Devotees brave cold to take holy dip at Golden Temple on Maghi
Devotees braved the freezing cold to pay obeisance at Golden Temple and gurdwaras across Punjab on the occasion of Maghi or Makar Sankranti on Thursday.
Amritsar recorded a minimum temperature of 6 degrees Celsius but that did not deter devotees from taking the Maghi isnaan (holy bath) early in the morning. “Today is the first day of the traditional Punjabi month of Maghi and I feel blessed to have started it by taking a dip in the sarovar,” said a devotee, requesting anonymity.
Some enthusiastic devotees even stayed on the Golden Temple premises overnight to take the dip in the wee hours. Langars (community kitchens) were organised to mark the day.
Though Maghi is celebrated with fervour in Muktsar district, many consider taking the holy dip in the Golden Temple sarovar as significant. In Muktsar, people gather on the occasion to commemorate the martyrdom of the 40 Sikhs (chalis mukte) who had once deserted the 10th Sikh master, Guru Gobind Singh, at Anandpur Sahib, but later rejoined and died while fighting the Mughal army in 1705. Sikhs make a pilgrimage to the battle site and take a dip in the sacred water tanks of Muktsar. A fair (mela) is held at Muktsar Sahib every year called Maghi Mela in memory of the 40 Sikh martyrs.
Besides Golden Temple, people took a holy dip in the historic gurdwaras of the Majha region.