Gurinder Singh Mann and Taranjit Singh
Sikh Museum Initiative
Sikh Studies Conference
Imperial College
August 1st 2015

Ranjit Singh on his conquest of becoming Maharaja of the Punjab absorbed the Misls or Confederacies of the Sikhs. As a result the riches and bounties were deposited into his newly built Sikh treasuries. Over time these treasuries was built up with relics and artefacts related to the Gurus and other martyrs (Shaheeds) of the Sikh faith. After the highly contested Anglo-Sikh Wars and the annexation of the Punjab (1849), the treasuries were disbanded and these objects were taken by the British administration to the UK. Some of these relics made their way to UK institutions and others were lost in transit, sold in auctions or taken into private collections. The presentation uncovers these rich depositories and the different relics that were revered and venerated.

Whilst some of these relics can no longer be traced, the Sikh Museum Initiative (SMI) is now considering different ways in which technological solutions can pave the way forward to bring Sikh relics and artefacts to the masses. The initiative will focus on locating and uncovering relics which binds the Sikh and British communities together. This national programme will leave a lasting legacy for future generations so that generations of Sikhs will understand the close relationship that exists.

In the second part of the presentation we will also show how 3d modelling and augmented reality can map and bring to life objects like swords and shields. We will demonstrate the advantages of using this technology and how it can eliminate barriers to access of Sikh relics and artefacts. This will be one of the most important projects that will bring a range of possibilities to understand and study Sikh relics and artefacts around the world.

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