Virasat-e-Khalsa is a Sikhism museum, located in Anandpur Sahib, Punjab. Israeli architect Moshe Safdie designed the museum. Moshe Safdie has 50 years of career experience in designing structures worldwide. The museum is a brilliant structure and a story-telling repository.
The buildings are built of pure concrete; beams and columns remain apparent, though a large settlement of the structures will be clad in honey-colored stone. Roofs of the museum are concave-shaped receptors facing the sky, sheathed in stainless steel.
Spread across a vast area of 6500 ac of land, Virasat-e-Khalsa (or Virasat e Khalsa) Museum narrates the story of Sikhism and Punjab using the most advanced technology and hand-crafted artifacts.
The museum has been envisioned as the world’s largest ancient and cultural museum devoted to a single community. As one walks across its campus, the museum brings you to the interesting journey of 550 years of Sikh history via its many galleries.
It’s a world-class museum where audio guides, fiber optic cables, 3-D movies, and hermetically controlled mannequins rub shoulders with traditional crafts like Bagh phulkari and zardozi.
At the entrance of the museum, The majestic experience begins at ‘Panj Pani’, the Boat Building amongst the largest hand-painted painting in the world, created by the Orijit Sen. It is a 360-degree painting depicting the past and the present of Punjab, as seen in its villages and towns and cities. You realize that the room is like a wide well with decorated walls, beginning with the start of the day, taking you through diverse love stories, Punjabi festivals, customs, the Golden Temple, and ending with the shadow of the sun.
After the above beautiful gallery, you are given an Audio Guide with language selection options. As you start the journey in, the usual Ik-Onkar song
“Ik Oankaar Satnaam Kartaa Purakh Nirbhau Nirvair Akaal Moorat Ajoonee Saibhan Gur Prasaad”
“One Universal Creator God. The Name Is Truth. Creative Being Personified. No Fear. No Hatred. Image Of The Undying, Beyond Birth, Self-Existent. By Guru’s Grace.” takes over, showing a crystal-lights installation which is pretty fascinating!
Another interesting fact about this museum is the visitor numbers have broken records as the museum has been recognized as the most visited museum in the Indian subcontinent. The footfall for a single day on March 20th, 2019 was the most ever recorded for a museum in India. Eight years ago, since the beginning of the museum, over 10 million people have visited. The ‘Limca Book of Records’ recently listed the ‘Virasat-e-Khalsa’ museum as the country’s “top-ranked museum” in terms of the number of visitors.