In order to uplift religious tourism, Pakistan unveils a life size statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, who ruled over Punjab for close to 40 years in the early 19th century. On the occasion of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s 180th death anniversary, the inauguration took place in Lahore on Thursday.
The statue has been located in an open space outside the Mai Jindian Haveli in Lahore Fort, close to the building that houses the Ranjit Singh samadhi and the Gurudwara Dera Sahib of Guru Arjun Dev. The haveli, named after Ranjit Singh’s youngest queen, now houses a permanent exhibition of Sikh artefacts and is called the Sikh Gallery. It took eight months to complete the eight-feet tall statue of the Sikh ruler sitting on his favourite horse named Kahar Bahar.
According to the invitation card for the event, the eight-feet tall statue, which depicts Ranjit Singh mounted on a horse, is being installed under the auspices of the Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA), an autonomous body for the conservation of the city’s heritage in collaboration with S K Foundation, a UK-based Sikh body.
The statue was made by artists from Lahore’s National College of Art and Naqsh School of Art under the supervision of Faqir Khana Museum Director Faqir Saifuddin.
Around 465 Indian Sikh pilgrims visited Lahore at Gurudwara Dera Sahib that houses the funerary urns of Ranjit Singh to commemorate the event.
WCLA Conservation and Planning Director Najam-Us-Saqib said, “This sculpture is a tribute and homage to the son of the soil, adding that Lahore has had rich cultural and religious diversity for centuries and Ranjit Singh was one important part of it.’’