Thousands converge for 'Hola Mohalla' celebrations

Tens of thousands of devotees converged in the Sikh holy town Anandpur Sahib on Thursday to offer prayers at Gurdwara Keshgarh Sahib during 'Hola Mohalla celebrations that coincides with Holi festival.

Anandpur Sahib is home to the second most important Sikh shrine after Harmandar Sahib, popularly known as Golden Temple, in Amritsar.

"Thousands of people have arrived here from across the region to participate in the Hola Mohalla celebrations," priest Davinder Singh told IANS over telephone.

Wearing traditional dresses and carrying weapons, hundreds of Nihang Sikhs assembled for the celebrations and showed their mastery of the Gatka martial art, a treat to the visitors.

The three-day celebrations coincide with the Hindu festival Holi.

Anandpur Sahib town and shrine, located about 85 km from Chandigarh, are famous. It was here in 1699 that the 10th Guru, Gobind Singh, baptized five men and founded the Khalsa Panth, which is the modern day Sikh religion.

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh greeted the people with a call for celebrating the traditional Indian festival with the colours of unity, tolerance, brotherhood and compassion.

In a message, he urged people to celebrate the festival in harmony, brotherhood and amity.

Elsewhere in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh, the festival of Holi was celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm.

More than 1,000 police personnel and officials were deployed at various places in Chandigarh to manage rowdy crowds.

--IANS

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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