Bidar, Karnataka, Oct 26: Over five lakh Sikh pilgrims including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh are expected to Gurta Gaddi, the tricentury celebrations of Guru Granth Sahib, to be held here from Oct 28 to Nov 7.
The Guru Nanak Jhira foundation sources told the sources that the main religious function is being held in Nanded in Maharashtra just prior to the Bidar event.
The Sachkhand Shri Hazur Abchainagar Sahib Gurudwara in Nanded assumed sacredness for Sikhs. The first guru, Guru Nanak and last guru Guru Gobind Singh visited Nanded. More than 50 lakh Sikh devotees from across the World are expected to Nanded to offer prayers on the auspicious occasion of Tricentury celebrations of The Guru Granth Sahib.
After offering prayers at Nanded, the pilgrims come to Bidar to offer prayers at sacred "Gugu Nanak Jhira Gurudwara" as this Gurudwara was visited by Guru Gobind Singh, the last Guru of Sikhs.
Explaining the significance of Gurta Gaddi, Jhira sources said that the last Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, came to Nanded from Punjab to seek the held of Maratha Kings of fight against the Mughal Emperors. But unfortunately, Guru Gobind Singh was fatally wounded in an attack by his own men.
During his last days, in October 1708, he ordinated that henceforth the Sikhs should treat the preaches of "Guru Granth Sahib" itself as the Guru of Sikhs and there should be no mortal Guru.
"Gurta Gaddi ceremony being celebrated on the occasion of "elevation" of Guru Granth Sahib as Guru," the sources said.
The Guru Nanak Jhira Gurudwara in Bidar has a rare significance "natural spring" which flow sweet water throughout the year. The Sikhs devotees treat the water of the perennial natural spring as sacred.
The Gurudwara of 'Mai Bhagoji' at Janawada village, about 10 km from Bidar city is another sacred place for Sikhs. When Guru Gobind Singh came to Nanded in Maharashtra from Punjab, Mai Bhagoji had accompanied Guru Nanak. During her stay at Janawada village, she spread the message of Guru Granth Sahib and sacredness of Sikhism.
In her remembrance, a Gurudwara in bar name of "Mai Bhagoji" was built at Janawada village. It is being managed by the Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee of Nanak Jhira Sahib of Bidar. the "tapsthal" where Mai Bhagoji meditated had been preserved at the Gurudwara.
Special officer of Gurta Gaddi cell, Muneshwar told UNI that arrangements had been made for the free flow of vehicular traffic at both the Gurudwaras.
He said that arrangements had been made to the pilgrims to stay overnight at Mai Bhagoji Gurudwara.
Union Home Minister Shivaraj Patil visited Bidar on October 18 and reviewed the arrangements for the mega religious function.
Official sources told the sources that more than 1000 tents had been erected to accommodate abut 50 thousand pilgrims, besides accommodation would also be provided in some private schools and colleges.
The entire Bidar city has been spruced up. The main roads which lead to the Nanak Jhira Gurudwara had been widened and relaid.
Official sources said that a 50-bed hospital camp had been set up on the premises of the Gurudwara and expert doctor had been made available to provide treatment, if needed, to the pilgrims.