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Massive plans for global devotees

- Fest to mark Sikh guru’s birth anniversary

Devotees from across the globe have started trooping in for the Guru Parv — celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of Sikh guru Gobind Singh.

Preparations are being planned on a grand scale at Takht Shri Harmandir Sahib for the Guru Parv that starts on Sunday. Apart from the devotees, animals have been brought from Punjab to take part in different processions to mark the holy event.

On the preparations of the event, R.S. Jeet, the senior vice-president of the temple management committee of Takht Shri Harmandir Sahib, said: “Around 10,000 Sikh devotees are expected to take part in the programmes, which would be held on January 5, 6 and 7. Devotees from foreign countries are also expected to participate in large numbers. Around 4,000-5,000 Sikh devotees would come from England, US, Malaysia, Dubai and many other countries. A large number of people are also expected from Jalandhar, Chandigarh, Amritsar, Ludhiana, Gurdaspur and other places for the three-day event.”

Jeet said the building of Takht Shri Harmandir Sahib would be bathed in lights on January 5, 6 and 7. “We have spent around Rs 25,000 on the lighting arrangements. The main programme would start from January 5. On that day, a prabhat pheri (morning procession) would be organised. Around 2,000 devotees from foreign countries would take part in the procession. On January 6, a nagar kirtan would be held that would start from Gaighat gurdwara and it would culminate at the Takht Shri Harmandir Sahib. The main attraction of the nagar kirtan would be devotes performing different kinds of stunts using swords, fire and other things. The other attraction of the programme would be the participation of elephants, horses and camels, which devotes have brought from Punjab. A langar would be organised in the evening at Gaighat gurdwara in which prasad would be distributed among 10,000 devotees.”

He added: “On January 7, diwan would be organised in which a big pandal would be aet up and the main function of the Guru Parv would be held. Devotees would perform bhajan and kirtan, which would be telecast live on Doordarshan and Aakashvani.”

Chief minister Nitish Kumar, Governor D.Y. Patil and Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar would also take part in the January 7 programme, said the senior vice-president of the temple management committee of Takht Shri Harmandir Sahib.

“We had started the preparations two months ago. It is our most awaited festival because people from the Sikh community come from all over the world to participate. These days, people from other communities also take part in the Guru Parv. On the day of langar, you will find many people from other communities enjoying the prasad,” said Charanjeet Singh, general secretary, temple management committee, Takht Shri Harmandir Sahib.