AMRITSAR SAHIB—A Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) official has clarified that the tunnel-like structure discovered beneath the surface near the langar hall of the Golden Temple in Amritsar was a drainage pipe laid in earlier times. SGPC additional secretary Diljit Singh Bedi told TOI, “After inspecting the mysterious structure, we found it to be a drainage pipe laid a few centuries ago, which has been covered now.”
A sewadar (worker) at the Golden Temple chanced upon a tunnel-like structure and a small room made of Nanakshahi bricks while digging near the langar hall of the shrine. Initially, people believed that the tunnel was an ancient secret passage, which was used during the days of Maharaja Ranjit Singh or a passage to connect with other gurdwaras in the Holy City.
Sources in SGPC told that in olden days there used to be a network of underground tunnels, which were used by messengers for delivering letters and other messages from Lahore to Delhi and were also used as secret passages in case of emergency. However, SGPC didn’t take the advice of archaeological experts to ascertain whether the structures were of historical importance.
A similar underground passage was discovered while digging in the area of Gurdwara Lohgarh located in the walled city in 2010 as well. It was then suggested that the tunnel was either a secret passage connecting Lohgarh Fort and Gobindgarh Fort or an ancient sewerage pipe but experts were not consulted.
Conservator Rajnish Khosla questioned, “How can one reach at a logical conclusion without consulting experts?” He suggested that the tunnel discovered underneath should be covered with glass and preserved for future generations. “This could be a curious sight showcasing rich Sikh architecture for lakhs of devotees who visit Golden Temple everyday,” said Khosla.Originally published by articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com