Amritsar, December 4
The birth place of Bhai Vir Singh popularly known as Bhai Vir Singh Niwas Sthan, a four-acre property on the prime Lawrence road houses a museum, which is a treasure trove of books. Though the museum has a natural garden, which enhances its ambience, yet it receives hardly any visitor.
The tourist footfall in the city of Golden Temple is increasing. The government is invariably trying to explore more tourist destinations to prolong the stay of visitors which would spur the hospitality industry.
Once residence of Bhai Vir Singh, the place has been turned into a museum-cum-library, keeping alive the memories of the reformist. The property is known among locals as Bhai Vir Singh Hall, which is actually a gurdwara. A large number of locals visit the hall to attend family ceremonies. However, hardly any of them visits the library, which was once residence of Bhai Vir Singh.
The property has flower and fruit garden that has over 100-year-old heritage trees and is home to native birds.
Known as the fifth river of Punjab for his literary contribution, most of Bhai Vir Singh’s belongings — almost seven decades after his death — have been preserved at his residential quarters that include a dining room, an office-cum-reading room and a bedroom. His living room showcases the Padma Bhushan awarded to him in 1956 for his contribution to literature. Extracts from his writings adorn the walls and garden. His poems are a reminder of his love for nature and verse. Besides, the museum has a library with over 4,000 books on the Sikh history, general topics, poetry and short stories.
The premises also has a small meditation hut with an architecture and design similar to the holy Sikh Shrine of Shri Hemkunt Sahib.
Dr Sukhbir Kaur Mahal, former Director, Bhai Vir Singh Niwas Sthan, said the place holds immense tourist potential. Its custodians must approach the government to popularise the site among tourists.
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