Gurudwara Sahib Bercham, Ipoh, Perak
In the early years of the 20th Century, there were about four Sikh families living in the Kopisan area in Ipoh. These Sikhs were dairy farmers as well as bullock cart operators, which was then the main mode of transportation.
In 1910, these Sikhs built a small Gurdwara Sahib in Kopisan, Jalan Tanjong Rambutan, Ipoh. This Gurdwara Sahib was used by the Sikh sangat for the next 35 years. In 1951, during the resettlement of people to new Villages by the Government, the Sikhs had to move from the Kopisan, Tambun area to the present location in Bercham. In 1949, there were about eight Sikh families in Bercham. These Sikhs built a new Gurdwara Sahib at the present location. This Gurdwara Sahib was a single storey building made of wooden planks and a zinc roof. The cost of this Gurdwara Sahib was Malayan $4,500.00. Sardar Dial Singh, Village Chabbal laid the foundation stone of this Gurdwara Sahib. This Gurdwara Sahib was used for the next 26 years after which, a new Gurdwara Sahib building was built next to it. This old Gurdwara Sahib building still exists and is presently being used as a langgar hall, kitchen and store.
By 1972, there were about 20 Sikh families residing around the Bercham area. These Sikhs decided to build a new single storey brick building to serve as their Gurdwara Sahib. Sardar Dial Singh Village Chabbal laid the foundation stone in 1972. The new building was completed in the same year and officially declared open by Sardar Sohan Singh Village Jehlupur.
Presently there are about 120 Sikh families who live around the Bercham area and participate in the religious activities held in this Gurdwara Sahib. As the present Gurdwara Sahib’s Darbar Sahib is too small to accommodate the Sikh sangat, Plans are being finalised to construct a larger Gurdwara Sahib building.
The Management Committee comprises of the President, Secretary, Treasurer, their assistants and five committee members. Bhai Natha Singh served as a Granthi in this Gurdwara Sahib from 1945 to 1956. The normal weekly prayers are held on Sunday mornings from 7.00a.m to 9.30a.m. Usually, during, the first week of every month, the Sikh Sangat in Bercham hold an Akhand Path (i.e. continuous reading of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji for approximately 48 hours). Special programmes are also held when kirtan and kathakar jathas (groups of religious singers and lecturers) arrive here either from abroad or from the other States in Malaysia.
Sikh Gurudwaras in Malaysia&Singapore
Saran Singh Sidhu AMN,PNM,FRNS