Thousands of Sikh devotees join religious procession in Patna

Patna, Jan 4 (IANS) Thousands of followers of Sikhism on Wednesday participated in an impressive ‘nagar kirtan’ (religious procession) held here in connection with the ongoing celebration of the 350th birth anniversary of 10th Sikh master, Guru Gobind Singh.

District police officials said the religious procession attracted non-Sikh locals too.

Reciting ‘gurbani’ (Sikh scriptures) and hymns, the devotees marched from a makeshift gurdwara set up in the tent city in Gandhi Maidan in the heart of Patna to Takht Sri Harimandir ji Patna Sahib — the birth place of Guru Gobind Singh.

The ongoing celebrations began on January 3 and will end on January 5.

Leading the procession were the two groups of “Panj Piaras’ (The five beloved of the Guru) who walked ahead of a gilded palanquin carrying Guru Granth Sahib — which embodies a living guru in Sikh religion. The ‘Palki Sahib’ or palanquin was brought here from Haryana especially for the ‘nagar kirtan’.

While three water tankers washed the road ahead along the entire route, a group of Sikh women swept and cleaned the road ahead of Palki Sahib.

“The ‘panj pyaras’, attired in traditional Sikh dresses and carrying sabres in their hands, walked the entire 9-km route barefoot.

The religious procession passed through Ashok Rajpath and Gaighat amid unprecedented security, said Sukhjit Singh, a member of the nagar kirtan sub-committee of the gurdwara.

Two Army bands, 20 other bands, 150 horses and two elephants, apart from 10 ‘gatka’ (Sikh martial art) teams were part of the procession.

Guru Gobind Singh was born on December 22, 1666, to ninth Sikh master, Guru Tegh Bahadur, and Mata Gujri. He was annointed the supreme leader of the Sikhs at the age of nine, becoming the last of the 10 living Sikh gurus.

The main function of special prayers and ‘kirtan’ (singing of hymns set to music) will be held on January 5, in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and a large number of Sikh dignitaries from India and abroad will participate.

–IANS

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