In Pictures: Thousands Celebrate Birthday of Sikhism Founder in Pakistan

Sikh pilgrims from every corner of the world paid homage on Baba Guru Nanak’s 549th birth anniversary celebrations at Pakistan’s Nankana Sahib district amid tight security arrangements by Pakistan’s law enforcement agencies.

The programme started on 21th of November with the ‘Akhand Path’ (complete and continuous reading of Sikh scripture) at Guru Nanak’s Janam Asthan (Birthplace) in Nankana Sahib followed by ‘Gurbani’ recital.

A ‘Nagar Kirtan’ (main procession) was also taken out on 23rd of November at 11 AM from Gurdwara Janam Asthan to Gurdwara Kayan Singh Sahib with a tight security blanket thrown around it.

Over 5000 Sikh Pilgrims from Pakistan, India, Canda, US and other countries of the world gathered to celebrate the event at the sacred holy shrine. Free ‘Langars’ (meals) was put up at different points around Nankana Sahib to accommodate Sikh Yatris.

Also known as Gurpurab that means ‘Guru Nanak’s birthday’, it is a special day for celebrations and prayers among the followers of Sikhism. It is celebrated on Kartik Poornima, the full-moon day that falls on different dates each year in the Punjabi month of Kartik, October-November.

The festivities in the Sikh religion revolve around the anniversaries of the 10 Sikh Gurus who according to the Sikhs were responsible for shaping the beliefs of the Sikhism.

Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, was born in the year 1469 in Rai-Bhoi-di Talwandi – the present day district of Nankana Sahib in Punjab provice, Pakistan.

Earlier, thousands of Sikh pilgrims reached Lahore from India on Wednesday this week to participate in the celebrations. The pilgrims were received by representatives of Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) of Pakistan at the Wagah Railway Station.

According to ETPB Chairperson Tahir Ehsan, 3,800 visa applications were approved this year of the 4,500 applications received. This is the largest number of visas issued in recent years as previously around 2,000 pilgrims would get approvals.

Speaking to the Muslim World Today, a Sikh pilgrim, Haranjeet Singh said “Pakistan is just like our own home. We are very happy to be here and we thank Pakistani government for not only providing visas but also accommodating us in best possible way.”

Haranjeet Singh added “Muslims and Sikhs have same roots. We are just like brothers however colonial masters were clever enough to divide us on religious grounds. We should try to get rid of hate and spread love.”

Thousands of Sikh pilgrims from around the world gathered in Pakistan's district Nankana Sahib to celebrate birthday of Baba Guru Nanak.  

A ‘Nagar Kirtan’ (main procession) took out on 23rd of November at 11 AM from Gurdwara Janam Asthan in Nankana Sahib.

The celebrations started with the ‘Akhand Path’ (complete and continuous reading of Sikh scripture) which was attended by both males and females.

Pilgrims are queued up inside of Gurudwara for paying homage to Baba Guru Nanak.

A young Sikh girl possess for Muslim World today as she sits in the garage of Gurudawara Janam Asthan in Nankana Sahib.  

A Sikh devotee pays respect to his Guru under a sacred tree in Gurudawana, Nankana Sahib.

Free ‘Langars’ (meals) was put up at different points around Nankana Sahib to accommodate Sikh Yatris.

Indian Sikh warriors display traditional martial art skills during a religious procession ahead of the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak in Nankana Sahib.

Over 3000 Sikh devotees traveled from India to Pakistan for participating in annual birthday celebrations.

Pilgrims had the flags of Khalistan in their hands. They chanted the slogans of Pakistan Zindabad, Khalistan Zindabad. 

Gurudawara Janam Asthan in Nankana Sahib was decorated beautifully on the eve of Guru Nanak's birthday celebrations.

The festivities in the Sikh religion revolve around the anniversaries of the 10 Sikh Gurus who according to the Sikhs were responsible for shaping the beliefs of the Sikhism.

The Sikh devotees are trying to get holy 'Parsad' during the 'Nagar Kirtan'.

Wearing special dress for this event, Sikh children participate in religious procession ahead of the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.

Tight security arrangements were made by Pakistan’s law enforcement agencies in Nankana Sahib.

Pakistan's federal minister for religious affair, Noor Ul Haq Qadri was the cheif guest of main event during the celebrations.

‘Nagar Kirtan’ (main procession) took out from Gurdwara Janam Asthan to Gurdwara Kayan Singh Sahib with a tight security blanket thrown around it.

Devotees thanked Pakistani government and people for their love and support in Nankana Sahib and other districts of Punjab.

Author works at Sujag, a web venture aimed at sensitizing people about local issues and politics in Pakistan. He can be reached at rizwan.safdar8@gmail.com


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Muslim World Today.


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