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Macauliffe & Archer illustrations


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Gurfateh !

It's bonus time at work so it means I can indulge my triple passions of buying books, Shastars and Vinyl records - being a sensible married man (well almost sensible) - I can't just 'splurge' buy like I used to - got bills to pay !

Anyway enough of my domestic arrangements !! - I recently got my hands on a first edition of Max Arthur Macauliffe's 'The Sikh Religion' 1909 - I previously only had an Indian 'budget' copy with very poor reproductions of the illustrations.

I've also bought a copy of John Clark Archer's 'The Sikhs' from 1946 - it also has some wonderful photographs - In line with the great Sikh tradition of 'Vand ke Chhakna' I am sharing these books with all of you.

So for your enjoyment here are some of the illustrations - I've focussed on pictures of Sikh Built Heritage.

* From 'The Sikh Religion, It's Gurus, Sacred Writings and Authors' - Max Arthur Macauliffe. Oxford 1909

Darbar Sahib at the start of the 20th Century


The view from the Baba Atal Tower - you can see the 'Bungay' around the parikarma, The gothic clock tower and the Minars of the Ramgarhia Bunga complete with domes.

Note the many trees and you can also see 'Guru Ka Bagh'


Guru Arjan's shrine


The Sri Takhat Sahib Akal Bunga


Gurdwara Baba Atal Rai Sahib


Fatehgarh Sahib






Sri Hazur Sahib, Nanded


Bhagat Namdev's Shrine at Ghuman (10 km west of Sri Hargobindpur in Gurdaspur district) - dates from the 14th century with parts built by Jassa Singh Ramgarhia and Sada Kaur





* From 'The Sikhs, in relation to Hindus, Moslems, Christians and Ahmadiyyas. A Study in Comparative Religion' - John Arthur Clark Archer. Princeton 1946

Entrance to Darbar Sahib c1930s - this entrance is now the main 'Ghanta Ghar' entrance


Darbar Sahib


The Darshani Deori


The famous 'Jhanda Bunga' - now demolished.


A Nihang Baba stood infront of the Akal Takht - the arch behind him is now where the Miri Peeri Nishan Sahibs were moved to, after the original Jhanda Bunga was demolished , to widen the parikarma.


The Akal Bunga / Akal Takat Sahib


The view through the Darshani Deori


Tarn Taran Sahib


The pavilion on the roof of Tarn Taran Sahib


And to finish some ਦੁਰਲਭ - (Durlab) extremely rare and fascinating pictures of the "Arjun Deva Mela, Lahore" - perhaps recording the last ever mela before partition.

The mela - in the background you can see the Shahi Qilla, The Samadh of Ranjit Singh and Gurdwara Dehra Sahib.


The mela - looking toward the River Ravi.


Outstanding and very poignant images - I hope you enjoyed them.

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh !

Ranjit Singh Chohan (Freed)

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Gurfateh Matheen Sahib !

No description or paintings exist to give a clue as to what the original Darbar Sahib looked like.

Many have argued that as Darbar Sahib holds such a Sacred Place in the hearts of Sikhs, it is unlikely that it's design would have been greatly changed after the Afghan desecrations. Other than the Gold plating, some argue the basic design is unchanged. The lack of any references means we are unlikely to know .

One area to look at is that of the Dukhniwaran Jhulan Mahal.

At Thatte Khera Dist Amritsar there is a sarovar built by Guru Arjan Sahib - the Dukhniwaran Jhulan Mahal ('the sorrow removing, swinging palace) - the name comes from the fact the walls of the pavilions 'swing' when they are shaken. This site is unchanged and gives an insight into how the other sarovers built by Guru Arjan may have looked ( such as the Darbar Sahib, Amritsar)

The buildings are plain brick and lime structures with traces of paintings - such a site needs protection as it is undoubtedly exactly as it was when it was built by Guru Sahib and bears the holy touch of Guru Sahib .

As this site is almost untouched by modern 'Karsewaks' - it may give a picture as to what the original Darbar Sahib looked like.

You can see pictures in this thread - I posted a while ago on SA


Take Care

Ranjit Singh 'Freed'

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