Crowds throng Sikh shrines in Punjab, Haryana to celebrate Baisakhi

Chandigarh: Tens of thousands of devotees on Saturday thronged gurdwaras across Punjab and Haryana to celebrate Baisakhi, one of the biggest festivals that marks the foundation day of the Khalsa Panth (Sikh order) by the tenth Sikh Guru, Gobind Singh.

It also marks the start of harvest season.

The Golden Temple in Amritsar, one of Sikhism’s holiest shrines, was decorated and saw crowds to offer prayers.

As per the directive of the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of the Sikhs, to hoist Khalsa flag atop houses to mark the 325th Khalsa Sajna Divas (Baisakhi), the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has been providing flags to the devotees.

The SGPC, which manages gurdwaras in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh, has deployed task force staff to manage crowds at the Golden Temple.

A sea of devotees was also witnessed at the Takht Kesgarh Sahib in the holy city of Anandpur Sahib, where the Khalsa Panth was founded in 1699.

A jatha of pilgrims has left for Gurdwara Sri Panja Sahib in Pakistan to participate in the religious congregation to be held to mark Khalsa Sajna Diwas.

Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit and Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann extended greetings on Baisakhi and on Sajna Diwas of Khalsa Panth.

In a message, Purohit said Baisakhi has multi-faceted importance.

“It marks the beginning of the harvest season heralding happiness and prosperity. It is also an occasion to remember with gratitude about the contribution of our farmers to the progress of the nation.”

The Governor added that this auspicious occasion has a special significance in the glorious history of Sikhism, as on this day in 1699, the tenth Sikh Guru, Gobind Singh, founded the ‘Order of Khalsa’ to fight against the tyranny of the Mughals.

“This day also marked a watershed in our freedom movement in 1919. Many known and unknown martyrs sacrificed their lives on this day in the Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar. This massacre gave a great impetus to the freedom movement,” he said in a statement.

“May this festival strengthen our resolve to contribute to the nation’s progress and usher prosperity and happiness for all in the year ahead,” the Governor added.


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