{Guru Ramdas Parkash Purb} Golden Temple sees largest footfall in 18 months

SGPC made arrangements on flower decoration and lighting, which proved a major draw for devotees at the Golden Temple in Amritsar. The sangat also received the nagar kirtan with great enthusiasm and devotion
The Golden Temple saw the largest footfall of 1.5 lakh on Thursday, according to authorities; the Parkash Purb on Friday and the nagar kirtan proved major attractions. (Sameer Sehgal/HT)
The Golden Temple saw the largest footfall of 1.5 lakh on Thursday, according to authorities; the Parkash Purb on Friday and the nagar kirtan proved major attractions. (Sameer Sehgal/HT)
Published on Oct 21, 2021 09:47 PM IST
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Amritsar The Golden Temple saw the largest footfall of devotees since the last week of March 2020 on Thursday, he eve of Parkash Purb (birth anniversary) of Amritsar’s founder and fourth Sikh master Guru Ramdas. For the past 18 months, as the Covid-19 pandemic ravaged the world, the holiest Sikh shrine had also seen a record dip in footfall.

Golden Temple authorities claim a footfall of 1.5 lakh was seen on Thursday. Before the pandemic, 1 lakh devotees visited the holiest shrine shrine on weekdays, and 1.5 lakh on weekends and special occasions.

With the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) making elaborate arrangements to mark the occasion, serpentine queues of devotees seeking darshan of sanctum sanctorum were seen.

“We are seeing this great rush of devotees after a long time. As per our assessment, around 1.5 lakh devotees paid obeisance at the Sri Darbar Sahib and participated in the grand Nagar kirtan (religious procession) around the walled city with the old zeal and enthusiasm. The footfall will only increase on Friday and the weekend,” said Gurinder Singh, chief manager of Golden Temple, adding the flower decoration and lighting remained major draws that pulled in visitors.

Before the pandemic struck, the average collection of offerings was around 23 lakh a day. Due to the lockdown in the first wave, the collection dipped to between 10,000 and 15,000 a day. However, the footfall did not see such a major dip during the second wave.

The Nagar Kirtan began with ardas (prayers) from the Akal Takht amid the resonance of ‘Nagaras’, slogans of Sat Sri Akal and Narsinghas (a traditional trumpet).

Punjab Police presented a guard of honour to the Sri Guru Granth Sahib at the plaza outside Sri Darbar Sahib. Flowers were also showered by an aircraft during the Nagar Kirtan. The sangat paid homage by serving langar, with the procession proceeding through the road connecting the old gates of Amritsar city, with the sangat receiving it at many places.

SGPC president Bibi Jagir Kaur greeted the sangat of the world and encouraged them to follow the teachings of the guru. “The life of Guru Ramdas Ji is a guide to humanity in all respects and his contribution to Sikh faith is incomparable. The Sangat must take inspiration from the teachings of the fourth Guru and inculcate a sense of humility, service and remembering God,” she said.

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Monday, December 06, 2021