Kids Corner


Moshe Safdie to Design
Durbar Sahib's New Environs



Punjab has once again roped in Israeli-born, U.S.-based, Canadian architect Moshe Safdie to beautify the surroundings of Amritsar's famous Golden Temple and its corridor.

Safdie will soon submit a presentation on the concept and layout of the beautification plan. For the beautification of the complex's surroundings, he will seek the help of Lebanese landscape architect Vladimir Djurovic, who will help him select rare species of trees and shrubs from around the world, which will then be planted in and around the temple complex.

The Golden Temple is one of the most sacred religious places of the world, where people of all faiths converge to pay obeisance. Its beautification will make it the most preferred destination of religious tourism, Safdie said.

Safdie has been asked to complete the project in two years. The currently-approved plan of the beautification of the corridor around the Golden Temple will also be a part of the new plan.

In the wake of its outrageous military action on the complex in June 1984, the Indian government had announced plans to beautify the surroundings of the Golden Temple in 1988. [Typically, nothing meaningful has been completed in the last two-and-a-half decades!] It also felt that the surrounding lanes needed to be broadened.

The Rs.70-crore [roughly US $17 million] project aimed at replacing the narrow lanes and shops around the Golden Temple with a green belt. The project was to be completed in five phases, but 25 years after the destruction ravaged on the area, the fifth phase is still far from complete.

Amritsar Deputy Commissioner, Kahan Singh, who is in-charge of the project, said the work was on in full swing.

"Safdie will give us the final designs of this fifth phase by August 15, 2009. The project is likely to be completed by the end of this year," he said.

Once this phase is complete, no vehicles will be allowed in the area. "Not only will the congestion end, but the pollution issue around the Golden Temple will also be sorted out," he said.

Earlier, the state had engaged Safdie for the Khalsa Heritage Centre project in Anandpur Sahib. It is expected to be complete by April 13, 2010.


July 14, 2009

Conversation about this article

1: Harinder (Banglore, India), July 14, 2009, 11:35 AM.

I believe we should call it a "spiritual journey", not "religious tourism" which connotes as if Sikhs are interested in making money out of pilgrims. Any how, thanks to both Vladimir and Moshe for this beautiful seva to the Sikhs and humanity.

2: Dharamveer Singh (Mumbai, India), July 14, 2009, 1:19 PM.

Finally, I get to hear some good news. The last thing I had heard was somebody in Punjab creating a life size replica of The Golden temple and it being opposed by the S.G.P.C. Moshe Safdie and Vladimir Djurovic - thank you for all your work and efforts.

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