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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Dec 2014

SGPC introduces special arrangements for devotees at Golden Temple

Rameshinder Singh Sandhu, Hindustan Times  Amritsar, December 18, 2013
First Published: 23:41 IST(18/12/2013) | Last Updated: 23:43 IST(18/12/2013)

Devotees visiting the Golden Temple are braving the bone chilling cold wave prevailing in the city. However, to bring respite to pilgrims, the Golden Temple authorities have undertaken various initiatives for the convenience of pilgrims.

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HT Team visited the shrine to unfold the special initiatives made at the Golden Temple for the convenience of devotees.  These measures will remain in action till the winter bids goodbye. Now, pilgrims need not worry about washing their feet in cold water, a mandatory practice before entering the sanctum sanctorum of the Golden Temple.

The temple authorities have made arrangements of lukewarm water at the shrine's entrance. Not only this, special carpets have been rolled out across the complex.

The carpets have not only been spread in the 'Parikrama' area, but also the inner corridors where a majority of pilgrims listen to the hymns. Carpets have also been rolled out till the 'Akal Takht' and langar hall (community kitchen).

Carpets also adorn the second floor of the Central Sikh Museum (Ajaib Ghar) to provide comfort to pilgrims.

"It is a significant effort on the part of the temple authorities to roll out carpets in the winter. Walking barefoot has become difficult these days," said Manpreet Dhillon, an NRI from Calgary, Canada, visiting the shrine.

Inside the sanctum sanctorum of the Golden Temple, the four doors - usually kept open as per tradition - have been covered with thick white curtains to prevent the flow of cold air. The windows on the first floor of the shrine are kept shut during the dawn and dusk hours. Blowers have also been placed inside the temple to keep the temperature warm. Blowers have also been kept at the 'Akal Takht.' At the langar hall, the shrine authorities keep the doors and windows closed.

"When the devotees are seated and the hall is full to the brim, the doors and windows are closed. This keeps the hall warm," said Harpreet Singh, manager, community kitchen. Special arrangements have also been at the 'Jal Sewa' (drinking water service), in the temple.

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