Now UK jatha starts cleaning of Golden Temple’s gold plating

50 members involved, work will take around 10-15 days to complete

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Now UK jatha starts cleaning of Golden Temple’s gold plating
Amritsar: To maintain the sheen of gold plating of the Golden Temple, a UK-based volunteers’ jatha has begun the ‘sewa’ of cleaning these. Devoid of any chemical, a natural way is adopted to wash the gold-plated domes of the sanctum sanctorum with ‘reetha’ (soap nut) and lemon juice.

Birmingham-based Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha head Mohinder Singh and his team had taken the initiative to do this service free of cost around two and a half decades ago. Golden Temple manager Bhagwant Singh Dhankhera said since 2000, the same team has been annually cleaning the gold domes and sheets to maintain their shine.

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“More than 50 members are in the service. Due to pollution, the shine of the gold plating had got discoloured. It required a thorough cleansing process to bring back its original golden tinge,” he said.

It would take 10 to 15 days to complete the cleaning process. The ‘reetha’ powder is boiled in water for at least three hours. After mixing lemon juice in it, it is left aside to come to normal temperature. This liquid soap form is then used to clean the gold-plated crust.

They will not only cleanse but also repair the gold-plating, wherever required. Besides, they would also be taking care of the ‘minakari’ (inset work) inside the shrine. While doing sewa care is taken to observe the sanctity of the shrine. The Maharaja Ranjit Singh-era gold plates lasted for over 150 years before these were replaced in 1999. The gilding of gold started in February 1995 and completed in April 1999. The same jatha was also among organisations that volunteered to contribute in this ‘kar sewa’ also.

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