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date: 13 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article discusses the Khalsa Heritage Complex, or Virasat-e-Khalsa, nearing completion in Anandpur Sahib, Punjab, India. The architecturally ambitious complex combines more traditional museum and library functions with technologically advanced exhibitions that portray the evolution and religious principles of the Khalsa. Sikh history (as an objective record of facts) and heritage (as living principles of the community) are thus both given space at the complex, one of several commemorative projects recently inaugurated by Parkash Singh Badal’s ruling Akali Dal party. The article places the complex in three relevant contexts: first, as an exemplary instance of current museum and heritage practices taking place India-wide; second, as a component of a politically charged monument-building strategy currently under way in Punjab; and third, as a new, culturally meaningful building in a Punjabi town replete with significant historical sites and artefacts.

Keywords: Virasat-e-Khalsa, heritage, monument, technology, architecture, Anandpur Sahib, museum, commemoration

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