According to the Nanakshahi calendar, 349th birth anniversary of the great Sikh Guru Gobind Singh will be celebrated today. Like all years, the anniversary of the ‘enlightened soul’ will be held in Takht Sri Patna Sahib, Bihar with great pomp and grandeur. As a part of the celebrations, the Gurudwara along with its surrounding areas will be decorated with lights and lamps.
The festivities began two days earlier from (on January 14 ), when the holy priests started reading the holy Shri Granth Sahib (written by Guru Gobind Singh himself). The Akhand Panth (non-stop reading) will culminate today. There was a procession or Prabhat Pher held yesterday. In this religious procession, devotees were seen singing hymns; other devotees standing by the roadside offered sweets and tea to the devotees. A decorated float carrying the Shri Granth Sahib guarded by five armed guards or Panj Pyares formed an important part of Prabhat Pheris. Today, there will be Kirtans and Katha organized at the Gurudwara. Delicious and holy Karah Prasad (made of equal parts of butter, sugar and flour and water) will be served, followed by afternoon lunch at the Gurudwara Langar.
Though, Patna Sahib is the most renowned place associated with Guru Gobind Singh’s life, but there are other important Gurudwara’s which mark an event in this great preacher, soldier and politician’s life.
- Takht Sri Damdama Sahib, Bathinda, Punjab: It is an important place in the life of the tenth Sikh Guru, for here he finalized the full version of the Shri Granth Sahib. Damdama means ‘breathing place’ and the Guru relaxed here after fighting many defensive battles against Mughals and hill men.
- Gurudwara Bhangani Sahib, Sirmour, Himachal Pradesh: The Gurudwara signifies victory, power and unity of the Sikhs. It was erected at the exact location where the Battle of Bhagani was fought between Raja Bhim Chand and Guru Gobind Singh. This was Guru Gobind Singh’s first battle victory and that too at the tender age of twenty. Standing in the middle of a paddy field, it looks stunning with its white-marble work.
- Takht Sachkhand Shri Hazur Abchalnagar Sahib Gurudwara, Nanded, Maharashtra: Feeling insecure of his position, the Nawab of Sirhind commissioned two people to assassinate the Guru. One of the attackers stabbed the Guru and he breathed his last a few days later at Hazur Sahib. The Gurudwara built on the banks of River Godavari is situated at the place where the Tenth Guru died after declaring Guru Granth Sahib as his successor.
- Gurudwara Sri Hemkunt Sahib, Chamoli, Uttarakhand: Guru Gobind Singh stayed at this site while camping for his battles in the Shivaliks. Hemkund finds a mention in the Dasam Granth of Granth Sahib. Though situated in the Himalayas at an elevation of 4,632 meters, and largely inaccessible through the year, this is an important pilgrimage destination for Sikhs.
- Gurudwara Sri Paonta Sahib, Sirmour, Himachal Pradesh: It was here that the Tenth Guru finished composing the Dasam Granth of Shri Granth Sahib. It holds great importance among Sikhs world over. There is a golden Palki, dedicated to Guru Gobind Singh at this Gurudwara.
All these important religious places associated with Guru Gobind Singh’s life will also celebrate the occasion in their own unique ways. Most of these are architectural marvels too.