Patna Sahib’s gilded grandeur on Prakash Parv

Patna Sahib (Bihar) Jan 4 (IANS) The Takht (religious seat) of the Sri Harmandir Sahib in Patna has got a golden makeover for the 350th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Gobind Singh that are currently underway here.

Popularly known as the ‘Prakash Utsav’ or ‘Prakash Parv’, the mega event, saw the beautification of the Takht (which literally means a throne or seat of authority).

The renovation and beautification work at the Patna Sahib was completed recently as thousands of followers, mostly Sikh devotees, from across the world gathered for the seven-day event that started on December 30, 2016.

It would culminate on January 5, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi would participate along with Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and several other Sikh dignitaries from India and abroad.

The Bihar government is expecting over 5 lakh devotees to participate in the Utsav.

Describing the throne where the Guru Granth Sahib is kept, Granthi (priest) Dhyan Singh said: “The ceiling, walls, doors, from the fan to the U-shaped arched entrance everything is glittering in gold.”

Sitting near the palanquin with the holy book in place the Granthi said: “The front of the Takht, which is an inverted U-shaped structure is covered with 22 carat gold while door panels are covered with gold and silver panels. The walls which have intricate designs were specially done by artists from Jaipur and Ghaziabad, who took three years to complete.”

Singh, along with two more Granthis not only offer ‘Prasad’ (hot halwa made in pure desi ghee), but also advise the visitors to spend some more time to admire the place, especially the new additions.

“Five years ago when I visited here, it was simple but now the gold and the intricate artistic works with precious stone has changed Guriji’s birthplace,” Sunder Singh, a devotee from Bathinda said.

Mahender Pal Singh from Delhi said: “The Patna Sahib gurudwara is now going to attract nearly as much people the Golden Temple in Amritsar.”

A marble walkway now surrounds the main temple with milky white buildings that have come up especially for the Prakash Parv was funded by the central and state government.

A Christian missionary group from Kerala was also impressed by the new look of the Takht Harmindir Sahib.

“It is incredibly impressive and beautiful and stunning,” said Sujatha John as she and her fellow tourists covered their heads and walked barefoot around the place.

It was here that Guru Gobind Singh was born on December 22, 1666, to Guru Tegh Bahadur and Mata Gujri. Guru Gobind Singh, known as Gobind Rai, spent the first eight years of childhood, playing and learning here.

According to Takht Sri Harmandir Sahib management committee official Sarjinder Singh, the 3,000-sqft ceiling of the main part of this holy shrine inside the darbar hall was embellished with ‘Manovat’ art, a mural art found in Junagarh’s fort and Amritsar’s Golden Temple.

“Dozens of trained artisans from Rajasthan, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh have worked for over three years since mid 2013 to Nov 2016 to complete the massive undertaking,” Singh said.

Besides, the Manovat Art there are also Fresco painted ceilings in 1,000 sqft area, beautified with gold leaf and other designs.

Granthi Vinod Singh pointed that the marble sheets around the gurudwara was special and of rare quality brought from Canada, Australia and Brazil.

The management committee of Sri Harimandir Sahib has also requested for the status of ‘Holy city’ for Patna Sahib, the birth place of Guru Gobind Singh.