Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Sikhs hold spectacular 'nagar kirtan' in PATNA CITY

As part of the three-day 340th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Gobind Singh, a huge nagar kirtan was held here on Tuesday. Thousands of Sikh devotees from all over the country — as also from abroad— took part in it along with the locals.

The nagar kirtan held every year on the eve of the birth anniversary of the 10th Guru of Sikhs, also known as Prakashotsava, began after the morning's diwan at the Badi Sangat Gurdwara, Gaighat. Earlier, the akhand paath ended there. Right from early morning the devotees had started assembling there to take part in the morning session of the ardaas and pay their obeisance to the Guru. The entire area wore a festive look.

The nagar kirtan started in the afternoon. The devotees, including children and women, set out for the Takht Shri Harmandirji, Patna Saheb, the birthplace of the Guru. Students from the local Guru Nanak School, Guru Teg Bahadur Academy, Guru Gobind Singh School as also from schools from other places took part in it. The devotees sang shabad and chanted wahe guru all through the four-kilometre route. The Guru Granth Saheb ki Sawari was led by the punj pyare. The nagar kirtan reached the Takht Saheb in the evening after nearly four hours. A kirtan durbar was held there later.

Those who came from outside enthusiastically took part in the morning session at the Badi Sangat Gurdwara and thereafter in the nagar kirtan , and were delighted to be at the birthplace of their Guru. "It feels great to be here. Though we always wanted to come here, the opportunity to fulfil this wish came only this year," says Ratan Singh, a businessman from Rajpura of Patiala district in Punjab, who has come here with a group of eight. Though they are all first-timers they would like to come here in future too. "We'd like to come here again and again," says Charan Singh, one of the group members.

Unlike them, Narender singh, a manager with a textile unit at Birganj in Nepal, has been coming here for the last 20 years without break as part of a jatha. "It feels so good to be here in Guru ki nagari. Feels like we're in heaven," he says. Likewise, Kuldip Singh, an advocate from Mumbai, has been coming here for the last 10 years. He is part of a 250-strong jatha. "Main yahan antim saans tak aata rahunga (I'll keep coming here till I breathe may last)," he says.

Meanwhile, chief minister Nitish Kumar extended his greetings to the people of Bihar on the occasion of Guru Gobind Singh's birth anniversary.

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