Thousands of devotees thronged gurdwaras across Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh to offer prayers on the occasion of ‘Gurpurab’ – the birth anniversary of the first Sikh guru, Nanak Dev.
The holiest of Sikh shrines ‘Harmandar Sahib’, popularly known as the Golden Temple, in Amritsar and other gurdwaras elsewhere saw religious fervour to the fore on ‘Gurpurab’.
Thousands of people, from various faiths, reached the Golden Temple complex early Monday morning to offer prayers marking the birth anniversary of the founder of Sikhism.
The shrine complex was decorated with lighting. Hymns were rendered at the holy shrine and hundreds of other gurdwaras across the region to mark the occasion.
Tight security arrangements were made around all leading Sikh shrines in Punjab.
At other gurdwaras in cities, towns and villages, hundreds of people were seen coming to offer prayers.
‘Langars’ (community kitchen), were arranged at most gurdwaras.
Over 2,000 devotees, mostly Sikhs, went to neighbouring Pakistan to celebrate ‘Gurpurab’ at Nankana Sahib, 100 km from Lahore, at the birthplace of Guru Nanak Dev, who was born there in 1469.
Though around 3,000 visas were issued by the Pakistan embassy to devotees to visit the shrine, about 1,000 people opted out following recent tension between the countries and currency crunch due to demonetisation.
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal greeted people on the occasion of ‘Gurpurab’ and urged them to follow the Guru’s teachings and maintain peace and harmony.