The Guru Nanak Gurdwara is a Sikh Temple located in the town of Gravesend, United Kingdom. The new Gurdwara was thrown open to devotees in November 2010. It cost nearly 15 million Pounds Sterling to construct the edifice and maintain it.
This is the second Sikh Gurdwara in Gravesend after the Clarence Place Gurdwara, which was in prior times a church.
Guru Nanak Darbar is definitely the largest Gurdwara in the whole of Gravesend and is considered to be one of the largest Gurdwaras in the United Kingdom. What’s more, the Gurdwara complex is one of the largest outside the precincts of India.
With the modern temple, there are three large prayer rooms and two capacious langar halls. There is an edifice constructed to impart Punjabi lessons in close vicinity, which is called Punjabi School. It acts as a day care centre for the elderly community. In addition, there is a sports hall, replete with activities such as basketball, boxing, and karate, to name a few. The grounds are utilised for outdoor sports including football and playing home to Gravesend Guru Nanak Football Club.
Gravesend, which is a town in Kent in the southeast of England, welcomed its first Sikh brethren in the 1950s. The following decades saw most Sikhs arriving in large numbers. Presently, there are 15,000 Sikhs in the region, which comprises of nearly 15% of the population in Gravesham, which includes the town of Gravesend. Until the late 1960s, Sikhs gathered in a house located on Edwin Street for prayers and religious services, and then moved to the Gurdwara in Clarence Place, which served as the focal point of the Sikh community until 2010.
By the late 1990s, the Sikh community had eventually outgrown these premises, and the existing Gurdwara purchased a plot of land off Saddington Street, which was adjacent to the existing football field and sports and education centres.
The Gurdwara Committee worked in close tandem with the native community to successfully develop the brief for the project to construct a completely new Gurdwara on the site. It was quite clear from the start that the Sikh community wanted the edifice to reflect Indian culture, while simultaneously offering facilities desirable for Sikhs who were living in modern-day Britain. This site spread across 8.5 acres offered a great chance to create a stupendous project that reflected the growing confidence of Sikhs in Britain.
Under the ambition, foresight, and leadership of the late Gurdev Singh Raipur, the then President, the existing committee appointed Calfordseaden as Architects for the project, with the local resident, Harbhajan Singh Biring (Teja) playing the role of the lead architect. The project, which was funded completely by the local community, was successfully completed under, then President, Jaspal Singh Dhesi. For the ornate woodcarving and stonework, specialised companies in India were hired to offer their relevant expertise.