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Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniv: Celebrations over, but pilgrims continue to throng Sultanpur Lodhi

On an average, over 20,000 pilgrims are visiting the historic gurdwara on a daily basis and the number touches over 1 lakh on weekends, said, Ber Sahib Gurdwara manager Satnam Singh
By Jatinder Mahal | Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
PUBLISHED ON DEC 08, 2019 12:25 AM IST

Even a month after the 550th Parkash Purb celebrations ended, pilgrims are still visiting Gurdwara Ber Sahib at Sultanpur Lodhi in large numbers.

The mega event organised by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and the state government at the historic town where Guru Nanak, founder of Sikhism, spent 14 years of his life, witnessed over 40 lakh pilgrims from November 1 to 12, with a footfall of 10 lakh on the last day of celebrations.

On an average, over 20,000 pilgrims are visiting the historic gurdwara on a daily basis and the number touches over 1 lakh on weekends, said, Ber Sahib Gurdwara manager Satnam Singh.

Before the Parkash Purb celebrations, the historic town, which was neglected by successive governments, saw footfall of 5,000 to 10,000 pilgrims and that too on weekend.

During celebrations, the state government did massive publicity and appealed devotees to come to pay obeisance at the historic gurdwara.

“I came to know about the importance of this place after seeing advertisement on the TV and I visited here along with family for the first time to pay obeisance,” said Sandeep Kumar from Moga, who visited Gurdwara Ber Sahib for the first time.

Local MLA Navtej Singh Cheema said that town is still witnessing heavy rush and devotees. “I have written to chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh and also held a meeting with chief secretary Suresh Kumar to make some permanent arrangements for the stay of the devotees in Sultanpur Lodhi. As of now, we don’t have night stay facilities for devotees after the removal of tent city,” Cheema said.

BUSINESS GETS A BOOST

Increase in the footfall has also given a boost to the business of local traders. Many new shops and makeshift vendors have come up in the town.

“The sale of religious items and clothes has gone up. People are buying things as a token from the holy city,” Surinder Kumar, a shopkeeper said.

AC BUS HIT AMONG COMMUTERS

The first AC bus launched by the state government from Chandigarh to Sultanpur Lodhi is a hit among devotees and locals.

The AC bus starts its journey from Sultanpur Lodhi to the state capital at 6am and returns at 5.20pm. The bus takes Kapurthala-Jalandhar-Phagwara-Banga-Nawashahar-Ropar-Kharar route.

Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) general manager Parveen Kumar said on an average 40 passengers travel on the daily which was launched on December 1. “We are planning more buses from Sultanpur Lodhi to other districts,” he said.

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