With around 6.2 million people visiting it within 4 years of its opening, the Virasat-e-Khalsa has emerged as most popular tourist destination of the state. Over 30,000 tourists are visiting this world class project on each weekend.
A visit to Virasat- E – Khalsa is a memorable experience. The place is well maintained, with modern and clean lavatories and beautiful galleries. The assistants at your disposal are equally pleasing and helpful. The mesmerizing architect and the glory of Virasat–E–Khalsa has also boosted the economy of Anandpur Sahib town.
It was a long journey through the history of the Punjab, before the internationally acclaimed architect Moshe Safdie, initiated the design process for the Virasat-e-Khalsa. He drew inspiration from the historic Golden Temple and the rich heritage of Anandpur Sahib — its hills, natural valleys and streams, the Anandgarh Fort and the glorious Gurdwara Keshgarh Sahib.
The site for the Complex was selected for its direct relationship to all these features. As per notification no. 12/252/97-5TC/2470 issued by the Govt. of Punjab, Anandpur Sahib Foundation came into force and under this organization, the project for setting up of Khalsa Heritage Complex now Virasat-e-Khalsa at Sri Anandpur Sahib on 100 acres of land was taken up.
Virasat e Khalsa has two main complexes, which are joined with a connecting ceremonial bridge. The Western complex forms the gateway for the town. It houses functions that respond directly to the needs of the people — changing exhibit galleries; a two-level research and reference library centred around a great reading room open to vistas of water gardens, to house rare archival materials, books, journals as well as audio visual resources; and a 428-seat auditorium to host seminars and cultural events.
A 165-metre bridge from the Western complex provides pedestrian access to the Eastern complex, the Virasat-e-Khalsa Museum that comprises permanent exhibit galleries on 500 years of Sikh heritage along with museum facilities to rival any world-class museum. The roof geometry projected in the skyline reveals the plan of the individual floors. One cluster, with five flower-like petals evokes the lotus, projecting skywards. A second crescent-shaped cluster creates a symphony of shapes against the skyline, dominated by a vertical sword-like triangular spire that hovers above the roofline. Below, at the centre of the historic museum is a large multi-level exhibit space, shaped like a ship, rising dramatically from the water below. Its bow faces downstream towards the sacred buildings of the town, creating the allusion of dynamic movement.
The civil work of all the 27 Galleries of Virasat-e-Khalsa has since been completed in November 2011. Out of total 27 galleries, the exhibit work of 14 galleries, have been completed in Phase-1 and the same was dedicated to the nation by the Chief Minister Punjab Mr. Parkash Singh Badal on November 25, 2011. The work of the 2nd Phase for the remaining 13 galleries has already been started and will likely to be completed by June 30, 2016.
The place is a must to visit, a departure from the present times into the historical Punjab, from where you come out drenched in a feeling of pride.