For the first time since partition, a ‘Nagar Kirtan’ (religious procession), crossed over to India from Nankana Sahib district of Punjab province Pakistan on Thursday to mark celebrations of Sikhism founder, Guru Nanak Dev’s 550th birth anniversary.
The ‘Nagar Kirtan’ carrying the holy book of Sikhism, Guru Granth Sahib, reached India from Pakistan’s Gurdwara Nankana Sahib, which is the birthplace of Guru Nanak Dev, this afternoon.
Through the Attari-Wagah border, around 500 Sikh devotees reached here, who was a part of the religious procession.
At the border, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal, his wife and Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Punjab Cabinet ministers O P Soni, Sukhjinder Randhawa, local Congress MLAs and Amritsar District Administration’s senior officials received the ‘Nagar Kirtan’.
When the ‘Nagar Kirtan’ arrived in a decorated palanquin (Palki), devotees in large number from the Indian side stormed the roads.
A top religious body of the Sikhs, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee’s (SGPC) official said that a large cavalcade followed the religious procession from Gurdwara Nankana Sahib to Wagah border amid a thick security cover.
Not only Sikhs but Hindu followers of Guru Nanak from Pakistan’s Sindh province took part in the Nagar Kirtan.
Surprisingly, many Muslim families of Nankana Sahib accompanied the religious procession to Attari-Wagah border on Thursday.
Special permission has been granted to the Sikh Community by the Pakistan authorities to take out Nagar Kirtan, which would conclude at Sultanpur Lodhi in Punjab’s Kapurthala district.
Before beginning its onward journey, the Nagar Kirtan tonight will halt at Golden Temple, Amritsar.
To accord a welcome to the ‘Nagar Kirtan’, the SGPC laid a special red carpet at Joint Check Post at the Attari-Wagah border.
Over 500 kg of flowers were arranged to shower on the ‘Nagar Kirtan’, which was on its way from Attari to Golden Temple.
Along with the movement of Nagar Kirtan, a special community kitchen (langar) arrangement has been made for the devotees.