Visiting temple in Kota Kinabalu

I went to Gurdwara, or Sikh temple in Tanjung Aru about two years ago for an event but did not take pictures because I was rushing.

Recently, another event held at the outside of the temple and I decided to have a look inside the prayer hall.

I am sure most of Kota Kinabalu city folks never visited this building, located near SM Maktab Sabah (Sabah College Secondary School). If you have free time, try to have a look at this building which has been added in city tour package by some of the travel agents.

Those who are planning to travel to Sabah and have a few hours in the city centre before traveling back, try to stop at this temple because it is on your way to the airport. The location is about 5 minutes from Airasia Airport and 7 minutes to Kota Kinabalu International Airport (please consider, I am a slow driver).

Ok, let me explain a little bit about this religion. Please correct me if I'm wrong ya... Sikhism is a monotheistic religion founded in India’s Punjab region and based on the teachings of Guru Nanak and his successors. The Sikh philosophy focuses on the equality of all people, and is said to be summed up by Guru Nanak as, “Realization of Truth is higher than all else. Higher still is truthful living.”

The Sikhs are extremely gracious in welcoming visitors and helping them to understand the Sikh religion and customs. Visiting a Gurdwara, the Sikh meeting place for worship, is open to everyone – regardless of beliefs, caste or color.

Based on my experience, here are some guidelines to follow for a respectful visit, and notes about what to expect.

Dress modestly.

Like any other sacred space, you will want to plan on dressing modestly when visiting a Sikh temple. It’s best to wear loose-fitting clothing as you may sit with others on the floor in the main prayer hall.

Ask permission before entering.
The Gurdwara in Tanjung Aru doesn't have reception area for visitors, but there will be people at the hall, outside the temple. Ask them about your interest to have a look at the temple. They are very friendly and helpful.

Cover your head.
Everyone must cover their heads before entering the Gurdwara. Sikh men customarily wear turbans, while Sikh women typically wear head scarves as part of their traditional dress. If you do not have a head covering, don't worry they will let you borrow one when you arrive at the temple.

Remove your shoes and wash your hands and feet.
It is customary to remove your shoes before entering the prayer building.
In the main prayer hall, be aware of the Guru (priest).
Entering the main prayer hall, I did not see anyone praying at that time because they were busy with the event happening outside. But someone guide us and explained about the temple and its history, how it became an important part of the British prisoners of war during the WW2. According to her, if the Guru (priest) is there, you must respect him by walking quietly.

I personally  had enjoyed learning a bit about their traditions in visiting a Gurdwara. If you have the opportunity, a visit to a Sikh temple is a rich experience.

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS

2 comments:

a.geraldine said...

Mariahhhhh...mari we overnight di pulau. camping, bon fire, bbq.

Emily Tang said...

wish to visit sabah again :D

Post a Comment