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Chandigarh, April 14 – Crowds of devotees thronged gurdwaras across Punjab and Haryana on Friday to celebrate Baisakhi, one of biggest festivals that marks the foundation day of the Khalsa Panth (Sikh order) by the tenth Sikh Guru, Gobind Singh.
Also it marks the start of harvest season.
The Golden Temple in Amritsar, one of Sikhism’s holiest shrines, was tastefully decorated and saw huge crowds to offer prayers.
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), which manages gurdwaras in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh, has deployed task force staff to manage crowds.
Barricades have been put up at all roads leading to the Golden Temple to prevent overcrowding, a police official told IANS.
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 this week left for Gurdwara Sri Panja Sahib in Pakistan to participate in the religious congregation to be held to mark Khalsa Sajna Diwas (Baisakhi).
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 a multifarious significance. It marks the ripening of the rabi harvest, a time of great joy for the farmers to gather the fruits of their hard labour.
The Governor said this auspicious occasion has a special significance in the glorious history of Sikhism as on this day Guru Gobind Singh founded the ‘Order of Khalsa’ to fight against the tyranny of the Mughals and to preserve human and secular values.
“This day also marks the watershed in our freedom movement. In 1919 many known and unknown martyrs sacrificed their lives in Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar, for attainment of freedom. This massacre gave a great impetus to the freedom movement,” he added.