Gurudwara Sahib Tanah Rata, Pahang
In the late 1920’s, there was a large community of Sikhs residing in Tanah Rata. Some of them were contractors while others were employed as general workers in the various construction projects in Cameron Highlands. Some of these Sikhs were drivers, woodcutters, vegetable farmers or worked in the tea estate.
The first Gurdwara Sahib was built in 1931 largely through the efforts of Sardar Sadhu Singh Chakrala. Subsequently, he also served as a Granthi here for many years. Some of the Sikhs who played an important part in the management of this Gurdwara Sahib in its early years were Sardar Samund Singh and Sardar Gurdit Singh who were both contractors, Sardar Chanda Singh and Peer Baksh, who was also a contractor. Many Sikh visitors and tourists used to visit this Gurdwara Sahib while on holiday in the cool, hilly region of Cameron Highlands.
Giani Damodar Singh, editor of “Punjabi Darbar”, who visited this Gurdwara Sahib in 1955 records that the old Gurdwara Sahib building had been replaced with a new building. This Gurdwara Sahib was demolished in 1979 to make way for a new bigger building.
The present Gurdwara Sahib land is nearly two acres in size. It has been gazetted as a Temple (Gurdwara) Reserve vide State of Pahang Government Gazette No. 1067 dated 19th August 1992.
The new Gurdwara Sahib building was completed and officially declared open in 1980 by the Panj Piyarae. This building is a double storey structure. The first floor comprises of the Darbar Sahib and the Sachkhand room where the Holy Book, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, is kept at night. The ground floor consists of the Guru Ka langgar hall. The kitchen, Granthi’s quarters and ten rooms for Sikh visitors exist by the side of this building. The cost of construction of this Gurdwara Sahib was RM250,000.00 which was raised by way of donations from the Sikh sangat from all over Malaysia and Singapore.
It can get rather cold at night in Cameron Highlands especially when it rains. All the 10 rooms for Sikh visitors have thick blankets and the bathrooms have water heaters. Families with their relatives and friends frequently come from all over Malaysia and Singapore and hold jormelas (religious functions) in this Gurdwara Sahib.
There are presently about 26 families who reside in the Tanah Rata and Brinchang areas who participate in the religious activities of this Gurdwara Sahib.
On Sangrand day, prayers are held at 5.00p.m.. and are attended by the Sangat of Tanah Rata.
The Management Committee comprises of the President. Vice President. Secretary, Treasurer and five committee members.
Sikh Gurudwaras in Malaysia&Singapore
Saran Singh Sidhu AMN,PNM,FRNS