Srinagar, Apr 14: The Sikh community in the Kashmir valley celebrated Baisakhi with great enthusiasm and religious fervor on Friday. The main function took place at the Chhati Padshahi Gurdwara in Rainawari, located in the city capital.
People of all ages and genders from the Sikh community and other religions participated in the celebrations, which included religious congregations at various locations. Gurdwaras throughout the city were decorated with colorful lights and flowers, and various Sikh organizations participated in "Nagar Kirtan." Community kitchens were also set up at various places.
Manjeet Singh, a local, emphasized the historical significance of the Chatti Padshahi Gurdwara for the Sikh community, as it was visited by the sixth Sikh Guru, Hargobind Sahib, during the Mughal period. On Baisakhi, a large number of locals from other religions also visit the famous Mughal gardens in the city.
Baisakhi marks the harvest of the Rabi crop, and farmers offer thanks for a good harvest and prosperity. For the Sikh community, Baisakhi is of great religious significance, as it commemorates the day in 1699 when the 10th Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh, established the Panth Khalsa, the Order of the Pure Ones. This also marks the beginning of the Sikh new year.
The day began with the beats of dhols and joyful bhangra performances, followed by extravagant feasts celebrating the festivities. Bhajan kirtans were performed in gurdwaras across Kashmir, where people also observed charity by participating in community feasts, known as langars.
Several colorful Baisakhi fairs were held, attracting people for shopping, eating, and leisure activities. Hundreds of Sikh worshippers visited the Gurdwaras Chatti Padshahi in Baramulla, Khawaja Bagh, and Paranpila in Uri, all in north Kashmir, and offered prayers. The markets in the vicinity were packed with shoppers throughout the day.
Devotees also visited other gurdwaras across the Kashmir valley to offer prayers and participate in the celebrations.