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CONSERVATION OF RAMGARHIA BUNGA

Located in the vicinity of Sri Darbar Sahib, Amritsar, the Ramgarhia Bunga which was built by S. Jassa Singh Ramgarhia in the late 18th Century is the only surviving example of Bunga architecture typology. In the period following its construction it served a dual purpose of housing pilgrims visiting Sri Darbar Sahib and fortifying the area to protect the holy complex from outside invasion. Ramgarhia Bunga consists of three flat-roofed ranges, each of two principal storeys, arranged round three sides of a court-yard and is constructed almost of small burnt bricks (Nanakshahi) set in lime and mud mortar. The colonnade and the triple arches are of red sandstone. The undersides of the vaults and all the walls were finished internally and externally with lime plaster and lime wash, much of it decorative with arches. Lower levels of the Bunga are approached by two flights of steps, one from outside and the other from within the courtyard.

       
The building has serious issues related to deterioration of its historic built fabric and needs urgent measures for its conservation. Amongst the issues of immediate concern are ingress of water into roofs and walls, structural and material decay, use of incompatible material and inappropriate additions, alterations and repairs carried out over the years, all of which have contributed in one way or the other to its present degraded state. With the intention of protecting and preserving the building, S.G.P.C. (Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee), has approved a plan for its conservation that shall not only check decay but will also include works for its structural strengthening. The project will be carried out under the skilled and expert supervision of Dr.Manjit Singh and Dr.Balwinder Singh from Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar and S.Manjinder Singh Gill Art Conservator, S.Ajaideep Singh Jamwal, Conservation Architect, Shri Kumar Menon Material Anaylst, Shri Kunjan Popat, Structural Engineer, all of Heritage Conservation Management Services, Noida (Delhi).

            The works being undertaken would focus on curtailing the use of water and prevent its ingress into the fabric of the structure. Infills would be removed and terracing of the roof redone in traditional materials with appropriate drainage. Temporary structures shall be dismantled and ventilation of hitherto enclosed spaces shall be improved. Cement plaster shall be removed from the walls wherever used shall be replaced with lime plaster. Removal of new brick-cement flooring of the courtyard will help relieving a lot of superimposed load on the vaulted structure below. Major structural cracks shall be stapled by helical bars and grouted. Lesser vertical cracks in the brick masonry wall will be stitched using thin bricks, similar to the original, and lime mortar. Blocked openings between rooms will be opened to provide for proper cross-ventilation and facilitate drying up process. The cement concrete flooring of all rooms will be dismantled. Photo documentation would be carried out at all stages before, during and after conservation. The adaptive re-use of the building would subsequently be carefully considered so that the structure is appropriately used as a public place. It needs to the specially mentioned here that two towers adjacent to the Bunga shall not be touched in any way during the ‘Kar-Sewa’ of Bunga Ramgarhia.

            The formal inauguration of ‘Kar-Sewa’ Bunga Ramgarhia was done at a small but impressive ceremony by Sardar Avtar Singh Ji, honorable President S.G.P.C on 17-04-2008.

            A separate bank-account No. 097600100612387 in Punjab National Bank, Jallianwala Bagh, designated as ‘Kar-Sewa’ Bunga Ramgarhia (Sri Darbar Sahib)” account has been opened by the Manager, Sri Darbar Sahib, Amritsar. The devotees may send their donations for this ‘Kar-Sewa’ to this account. The following persons shall comprise the sub-committee to supervise and guide this ‘Kar-Sewa’ work: -                    

            1.      S. Raghujit Singh Ji “Sr. Vice President S.G.P.C”

2.      S. Rajinder Singh Mehta” Executive Member S.G.P.C” 

3.      S. Gurbachan Singh Karmoowala ” Executive Member S.G.P.C”  

4.      S. Jaswinder Singh Advocate “Member S.G.P.C”

5.      Bibi Kiranjot Kaur “Member S.G.P.C”

6.      S. Onkar Singh Sharifpura “Member S.G.P.C”

7.      S. Dalmegh Singh “Secretary S.G.P.C” 

8.      S. Onkar Singh Sandhu “Managing Trustee Guru Ram Das Birdh Ghar Amritsar”

9.      S. Sukhwinder Singh   “Executive Trustee    “       “       “       “       “      “        ”

10.  S. Joginder Singh Kalsi “      “      “       “       “       “       “       “      “        ”

11.  S. Rajinder Singh Bhullar  “      “      “       “       “       “       “       “      “        ”

12.  S. Harinder Singh Padam “      “      “       “       “       “       “       “      “        ”

13.  S. Ajit Singh Khokhar Chairman Bunga Committee, Nanded

14.  S. Gurminder Singh Matharoo “President AIRVF New Delhi”

15.  S. Jagit Singh Reehal “Gen. Secretary AIRVF New Delhi”

16.  S. Surinder Singh Reyaet “G.S. Auto Ludhiana”

 




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