Brief History of Sikh Foundation of Virginia

Sikh foundation of Virginia came into existence as a result of the efforts of several Sikh families that had settled in Northern Virginia in the early to mid-1970s. At that time, there was no Gurdwara in Virginia, and families used to go to either the Gurdwara on Military Road in Washington, DC, or the Guru Nanak Foundation of America, Silver Spring, Maryland. Once the number of dedicated families in Northern Virginia reached a critical mass, it prompted about a dozen like-minded Punjabi families to band together to explore the idea of building gurdwara in Northern Virginia to meet the religious, cultural and social needs of the community. In this regard, the first meeting was held in Fairfax County Library in Fairfax City in 1978, in which an Ad hoc Committee was formed and tasked with to write Constitution and By-Laws of a religious non-profit organization, and to look for a property to build gurdwara.

Over the next three years, the Committee launched a membership drive, selected and registered name of the organization as Sikh Foundation of Virginia, and approved its constitution and bylaws. The organization purchased a five acre piece of land in 1981, but design, permits, and fundraising took another 5-6 years. In the meantime, community started holding kirtan diwan and langar on Sundays at various members’ houses. Finally, groundbreaking for the building was held in 1987, and the present Gurdwara Sahib was inaugurated on Baisakhi day in 1989. Since then, the Sikh Foundation of Virginia Gurdwara Sahib has been serving the community by holding regular diwans, and catering to various religious, spiritual, and cultural needs of the community. Along the way, to keep up with the growth in congregation and the related demands, the original building has been renovated and upgraded by enlarging stairs, expanding kitchen, adding lobby/ patio/Porch, and building an additional room upstairs for Akhand Paths.

The Sikh Foundation of Virginia Gurdwara Sahib has the distinction of being the oldest Gurdwara established in the Commonwealth of Virginia.