Amritsar, Oct 9: Sikhs today celebrated the 473rd birth anniversary of Guru Ram Das, the fourth of the ten gurus by taking a dip in the pond of the Golden Temple here.
The festival is also called "Prakash Utsav" or festival of lights, as the entire city is illuminated with numerous lamps.
"It is being celebrated in a grand way. We have come here with our family to offer prayers on the occasion," said Kanwal Deep Singh, a devotee.
Manjeet Singh, another devotee, added, "All Sikh Gurus have sacrificed their lives. Every year, we celebrate the occasion."
Thousands gathered for a procession in the city on Monday.
At the head of the procession were the Panj Piaras, who are five men or boys dressed as priests, carrying the Sikh holy book, the Guru Granth Sahib.
Top religious leaders of the Sikhs were amongst the devotees in the procession who pledged to keep alive the teachings of their gurus.
Guru Ram Das (born in Lahore on September 24, 1534 – September 1, 1581, Amritsar) became guru on August 30, 1574 following in the footsteps of Guru Amar Das.
He was born in Lahore to a Sodhi family of Khatri clan. His wife's name was Bibi Bhani who was daughter of Guru Amar Das, the third guru of the Sikhs.
Guru Ram Das worked extensively for the promotion of Sikhism, his greatest achievement being the foundation of Ramdaspur, which is now known as
Additionally, he was the author of Laava, the hymns of the Marriage Rites, the designer of the Harmandir Sahib, and the planner and creator of the township of Ramdaspur.
Before he left for his heavenly abode, Guru Ram Das nominated Guru Arjan Dev, his youngest son, as the next Guru of the Sikhs.
The Sikh religion originated with Guru Nanak (1469-1539 AD) who was succeeded by nine other prophets, Guru Gobind Singh (1666- 1708 AD) being the last.