest religion and perhaps the only one in which trees have contributed to spiritual evolution. More than 50 Sikh shrines across the country, and some in Pakistan, are named after trees. These are trees under which the Sikh gurus sheltered, rested or met their followers during their travels. The followers then commemorated the guru’s visit by building a shrine and naming it after the tree under which he sat. Many of these shrines still exist....



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