Tuesday, April 10, 2007
NRI Dr Kartar Singh Lalvani offers to pay for restoration in Golden Temple
A non-resident Indian entrepreneur on Wednesday offered to pay for the "restoration" of the 300-year-old door at the Golden Temple and opposed any move to replace it.
"The door, known as Darshani Deori at the main entrance to the sanctum sanctorum, has a historic significance and I am prepared to pay for its conservation and restoration," Dr Kartar Singh Lalvani said.
73-year-old Lalvani, founder chairman of Vitabiotics, Britain's first specialist vitamin supplement company, who is also interested in the preservation of artefacts, said the door was originally part of the historic Somnath Temple in Gujarat before it was plundered by raiders from Afghanistan.
Lalvani, winner of the Asian of the Year award last year, said it was Maharaja Ranjit Singh who secured the door from the then ruler of Afghanistan Shah Zaman as part of a treaty after he defeated the marauders from Kabul. The door first offered to Somnath Temple but it was turned down.
A report quoted to SGPC executive member Kiranjot Kaur said the committee had recently decided to replace the door because its condition has deteriorated over the years.
The work was to be entrusted to the Birmingham-based Sikh missionary organization Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewa Jatha and plans had already been drawn up to import special timber from Africa.
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