Thousands of devotees thronged gurdwaras across Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh on Monday 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 across the country see a grand display of devotion and celebratory fervour on Gurpurab.
President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday extended their greetings to the nation on the occasion of Gurpurab.
“Universal vision & humanism of Guru Nanak Devji have been an inspiration to people everywhere. Let us all unite to bring happiness in the lives of the suffering & strive for the betterment of humanity,” Mukherjee said.
Modi took to Twitter to greet everyone.
“Gurupurab wishes to everyone. The inspiring teachings of the venerable Guru Nanak guide us in creating a prosperous and harmonious society”, the Prime Minister said.
Thousands of people of various faiths reached the Golden Temple complex on early Monday morning to offer prayers.
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 at all leading Sikh shrines in Punjab.
At other gurdwaras in cities, towns and villages, hundreds of people were seen coming to offer prayers.
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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.