Panchbati' in Dehradun, where Dr. Balbir Singh Sahitya Kendra is located has been the retreat of many a scholar and litterateur like Bhai Vir Singh,2 Prof. Puran Singh, Dr. Khudadad and Dr. Balbir Singh, in the last century. Formalised as Dr. Balbir Singh Sahitya Kendra. (1974) after Dr. Balbir Singh's passing away, the Kendra was gifted to the punjabi University, Patiala (1995), cementing the deep academic bonds of Dr. Balbir 3ingh with this premier institution of learning and research. Reconstituted as Punjabi University Dr. Balbir Singh Sahitya Kendra, it now constitutes the nucleus of a developing Institute of Advanced Study for research in Comparative Religion, Philosophy and Culture. The Kendra provides facilities for the university researchers and visiting scholars to carry out research on Comparative Religion, Sikh Studies and History and Culture of Punjab. At present the Panchbati Campus comprises Dr. Balbir Singh Manorial Library and Art Gallery, an Auditorium and a Guest House for visiting scholars.
The Prayer room, the Lounge, the Morning room, the Study, the Rest rooms are being maintained as these were when Dr. Balbir S1ngh lived here. The natural out doors evake a subtle sense of timeless values enshrined in Panchbati.
Dr.Balbir Singh Memorial Library has about 10,000 volumes which include rare books on Sri Guru Granth Sahib and Sikh Studies, History and Culture of Punjab and different religious traditions of India, in English, Gurmukhi, Sanskrit, Prakrit, Hindi, Persian and Urdu.
The MSS Section of the Library has about five hundred manuscripts spanning about four centuries, the earliest ones dating back to 1635 A.D. These mostly relate to early editions and commentaries of many reputed literary and historical texts in Gurmukhi, Hindi, Sanskrit, Persian and Urdu.
Rare photographs of Bhai Vir Singh and Dr. Balbir Singh's family, friends, associates and other contemporaries are presented in the Art Gallery here. Original paintings of well known artists A.K.Chughtai, Thakur Singh, Sobha Singh, Mehr Singh and Dehradun based artist Divijen Ben also form part of the Gallery collection.
The work on prestigious Nirukat Sri Guru Granth Sahib Project, concieved by Dr. Balbir Singh himself is now continued here by the Punjabi University Patiala. The first volume was published by the Punjabi university in 1972 and the second in 1975, soon after Dr. Balbir Singh's death. Later, following the link-up with the Punjabi University, the University undertook to carry forward the project and constituted a team of scholars for this purpose in 2000. The third, fourth And fifth volumes of Nirukat have already been published by the University and work of 6th volume is being carried on by Dr. Harbhajan Singh with the help of two Project Associates.
Inter-faith discussions, memorial functions in honour of Bhai Vir Singh and Dr. Balbir Singh; talks by visiting scholars, an annual lecture by a distinguished scholar on Dr. Balbir Singh's birthday. Dr. Balbir Singh Memorial Seminar to be arranged annually, on a theme related to Dr. Balbir Singh's life and thought are some of Kendra's present academic activities.