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Sikh devotees start arriving for Patna Sahib event

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Patna, Dec 26 (IANS) Hundreds of Sikh devotees have started arriving here to participate in the celebrations to be held to commemorate the 350th birth anniversary of the 10th Sikh master, Guru Gobind Singh, at the beginning of next month.

These devotees are mainly from Punjab, Delhi and Haryana as well as abroad, particularly from the United Kingdom, Canada and Nepal.

“Devotees in large numbers have started arriving here for the event, following which langars (community kitchens) for devotees are being run at Takht Sri Harimandir-ji Patna Sahib, the birthplace of Guru Gobind Singh, as well as other places,” Sarjinder Singh, General Secretary of the gurdwara’s management committee, said.

Tight security is in place for the safety of devotees coming from outside Bihar for the ‘Prakash Purb’, or birth anniversary celebrations, slated to be held from January 1 to 5.

The government expects more than five lakh devotees to visit Patna for the religious event.

The main function of holding special prayers and ‘kirtan’ (singing of hymns set to music) will be held on January 5, in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and a large number of Sikh dignitaries from India and abroad will participate.

Earlier, the Bihar government had announced a three-day holiday during the ‘Prakash Parv’ at Takht Harimandir Sahib, about 10 km from state capital Patna.

Guru Gobind Singh was born on December 22, 1666, to ninth Sikh master, Guru Tegh Bahadur, and Mata Gujri. He was annointed the supreme leader of the Sikhs at the age of nine, becoming the last of the Sikh Gurus.

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