Sikhs celebrate Guru Nanak Dev’s 545th birth anniversary

Sikhs celebrate Guru Nanak Dev’s 545th birth anniversary
Highlights

The Prakash Utsav (birth anniversary) of Guru Nanak Dev falls on November 6. But the one lakh strong Sikh community in the twin cities has been celebrating the 545th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev for the last few days with nagar keertan (holy procession)

The Prakash Utsav (birth anniversary) of Guru Nanak Dev falls on November 6. But the one lakh strong Sikh community in the twin cities has been celebrating the 545th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev for the last few days with nagar keertan (holy procession), display of Gatka skills, a Sikh martial art form, rendering of shabad keertans by keerthani jathas and by going to the 24 gurudwaras in the city.

Gatka enthralls crowds

Gatka, the traditional martial art forms an integral part of Sikkism and was imparted during the time of the sixth guru Hargobind. Gatka skills helped the Sikhs defend themselves against Mughal invaders and over a period of time, evolved into a sport and today is showcased at all major Sikh festivals and events.

Turbaned youth from Punjab and Hyderabad showcased the art form in rhythmic and synchronised steps and the audience admired the daredevilry.

Gatka dates back to 1,200 years which takes hours of regular practice to master.

“The word refers to a stick but swords are also used,” says Sajjan Singh, a resident of Ameerpet. The use of weapons and deft body movements enthralled the passersby at Secunderabad on Tuesday. A procession was taken out on Monday from Afzalgunj in the Old City.

The nagar keertan was taken out on a grand scale from Gurudwara Saheb in Secunderabad which moved through the Monda Market, Clock Tower, Kingsway, Alpha Hotel and reached the Gurudwara. The holy procession took a few hours and all along the devotees sang and danced. The major attraction was the display of Gatka skills by Dashmesh Kalgidhar Jatha and Special Gatka Party.

Prakash Utsav celebrations would conclude with a vishal deewan (mass congregation) at the Nampally Exhibition Grounds on November 6. Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and cabinet ministers are scheduled to participate in the celebrations.

Bhai Gurpreet Singhji of Shimla wale, Bhai Balwinder Singhji Rangeela, Chandigarh, Bhai Jaswinder Singhji, Bhai Hari Singh Hazuri Ragi Jathas, Bhai Jaswinder Singh and other reputed Ragi Jathas will recite Shabad Keertans and Kathas and throw light on the teachings of Sikh Gurus on November 6.

Turbaned youth from Punjab and Hyderabad showcasing Gatka as part of the procession at Secunderabad on Tuesday. Photos: Srinivas Setty

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