MAHARAJA RANJIT SINGH STATUE AT LAHORE
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On the 180th death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, a statue was unveiled at the Lahore Fort.
- Pakistan will unveil a life-size sculpture of Maharaja Ranjit Singh on June 27, on the eve of 180th death anniversary of the Sikh ruler, in Lahore.
- The statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh will be installed outside the Sikh Gallery of the Lahore Fort.
- Around 500 people crossed the Wagah border to attend the unveiling event. The main ceremony will take place on Saturday at Gurdwara Dera Sahib.
- In 2003, a 22-feet tall bronze statue of Ranjit Singh was installed in the Parliament of India in his honour.
- The sculpture is the result of collaboration between Fakir Khana Museum and Sarkar Khalsa Foundation.
- Fakir Syed Saifuddin, the idea was mooted about 15 years ago when U.K.-based Bobby Singh Bansal, chairperson of the S.K. Foundation, came to Pakistan and agreed to sponsor the sculpture. But many years passed before the idea became a reality.
- India has many statues of the famous Maharaja and this will be his first sculpture in Pakistan. The visas issued by the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi are in addition to the ones given to Sikh pilgrims participating in the event from different parts of the world.
- The 463 Indian Sikh pilgrims will visit Pakistan to observe Maharaja Ranjit’s death anniversary from June 27-July 6.
- Saifuddin asked three artistes Salman, Burhan and Zark to design it and this took eight months to make.
- The sculpture is finished in fiber cold bronze material and matchless in its making when compared to other statues of the King in this region.
- A model of Ashq-e-Laila, the Maharaja’s famous horse, would have overshadowed the personality of the Maharaja himself, who was just 5-feet, 5-inches tall.
- So the sculptors chose a horse called Kahir Bahar, gifted to the Maharaja by Dost Mohammad.
- The king who made the Punjab State from Lahore to Kabul, Punjab under Maharaja Ranjit Singh was an extremely prosperous and developed State.
- Bansal wants to now commission the sculptures of other icons like Sardar Sham Singh Attariwala and Hari Singh Nalwa through the museum.