The newest talk of the town is Virasat-e-Khalsa museum in the holy town of Anandpur Sahib in Punjab. The museum has caused quite a stir having shattered all records by registering the highest number of footfall in the country and consequently entering the Limca Book of Records.
The museum was built in 2011 to commemorate 300 years of ‘Khalsa Panth’, which was founded by the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh. Virasat-e-Khalsa now has a new feather in its cap courtesy being the top-ranked museum in terms of tourist footfall. Apparently, 5000 visitors visit this museum daily which means it has registered more than 97 lakh visitors till date. Interestingly, the museum has garnered this kind of love and attention in just 7 years.
The heritage museum is divided into two parts: the first phase comprising 14 galleries that opened on November 25, 2011 and the second phase comprising 13 galleries that opened on November 25, 2016. While the first phase depicts Sikh history from Guru Nanak Dev’s time to the installation of Guru Granth Sahib, the second phase puts forth subsequent epochs, including times of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur and Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
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Spread across a vast 6,500 acres of land, Virasat-e-Khalsa museum tells the story of Sikhism and Punjab using high-end latest technology and hand-crafted artefacts. Designed by Moshe Safdie – the celebrated Israeli architect whose architectural career spans more than 50 years having built world-class structures across the world, this museum is bound to captivate you with its beauty and story-telling repository.
The museum has carved a niche for itself and has come to be known as the world’s largest historical and cultural museum dedicated to a single community. As you wander across its sprawling campus, you will notice that the museum seamlessly takes you through the riveting journey of 550 years of Sikh history via its 27 galleries.
Open six days a week, you can visit Virasat-e-Khalsa museum everyday except Mondays. Next time you are in Anandpur Sahib, near Chandigarh in Punjab, make sure to pay a visit and soak up the richness of Sikh history here.