Virasat-e-Khalsa

Anandpur Sahib Foundation 

Over 350 years ago, Guru Gobind Singh formed the Khalsa in Anandpur Sahib. To commemorate that event, the Punjab government announced the creation of a spectacular museum designed by the renowned architect Moshe Safdie. When Design Habit joined the project, the 65,000 square foot museum was already under construction. Their task would be to mould its immense spaces to tell nothing less than the story of Sikhism and Punjab. For them, this challenge became a unique opportunity to make a new kind of historical museum: the Virasat-e-Khalsa would become one of the few genuinely narrative-based museums.

 

The 500 year history of the Sikhs is a passionate tale: emotive, dramatic, spiritual, full of sacrifices, celebration and martyrdom. Their approach to it was grounded in years of rigorous research. Virasat-e-Khalsa became a handmade museum with an impact, an experience that is dynamic and emotive as well as warm and approachable. In the process, they created a distinctive modern Indian design language. Over 1 crore people have visited since it opened, making it one of the most visited museums in the country. As an experiment in spatial storytelling, the Virasat-e-Khalsa shows a new way forward in how museums can be made.