With inputs from: SikhMuseum.com
After the British annexed the Sikh Empire in 1849, many European artists arrived for the first time and started painting pictures. The pictures of the “lost Palace” were preserved with these paintings and history has revealed previously unknown facts about this palace.
The palace which is directly across Sri Harmandir Sahib was constructed during the Sikh Empire. Maharaja Sher Singh, the son of Maharaja Ranjit Singh was known to stay in the palace.
The loss of influence over Amritsar with British rule also meant that Sikhs lost control over the use of the lost palace. The history of the lost palace would now take a drastic turn with the palace would now be symbolic of a new era of colonial government administration featuring a disregard for the religious and cultural sensitivities of the ‘natives’.
The lost palace, located on the ‘pool of nectar’ or sarovaar at Amritsar, an area representing the spiritual heartland of the Sikh religion was now occupied by the Christian missionaries of the Amritsar Mission School.
The British invaded the buildings around the parikarma and the invasion was a direct attack on the spirituality of Sri Harmandir Sahib. They would convert Sikhs to Christianity directly across the most sacred shrine of the Sikhs a ruthless stand on religious sensitivity by the British.
After a Christian Missionary center, the British then converted the building into a prison, a court room, and police station during 1890. The prison remained for many years until the Singh Sabha Lehar started and Sikhs became aware of their faith. The Akalis started agitations all through Punjab and finally in 1920 Sikhs were able to gain control of Sri Harmandir Sahib by British appointed mahants.
The British had no regard for the Sikh faith, their mission was to cut the roots of the faith and to convert Sikhs into Christianity.
The plan of the British was to auction Sri Harmandir Sahib Ji in 1877. You can learn more about this: The Miracle of 1877
In its final years things would take an even more bizarre turn as the lost palace would be used as a police station with a prison and court house.
With inputs from Sikhmuseum.com