Saturday, April 19, 2008

Hi-tech Sikh museum set to come up at Nanded.

Perhaps it is time for Sikh museums to spring up in many places, and the development is in keeping with the fervour of religiosity inspired largely by the Diaspora efforts and the celebrations of the Guru'ta Gaddi Diwas. Now it seems a state-of-the-art Sikh museum is set to come up at Nanded at a cost of Rs 20 crore as part of tercentenary celebrations of Gurta Gaddi Diwas.

The development has been confirmed by Nanded's Takht Sachkhand Sri Hazur Abchalnagar Sahib Gurdwara Board chairman Dr P.S. Pasricha who said latest technologies will be used in the new museum.

"Visitors will be imparted information about Sikh religion in either of four languages - Punjabi, English, Hindi and Marathi. The touch screen systems, latest gadgets, and many attractions will punctuate the over 30,000 square feet area. The museum will employ graphics and animation strategies and technology shall be put to use to pass on the message of Sikh gurus to youth, particularly those residing abroad, to save them from ever-increasing western culture influence," Pasricha, the former Maharashtra police chief, said.

The first phase of this museum-cum-art gallery would be made operational in 13,000 square feet area within next two months, while the entire project would be completed by October-end. Pasricha said approximately 11 acres of land surrounding the complex was being developed with landscaping and fountains. Fountain shows are being planned for the night to describe
Sikh religion.

Pasricha also said Godavari riverfront is being developed and construction of 100-feet roads on both sides of the river was undertaken by the board. Godavari will form an aquaduct and will provide a feeling of divinity and spirituality to all those who will enjoy the fascinating scenery of the original Godavari. Efforts were on to tap
religious tourism with construction of special NRI Yatri Niwas with luxurious rooms and suites of international standards.

Pasricha is also leading efforts to ensure that the new airport at Nanded, likely to operational from May 1, 2008, be named after Guru Gobind Singh.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Punjab celebrates harvest festival Baisakhi

People loaded on tractor-trolleys, trucks, buses and private vehicles headed for destinations of their choice this Sunday. It was certainly a busy day for Punjab as the state celebrated the festival of good harvest - Baisakhi. Sikh religious shrines - gurdwaras - were the main centre of attraction for most people from villages and those from towns and cities as they lined up to pray.

The holiest of Sikh shrines - Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) - in Amritsar got the maximum rush of the devout as people came from far and near to seek blessings for a good harvest. Roads to the Golden Temple, located in a congested area of the Sikh holy city of Amritsar, seemed clogged with people as thousands turned out since early Sunday morning to seek blessings.

The wheat fields in the state, which is known as the granary of the country, basked in the golden glory of a furious sunshine coming down on the produce. In most areas of Punjab’s 20 districts, the wheat produce is ready for harvest and farmers consider it auspicious to begin harvesting on or after Baisakhi.

“We were waiting for Baisakhi. We will commence harvesting Monday,” young farmer Harjodh Singh told IANS as he supervised his wheat fields on the outskirts of Hoshiarpur town, 140 km from Chandigarh. In some villages, people danced “Bhangra”, the traditional dance of Punjab associated with prosperity and good harvest.

Scores of people could be seen headed for gurudwara “Hariyan Belan” (green branches), 15 km from Hoshiarpur town near Chabbewal village, on tractor-trolleys and trucks. “Langars” (community kitchen), which is an essential part of Sikh religion, could be seen at all gurudwaras and along highways across the state with people squatting in rows to partake food.

It was on a Baisakhi day in 1699 that the 10th Sikh guru, Gobind Singh, founded the Khalsa panth - the essence of the present day Sikh religion - at Anandpur Sahib, 85 km from Chandigarh.
The Sikh shrine at Anandpur, famous for the birth of the Khalsa panth, saw hundreds of people turning up to pay obeisance. Social events and cultural programmes were organized at several places to mark the day across Punjab.

Sikh Tourism has started Amritsar Golden Temple and local Gurudwara Tours. It has also arranges Delhi to Amritsar and back to Delhi tour for 1 & 2 days. The tour package includes Train Ticket, Hotel Accomodation and local transport for darshan of Golden Temple, Tarn Taran Sahib - Goindwal Sahib - Sultanpur Lodhi Gurudwaras. For more details and pricing, visit at