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The Silver Doors of The Darshani Gate, Amritsar


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These pictures are of the Doors of The Darshani Gate,The Darshani Deori in front of the Darbar Sahib, Amritsar.

These gates have been described by H H Cole ( 1884) as being made of Shisham Wood - the front plated with silver plates - the back inlaid with ivory - with geometric, floral and animal patterns

The doors are very beautiful - though I have never seen the ivory work on the back -either in pictures or in real life.

Has anyone seen the back of the doors - or have a picture ? please post it !!

Many people miss the doors as they are open flat against the wall - they are closed after Guru Sahib's SukhAsan - So you can see the front silver work.

These Doors are famous not only because they are beautifully crafted - a number of controversies surround them.

It has been claimed that these doors are the Doors of the Somnath Mandir , Gujarat - Looted by Mahmud Ghazni in the 11th century and taken to Afghanistan. - However there is no hard evidence for this.

It is claimed by many that Maharaja Ranjit Singh or his soldiers brought back the gates from Kabul.

J D Cunningham relates negotiations between The Shah of Afghanistan and Ranjit Singh - where Ranjit Singh asks for the return of the Gates in exchange for help to restore the Shah his throne.The Shah also relates a 'Curse'


* From History of the Sikhs - J D Cunningham - John Murray - 1849

Some claim Ranjit Singh brought the gates from Kabul and offered them to the Somnath Mandir but the Pundits refused to accept them as they had been in the possession of Malaichas, the barbarians. So he gave them to Darbar Sahib.

However Giani Gian Singh in his Twarik Siri Amritsar and Udham Singh in his Tarikh-i-Darbar Sahib give details of the manufacture and cost of the Darshani Gate - this would mean the above is a myth and the gates were custom made for the Darbar Sahib. Another point is that the gates are made of Shisham wood and the Somnath gates were said to be carved from Sandalwood.

If you look at the style of the doors it can be seen that they are exactly the same as the Gold doors kept in the Toshekhana - so they must of been made for the Darbar Sahib.

Another twist is a legend that says the British brought the gates to Agra ( Latif (History of Punjab) says they are in the British Museum) - though some argue these gates are from Ghazni's tomb.

Akali Dal and SGPC warring factions always create a fuss around the gates - some saying the BJP want the gates back - some saying Badal is willing to give them back - and had secret talks with Advani - that's dirty politics for you !!

On his visit to Amritsar in the 1970s Indian Prime Minister Desai is said to have asked for the Gates back .

However all this is immaterial as the gates are not from Somnath - The biggest danger is from Kar Sewaks who recently wanted to take down the gates and replace them with ones made from African wood in Birmingham UK !!!!!!!!!!!!

Hope this post isn't too long - I do have a tendency to waffle on for ages -- Here are the Pictures - The bit you want to see !!! --- If anyone has any more info please post it - If anyone has pics of the back of the gates - I would love to see them - Please post them !!!

The Darshani Gates in the 1960s


*From Indian Temples and Palaces - Michael Edwardes - 1969

The Darshani Gates - Closed after SukhAsan - photograph taken in Feb 2004 ( apologies for quality my camera is not very good !!!)


Amrit Vela Prakash - you can see the doors in the top left


The Gold Doors of the Harimandir - which the Darshani Gates resemble


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Pictures from 2005 Darshani Gate walls

See how they have changed, from Art work to Honour of Regiments

If I have made a mistake in the doors that we are talking about please set me stright these are pics from the behind the gate, and your cross the sarovar.



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  • 14 years later...

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