In this tenth archive story by Kristian Bertel, the photographer is visiting the Sis Ganj Gurdwara in central Delhi, India.
Read the background story of this archive photo by the photographer.
Sikhism, founded by Guru Nanak began as a reaction against the caste system and Brahmin domination of ritual. Sikhs believe in one god and although they reject the worship of idols, some keep pictures of the ten gurus as a point of focus. In this photograph, a Sikh priest is seen during a ceremony in Sis Ganj Gurdwara in Delhi, India.
Sikhism, founded by Guru Nanak began as a reaction against the caste system and Brahmin domination of ritual. Sikhs believe in one god and although they reject the worship of idols, some keep pictures of the ten gurus as a point of focus. In this photograph, a Sikh priest is seen during a ceremony in Sis Ganj Gurdwara in Delhi, India.

Sis Ganj Gurdwara ceremony in Delhi

When entering ceremonies as a photographer, respect is always something that the photographer is remembering, and that also included his visit to a ceremony in the Sis Ganj Gurdwara in Delhi. Like Hindus and Buddhists, Sikhs believe in rebirth and karma. In Sikhism there is no aecetic or monastic tradition ending the eternal cycles of rebirth.

Historical gurdwara in Delhi
First established in 1783 by Baghel Singh the Sis Ganj Gurdwara, is one of the nine historical gurdwaras in Delhi. Gurdwara Shish Ganj, located at Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi, was built on the place where Mughal Emperor Aurungzeb ended the life of the ninth Sikh Guru, Shri Tegh Bahadur in 1675. Sis Ganj is a prominent pilgrim center of the Sikh Community and it is equally revered by the Hindus. "- The building was very intertesting to see and it was beautifully decorated with flowers, the so-called mary gold flowers in both orange and yellow colors", the photographer says. Many travelers know the Harimandir Sahib, known popularly as the Golden Temple, which is a sacred shrine for Sikhs in Punjab province of India. Sikhism is a monotheistic religion founded during the 15th century in the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent, by Guru Nanak and continued to progress through the ten successive Sikh gurus, the eleventh and last guru being the holy scripture Guru Granth Sahib.

Colorful ceremony in India
When entering ceremonies as a photographer, respect is always something that the photographer is remembering. Guru Nanak taught that rituals, religious ceremonies, or idol worship are of little use and Sikhs are discouraged from fasting or going on pilgrimages. Sikhs do not believe in converting people but converts to Sikhism by choice are welcomed. The morning and evening prayers take around two hours a day, starting in the very early morning hours. The first morning prayer is Guru Nanak's Jap Ji. Jap, meaning 'recitation', refers to the use of sound, as the best way of approaching the divine. Like combing hair, hearing and reciting the sacred word is used as a way to comb all negative thoughts out of the mind. The second morning prayer is Guru Gobind Singh's universal Jaap Sahib. The Guru addresses God as having no form, no country, and no religion but as the seed of seeds, sun of suns, and the song of songs. The Jaap Sahib asserts that God is the cause of conflict as well as peace, and of destruction as well as creation. Devotees learn that there is nothing outside of God's presence, nothing outside of God's control. Devout Sikhs are encouraged to begin the day with private meditations on the name of God. Upon a child's birth, the Guru Granth Sahib is opened at a random point and the child is named using the first letter on the top left hand corner of the left page. All boys are given the last name Singh, and all girls are given the last name Kaur, this was once a title which was conferred on an individual upon joining the Khalsa. Punjabi wedding traditions and ceremonies are traditionally conducted in Punjabi and are a strong reflection of Punjabi culture. The actual religious marriage ceremony differs among Sikhs, the weddings are conducted in Punjabi, among Hindus, the ceremony is conducted in Sanskrit and among Muslims, in Arabic. There are commonalities in ritual, song, dance, food, and dress. The Punjabi wedding has many rituals and ceremonies that have evolved since traditional times, including many famous Punjabi dances. The Sikhs have a number of musical instruments which are the rabab, dilruba, taus, jori and saranda. Playing the sarangi was encouraged in Guru Har Gobind. The rabab was first played by Bhai Mardana as he accompanied Guru Nanak on his journeys. The jori and saranda were designed by Guru Arjan. The taus was made by Guru Gobind Singh Ji, who supposedly heard a peacock singing and wanted to create an instrument mimicking its sounds. Sikh art and culture are nearly synonymous with that of the Punjab, and Sikhs are easily recognised by their distinctive turban, the so-called 'Dastar'. The Punjab has been called India’s melting pot, due to the confluence of invading cultures from the rivers from which the region gets its name. Sikh culture is therefore a synthesis of cultures as the photographer also experienced during the ceremony.

More archive stories

India is a land full of stories. On every street, on every corner and in the many places in India, life is rushing by you as a photographer with millions of stories to be told. In the archive story above, you hopefully had a readable insight in the story that was behind the photo of a Sikh priest in Delhi. On this website of Kristian Bertel | Photography you can find numerous travel pictures from the photographer. Stories and moments that tell the travel stories of how the photographer captured the specific scene that you see in the picture. The photographer's images have a story behind them, images that all are taken from around India throughout his photo journeys. The archive stories delve into Kristian's personal archive to reveal never-before-seen, including portraits and landscapes beautifully produced snapshots from various travel assignments. The archive is so-far organized into photo stories, this one included, each brought to life by narrative text and full-color photos. Together, these fascinating stories tell a story about the life in India. India, the motherland to many people around the world, a land of unforgetable travel moments. The archive takes viewers on a spectacular visual journey through some of the most stunning photographs to be found in the photographer's archive collection. The photographer culled the images to reflect the many variations on the universal theme of beauty and everyday life in India. By adding these back stories the photographer's work might immensely enhanced the understanding of the photographs.