The state of Kerala in India only has one gurdwara, which is the Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha located in Kochi City. A gurdwara is where Sikhs come to worship. This gurdwara in Kochi is situated near the southern end of the busiest shopping street of Kochi called MG Road. In 1955, the gurdwara was built at a different location, although it was moved to its recent spot in 1975. The original stone foundation was moved as well. Compared with other gurdwaras, the one located in Kochi only has a single entrance because of the limited space. The normal architecture of the gurdwara carries a Mughal mixture of Muslim and Hindu styles and has four entrances, one on each side. This symbolizes the open-mindedness of Sikhism.
The Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha is roughly 3 km away from the city center of Kochi. This is where the Sikh community in Kochi meets regularly. According to its history, the structure was moved from its original location from Cochin Shipyard locality to Chakkalakkal Road to avoid being too close to Kochi’s early Buddhist Settlement.
Part of the meetings in the gurdwara is to eat meals on the community kitchen’s floor for free. This area is located on the ground floor of the worship building. The holy text of the Sikhs, which is the Sri Guru Grant Sahib, is installed on the first floor of the building called the Durbar Hall.
Anybody can enter a gurdwara regardless of their standing, financial status and color. People walk into the worship place, head covered and barefooted. Non-Sikhs who want to pay respect to the teachings of Guru Nanak are also welcome to enter the place and offer prayers. In fact, the two people who lead the construction of the current gurdwara in Kochi — businessman D.C. Johar and industrialist C.L. Anand or Toshiba Anand group — were non-Sikhs.
You cannot find a priest or any idol inside the gurdwara. The Sikhs only worship their holy text, the Sri Guru Granth Sahid. This is what they consider to be a visual of their ten Sikh Gurus. The worshippers bow before the said sacred text, listen to Gurbani, sing kirthans and sit on the carpet floor inside the Durbar Hall. Sikh families go to the Kochi gurdwara every Sunday at 11 am and another during Wednesday at 7 pm. After their prayers and rituals, they get the food from the Guru Ka Langar. This is the hall where the foods are served. The food is then taken to the community kitchen where the worshippers eat. It is an essential facet of the gurdwara.