Sir Sobha Singh is a renowned artist in sikh community. His paintings of sikh gurus are most famous. He was born on 29th November, 1901 at Sri Hargobindpur, Gurdaspur in the family of a Ramgharia Soldier named S. Deva Singh. He himself server british army in baghdad and mesopotamia (now iraq). After independence, he came to Himachal. In 1949, he settled at Andretta near Palampur in Kangra Valley of Himachal, India.
(Residence of S. Sobha Singh at Andretta, Palampur. The street is called S. Sobha Singh Marg)
His murals are displayed at the Indian Parliament. Once of his creations is gracing his residence’s entrance…
(Prithvi Raj Kapoor, created by S. Sobha Singh)
His most famous painting include Heer Ranjha, Sohni Mahiwal and Sikh Gurus. All his work is shown in his little house, that his daughter is now taking care of. One of his paintings, that is now no where to be found was once painted by my dad, when he saw it in a news paper. Unique thing about this picture is that in this, guru nanak is not wearing a turban. Instead, he is having a selli topi on his head. Most sikhs may not be pleased with this picture, but we must not forget the fact that Guru Nanak actually blended into the place where he went. He dressed like locals and gave gurbani in the local language.
When we reached Sobha Singh’s Art Gallery, after crossing mesmerizing tea gardens of Palampur and heavenly valley of Kangra, we were greeted by S. Sobha Singh’s Daughter, who now takes care of her father’s work. She was very kind to show us his work. There is a room full of this original work and a live size statue of him. There is one unfinished painting with a color dipped dry brush in his bed room. On the wall, hangs his honor, that President Giani Zail Singh gave him. I don’t remember if it was Bharat Ratan or Padma Bhushan.
I saw some really nice things in there, and recommend all art lovers to visit this mecca of artists.