Baisakhi celebrated in Kashmir, devotees offered prayers in gurudwaras

SRINAGAR — Baisakhi, marking the beginning of the Sikh New Year, was on Friday celebrated with religious fervour and gaiety in the Kashmir valley, with the devotees thronging different gurudwaras to offer prayers.

The main function was held at Gurudwara Chati Patshahi in the Rainawari area of the city, which was attended by a huge number of Sikh devotees.

The celebrations by the members of the Sikh community were also held in various districts of the valley.

The festival of Baisakhi, which is mainly celebrated in the north Indian states of Punjab and Haryana, marks the beginning of the Sikh new year. It is also a commemoration of the formation of the Khalsa Panth of warriors under Guru Gobind Singh in 1699.

Cutting across faiths and religious lines, the Army personnel stationed across Kashmir also celebrated Baisakhi.

Main celebrations were held at an Army camp in HMT area on the outskirts of the city. General officer commanding of the Army’s Srinagar-based 15 Corps, or Chinar Corps, Lt Gen A D S Aujla and senior officers of the police and the Army were present on the occasion.

“Army personnel from all religions celebrate Baisakhi together. This also sends a strong message to the country that we should celebrate the festivals together, live together, and take the country forward on the path to prosperity,” Hawaldar Ajay Kumar told reporters.

He said Kashmiri locals also celebrate the festivals with the Army.

“We do not feel that we are far away from our families, because this is a family for us,” he added.

Another Army personnel Hawaldar Sarabjit Singh said Baisakhi was a very important day for them and “we all brothers together celebrate this festival”.

The festival also marks the opening of the famous Mughal gardens in the city.

The tourists were enthralled to see the spring bloom in these gardens.

“I feel very good and lucky to be here on this day as officially Mughal gardens are thrown open for tourists and today I am here…I am very excited and enjoying this trip,” a tourist, Deepti, from Mumbai, said.

“I am feeling very nice to be here and today these Mughal gardens are open on occasion of Baisakhi. We are enjoying,” another tourist, Ravinder Kumar from Meerut, said.

A foreign tourist from Bangladesh Nasser-u-din was impressed by the beauty of the garden.

“I am very much happy to visit this garden, I am very happy to know that on first day of Baisakhi, Mughal gardens are open for tourists. I am very much impressed,” he said.

“It is a very very beautiful, colourful and a historical place also. We all are enjoying very much,” Ethal Mukhodapayi from Bangladesh said. — (PTI)