Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal today showcased the plaza at the main entrance of Golden Temple which has been developed at a cost of Rs 250 crore.

A facelift to the stretch from the historic Town Hall to Golden Temple has been given by the state government with beautification of roads and recreation of the facades of 170 buildings surrounding Darbar Sahib.

Talking to reporters here, Sukhbir said the narrative-based multi-media interpretation centre, being built at a cost of Rs 50 crore, at the entrance plaza of Harmandir Sahib, which is the “first-of-its-kind in the country” would convey the story of the Sikh religion and its humanitarian philosophy to the visitors in a comprehensive manner, using latest state-of-the-art technologies.

The unique feature is that Punjabi, and two other Indian language options open up the history of Darbar Sahib to the members of other communities and faiths as they move through the four galleries, he said.

The gallery will narrate the story of the birth and establishment of Sikhism from the time of Guru Nanak Dev to Guru Gobind Singh.

Under the project, almost 170 buildings on Heritage Street, surrounding Harmandir Sahib, have been given a facelift at a cost of Rs 160 crore, Sukhbir said, adding that the development of the road beautifully displayed the art and heritage of Punjab.

The Deputy Chief Minister, who explained each and every aspect of the street, said depicting the values of the Constitution, the model of Parliament House, along with a BR Ambedkar’s statue, was a “one-of-its-kind in the country”.

“The road also represents the values of our freedom struggle by erecting a unique rock sculpture in front of Jallianwala Bagh which will be lit with an eternal flame of our freedom struggle,” he said.

Sukhbir showed the Fuwara Chowk (fountain) to the reporters, which once had the statue of Queen Victoria but where now proudly stood a grand statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, whose reign was also known for all-round development, secular values and patriotic fervour.

It will also have a multi-level stone fountain with beautiful artwork depicting the Sikh religion during the Maharaja’s era. All this is packed in a huge circular and seven multi-level structures which highlight the superb stone-carving which gloriously convey the stories of Sikh battles, warriors, culture, art etc., he said.
Sukhbir also told the reporters that the “biggest LED

screen of the country” was being installed on the street at Saragarhi Parking, which will screen the ‘gurbani’ recital from Harmandir Sahib to the people for an hour daily.

A dilapidated building of Dharam Singh Market has also been given a facelift to spell the grandeur of Amritsar markets. Also, the grand statues of Akali Phula Singh Ji and Sardar Hari Singh Nalwa in front of Town Hall were a true tribute to these stalwarts of Punjab, he said.

Earlier, Sukhbir also showcased the gateway to the holy city of Amritsar which has been conceived as a domed structure supported on four cusped arches resting on four piers in each corner.

The piers are supporting cupolas and the arches are further embellished with ‘burjis’ on each cusp. The domed gateway structure has been painted in golden metallic colour to relate to the international image of Harmandir Sahib as ‘Golden Temple’.

The structure is designed by a team of experts from Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar and built at a cost of around Rs 9.50 crore. It represents and carries the notions of elements of Sikh architecture in consonance with the character of the holy city of Amritsar, the first and foremost centre of the Sikh religion.

The Deputy Chief Minister described these architectural wonders as “necessities to help connect the youth of the state with their age-old traditions, culture and historical roots”.

Sukhbir said the services of the best architects and consultants from all over the country were hired for this project of “great importance”.

He said Darbar Sahib remained “the single biggest magnet” for tourism not only in Amritsar, but the entire globe and therefore, it was of prime importance to manage these huge footfalls.

He also specially mentioned that Durgiana Mandir would also be beautified and renovated similarly.

The Deputy Chief Minister announced that in the second phase, all the streets leading to Darbar Sahib would be given a “heritage look” similar to Heritage Street.

He also announced that in the next five years, “the whole city would witness a facelift and transformation in true traditional style”.

He also visited the Partition Museum at Town Hall which brings together memorabilia in the form of photos, files, recorded memories, artefacts and documents related to partition. He also declared that the museum would showcase all the aspects of partition for the younger generation.

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