28 years old Iqbal Singh was born in the village Manukey in the district Moga. His father, S. Niranjan Singh, was a farmer by birth and profession. Being of a jat family Iqbal's artistic approach was not looked upon favourably in the farming family. But still he pursued his aim as an art student in a Secondary School in Patto Hira Singh after doing his matriculation.
Iqbal - the Artist
His love of art was developing while he was about five years of age. In his school days he used to make paintings of the Gurus and other Sikh warriors. It was, when in the 7th standard that he made a pencil sketch of his drawing teacher Master Teja Singh. The boys mocked him and showed the sketch to the teacher so that he could reprimand him, but on the contrary the teacher so much liked the sketch that he showed it to everybody and predicted that one day this boy would be amongst the prominent artists of India.
Iqbal- The sculptor
His prediction came true and today Iqbal is one of the most sought after artist/sculptor in Punjab. His devotion and artistry is second to none. He is so busy that to take any new work, the client has to wait for over 18 months. He has orders coming from all over India and abroad.
Baba Jora Singh's lifesize portrait has been made by Iqbal in 3 dimensions. Looking from the left side and moving towards the right side or visa versa, the looker will be able to see the movement of the eyes and feet of the portrait moving along with the gaze of the looker. An excellent masterpiece observed by me in person on my visit to Mehdiana Sahib. (Kanwal)
His talent is being ably used by Baba Jora Singh (Lakha) who is the sole in-charge of Gurdwara Mehdiana Sahib, which is an historical Gurdwara of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Guru Ji came to this place after the historic battles of Anandpur Sahib and Chamkaur Sahib.
Here Guru Ji bathed (above painting) and stayed for some time before proceeding to the Deccan (Hazoor Sahib).
Guru Gobind Singh at Mehdiana with Sangat.
Baba Jora Singh is of a dynamic personality, who has been motivated by Guru Gobind Singh himself.
Guru Gobind Singh in front of Anandpur Fort - artist Iqbal
His sacrifice to promote Sikhism in the most modern and scientific way is apparent on the visit to the Mehdiana Gurdwara, where Sikh history has been created with excellent life-size sculptures and paintings. A visitor can be awe struck by the intensity of the sculpters of the 'Shaheeds' whose blood laid the foundation of the Khalsa panth.
Iqbal giving finishing touches to a tiger.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh on a metal plate, which has been beaten from behind by the artist.
Iqbal's artistic talents can be seen with this (above) and variety of other art and sculptures (below).
The young generation will particularly benefit and advance their knowledge of Sikhism after their visit to this unique place, which is about 25/30 miles from Ludhiana towards Ferozepur. The Gurdwara of Nanaksar, another place worth visiting, is also nearby.
Iqbal adorning some of his work with paint.
Various Contributions to this historic paintings and sculptures have been made from time to time by various artistes and sculptors, their names are:-M/ S. Mohan Singh Malla; Karam Singh Manukey (Meenakari);Bhajan Singh Bhamipura; Sukhvinder Singh Bhamipura; Shamsher Singh Lakha; Kulwant Singh Manukey; Bhola Singh; Joginder Singh Raikoti; Jaswant Singh; Bant Singh Burjkalala; Ganga Singh Sherpura; Mistri Joginder Singh; Mohinder Singh Basrawa; Ajit Singh Sairon etc.
We have pleasure in presenting most of the sculptures and paintings adorning Mehdiana Sahib. A real treat for the pilgrim and an art lover.
The Gurdwara Mehdiana Sahib
Inside view of Gurdwara
History of the Gurdwara.
Bhai Daya Singh - the First Pyara adorns the entrance to the Gurdwara.
Bhai Dharam Singh - the second Pyara adorns the entrance to the Gurdwara
THE MARTYRDOM OF BANDA BAHADUR
Martyrdom of the ladies who had their children massacred in front of them.
The martyrdom of Bhai Matidas.
Mai Bhago in the battlefield
Chhotey Sahibzadey with Mata Gujri in prison in Sirhind
Chhotey Sahibzadey being bricked alive by the Sultan of Sirhind
Sikh Women being made to grind tons of wheat in jails
In the custody of Meer Mannu, women had to wear the garlands made of their childrens' dismembered body parts.
The heads of Sikhs brought before the Sultan for a payment of 5 rupees.
Peer Budhu Shah presents his 4 sons to Guru Gobind Singh in the battle of Bhangani
Mahant Kirpal Das in battle
Sikhs being martyred on the death wheel (charkhari)
Sikhs being tortured before being beheaded
Bhai Dyala being boiled alive
Bhai Taru Singh being sawn in half
Bhai Mani Singh being dismembered from every part of his body
Sain Mian Meer
Bhai Kanhaiya distributing water indiscriminately to sikhs and muslims in the Anandpur battle
Baba Dip Singh urging Singhs for battle
The mass torture and massacre of the Sikhs
Baba BandaBbahadur with five Sikhs
Maharaja Dalip Singh, the last Sikh Emperor of Punjab
Sikh General Sardar Hari Singh Nalwa
Maharaja Ranjit Singh -Sher-e-Punjab
Akali Phula Singh
Bhai Sukha Singh & Mehtab Singh
Sardar Sham Singh Atariwala