Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara – Sikh Temple
Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara Situated in north Kent (England), Gravesend has a population of roughly one hundred and ten thousand people, of these about one tenth are of the Sikh faith. Sikhs first started to settle in Gravesend in any noticeable numbers in the mid to late 1950s and since then have built up a very strong local community, both economically and spiritually.
Prior to 1955 weekly congregations were held at the house of Charan Singh (site now occupied by a shopping centre), after this time the size of the congregations great to the extent that a house was purchased for worshipping. The building that is now the Sri Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara (left) was purchased in 1968 and immediately became the focal point of the Sikh community. The building has over the years had extensive building work done to it(all financed from donations) and now there is no mistaking it for anything other than a Gurdwara. Not only has the gurdwara been the focal point of spiritual activities, it has also been heavily involved in sporting activities. There has been a Guru Nanak FC (football club) team and Kabbadi team for over two decades during which time both have won many trophies and participated in hundreds of events.
As well as the main gurdwara, the committee has now purchased (99 year lease) another site not too far from the main building. This new site now not only has a gurdwara it also boasts a fully equipped gymnasium together with playing field and car park. To illustrate the amount of influence the community now has, the local council has named the road this new site is situated on Khalsa Way. In additional, in 1997 Gravesend had Kent’s first Sikh mayor . Over the years many local teams and clubs have been set up, one of the most popular and well know is The Jugnu Bhangra Group. They have participated in thousands of events both nationally and internationally and along the way won many dancing championships while entertaining audiences with folk dances of the Punjab.