Using rare pictures and documents, UK-based scholars Nidar Singh Nihang and Parmjit Singh have explored the history of the Sikhs of Hazoor Sahib the shrine in the Deccan, India, far from the traditional Sikh homeland of the Punjab where in 1708 Guru Gobind Singh, a warrior-poet who spent much of his life battling against the oppressive policies of the Mughal Empire, found his last resting place.
This is the first of a two-volume work examining the history and traditions of the shrine Hazoor Sahib (which means Master s Presence ), revered as the fourth Sikh takht or throne of temporal and spiritual authority.
The story spans three centuries from the very first modest structure built over the ashes of Guru Gobind Singh to the insensitive destruction of its unique built heritage in the name of modernisation and beautification.
The authors have drawn upon a wealth of written materials and oral tradition to evoke a vivid and often startling account of the empires, events and characters, including maharajas, warriors, emperors, nizams, politicians and policemen, which are intertwined with the sense of mystery and reverence that has surrounded the memory of the tenth Sikh Guru.
Published to mark the 300th anniversary of the passing of spiritual authority to the Sikh scriptures, In the Master s Presence brilliantly brings this all but lost world to life with over 150 illustrations of paintings, photographs, documents, portraits and artefacts from archive and private collections all over the world.