With regular live streams and purpose-built tech facilities, Leicester’s brand-new Ramgarhia Sikh Gurdwara welcomed the congregation at the end of last month and has been a hive of activity ever since including its first wedding ceremony.
The Ramgarhia Board Leicester, a registered UK charity as a voluntary charitable organisation with the aim of fulfilling the religious, educational, cultural, sports and recreational needs of the community, had acquired land in Hamilton, Leicester, in 2015 with a vision to create a purpose-built new gurdwara “driven by the community, for the community”. Built at a cost of £4.2 million and with the support of the local community, the gurdwara has been holding regular ardaas and kirtans since it opened on June 30.
Ramgarhia Board Leicester said in a statement: “A sense of belonging and ownership is fundamental to not only the successful project, but more importantly a successful new gurdwara for both the Sikhs and the wider community.
“The design approach is based on the vision of British Sikh communities as progressive and creative members of society, the proposed building reflects this spirit. It is of modern contemporary design with beautiful stone finish, glass domes providing abundance of natural light providing an open and natural feel together with some traditional elements through use of colour of the Nishan Sahib.”
The gurdwara is set on a 2.8-acre landscaped plot and includes a large Langar Hall, or community dining hall, which also serves as a flexible space for community use for functions and events. The main Diwan or prayer hall is located on the first floor and is approached by two symmetrical curved staircases. Two wings of learning zones either side of the Diwan Hall provide educational resources for the youth along with a dedicated library and an IT room to support these spaces. The upper-most storey comprises a smaller Diwan Hall and the Sikh Holy flag, the Nishan Sahib, is featured to the front of the gurdwara signifying the presence of a Sikh Temple within the neighbourhood.
“By constructing a new purpose-built gurdwara, the vision is the community of today and tomorrow will be engaged and empowered by a prominent hub within their locality that has provision for a range of religious, spiritual and educational needs,” the charity added.
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Earlier, Ramgarhia Board Leicester had pointed to the Sikh principle of “Dasvand”, which inspires the giving of 10 per cent of an earning member's income to charitable causes as sewa (selfless service) to fundraise towards the community project.
*Info: Ramgarhia Board Leicester