'Baisakhi', the birth anniversary of Khalsa Panth was celebrated with religious fervour and gaiety in the Kashmir valley today, when Mughal gardens on the bank of famed Dal Lake were also thrown open officially.
The gardens were however, open for tourists and locals since last month though there were very less flowers.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, president Mehbooba Mufti and All Party Sikh Coordination Committee (APSCC) chairman Jagmohan Singh Raina greeted people on the occasion.
As the weather was pleasent members of the Sikh community, including women and children, in colourful dresses visited Gurdwaras since early this morning.
The main congregation was held at Gurdwara ChattiPadshahi, on the foothill of 'Kohi-Maraan hills, where the shrine of Sultan Aarifeen Sheikh Hamza Makhdoom and a Hindu temple are also located.
Special prayers were held in the Gurdwara, where a langar was also established for the devotees.
Muslims were seen greeting their Sikh brethern on the occasion. Similar prayer meetings were also held in other parts of the Kashmir valley, including Tral, Baramulla, Pattan and
In Baramulla people called off three-day long strike today to allow sikh community to celebrate the festival, the day on which Guru Gobind Singh Ji initiated 'Panj Piyara' (the five loved ones).
Chairman of APSCC Jagmohan Singh Raina in his message said that for the Sikhs, Baisakhi represents a very sanctified day.
Guru Gobind Singh Ji decorated the Khalsa(Khalsa-Sajaya) at Anandpur Sahib near Chandigarh and initiated 'Panj Piyara' (the five loved ones) by giving gave these five people from Panjab, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar the first sermon on being a true Sikh.
He made them promise not to cut their hair or beard, to always keep a comb, always wear an iron bangle(kadah) on one arm, always wear an underwear and always carry a Kirpan(a small sword so as to be ever ready for battle.