Senior Sikh world leaders visit Gravesend's Gurdwara
PUBLISHED: 10:01 26 May 2011
»Five of the world's most senior Sikhs have visited the borough's new £13million temple in a "momentous" trip.
As part of their first visit together outside of India, they formally inaugurated the Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara in Gravesend before visiting other parts of the country, including Canterbury Cathedral.
Among them was Jathedar Gurbachan Singh, the head of the Akal Takht, the supreme authority for Sikhs worldwide.
During the visit, the Jathedars attended the appointment of Gravesham’s new Sikh mayor, Cllr Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi at Woodville Halls last Tuesday and congratulated him and other elected Sikhs on their success.
Jaspal Singh Dhesi, president of the Gurdwara, said: “I was deeply honoured and proud the Jathedars had travelled together to attend the inauguration and give their approval and blessing to the new Gurdwara.
“This was a unique and momentous event.”
During the visit Jathedar Gurbachan Singh congratulated the Gravesend community on the achievement of building the Gurdwara which he believes will help to encourage Sikhism.
The rest of the group was made up of Jathedar Tarlochan Singh, of Keshgarh Sahib; Jathedar Iqbal Singh of Harimandir Patna Sahib; Joginder Singh Vedanti, former Jathedar of Akal Takht and the Head Granthi (head priest) of Harimandir Sahib, Amritsar, Giani Jaswinder Singh.
They also visited the Guru Nanak Day Centre and met with the elderly users of the service.
Other Gurdwaras attended were in Woolwich, Birmingham, Derby, Leicester, Southall and Hounslow.
The new Gravesend temple, which replaces the venue in Clarence Place, was inspired by Sikhism’s holiest place, the Harimandir Sahib, known as the Golden Temple, in Amritsar, India.