550th Parkash Purb: 20 lakh pilgrims pay obeisance at Gurdwara Ber Sahib in 9 days
Around 20 lakh pilgrims flocked to Sultanpur Lodhi in the past nine days, including 2.5 lakh devotees on Saturday alone on Saturday, to pay respect at the Gurdwara Ber Sahib on the occasion of 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.
According to the local administration, around 1.5 lakh pilgrims have been visiting the historical city daily while the figures on Saturday and Sunday go as high as 3 lakh.
“On an average 1.5 lakh pilgrims have visited Sultanpur Lodhi daily since November 1. We are expecting around 5 lakh pilgrims on November 11 and 12, both days,” said deputy commissioner DPS Kharbanda.
The pilgrims were happy to see the arrangements made by the state government and Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) for the occasion, but felt two different functions being organised by the Punjab government and the SGPC was against the principals of the first Sikh master.
“We are blessed to witness this shatabdi of Guru Nanak but it is giving a wrong message to the people that the state government and the gurdwara body could not even find a common ground to celebrate this auspicious occasion due to their differences,” said Sukhdev Singh,58, a pilgrim from Chak Kalan village of Ludhiana.
Another pilgrim Amanjot Singh, 44, from Jandanwala village in Bathinda, who came here with 100 persons ‘Jatha’, said that the SAD and Congress because of their political differences made this sacred event an ego issue.
Pilgrims struggling to find ride
As the vehicles are being not allowed around 3-kilometre radius of the gurdwara and pilgrims have to take e-rickshaws from the inner parking lots to cover the 1km distance to reach the gurdwara, the pilgrims were seen struggling to get a ride.
“I could not find a ride from inner parking lot, I had to cover the remaining distance on foot,” said Gurvir Kaur, 51, of Sangrur.
As per the administration, it has deputed 71 e-rickshaws at parking site near Udham Singh Chowk, 96 near Jasbir Cinema, 24 near tent city-1, 28 near parking number 10 and 28 e-rickshaws near parking number 11 to facilitate pilgrims, especially senior citizens.
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