Meerut, July 28: With kgs of gold adorned on himself, he is garnering all the attention of Kanwariyas (Lord Shiva devotees), with his unique way of dressing up.
He is 54-year-old Sudhir Kumar Makkad aka "Golden Baba", a former Delhi-based businessman. He's different -- bedecked with 12 kg gold ornaments, guarded by 25 security guards and travelling in a motorcade of 17 vehicles. And he's a 'kanwaria' -- a devotee of Lord Shiva, carrying a 'kanwad' of the holy Ganga water on his shoulder.
The gold-laden man is reportedly sporting jewellery worth Rs 4 crore that weighs around 12.5 kg. His ornaments include a watch worth Rs 27 lakh, rings in all fingers, (with Gods images embellished on them), precious-stones embedded armbands, gold lockets and chains.
The Golden Baba has no fear related to his safety as he is guarded by at least 25 policemen, round the clock. Whereever he halts during his kanwad yatra, people gather in hoardes to have a glimpse of him and to ciick selfies with him.
On Wedneday, July 27, he reached Meerut, while covering Kanwad Yatra. He is an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva and since last 24 years, he has been participating in the holy-Kanwad Yatra.
While talking to a Daily, Baba said that earlier he was into garments business, but after realising his sins, he turned as an ascetic.
He also claims that every year, he bears the entire cost of arranging marriages of 200 poor girls.
On his fondness for gold, he said that his followers have gifted him all the jewellery and he likes wearing gold since his childhood.
He says that gold is like a diety for him and he is at peace when he wears gold! He also participated in Ardh Kumbh Mela in Haridwar this year.
Decorated with eight gold rings, 15 gold chains, two bracelets in each hand, two bajuband on his arms, Makkar looks content with his life.
Educated in a gurukul at Jwalapur near Haridwar, Makkar returned to Delhi after eight years of studies. Now Makkar is into real estate business.
In 2006, he met Mahant Mahendra Puri of Juna Akhara and considers him to be his Guru. Ever since he received a gold chain from the Guru, Makkar's business has been flourishing. So is his devotion. And his love for gold and ornaments.
In the process, he's added some golden glitz to his life. Last year, he had worn 11 kg of gold. This year the weight of the yellow metal he is wearing stands at 12 kg as of now.
And the 'Golden Baba' is all set to wear a gold jacket on the Shiv Ratri.
A devout follower of Lord Shiva -- one of the eternal Trinity of HIndu gods Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh -- Makkar said it is the Lord who has endowed him with all the wealth. It's the result of his devotion -- Makkar regularly brings the holy water of the Ganga river for the deity.
This year Makkar began his 'kanwar yatra' on July 24 from Haridwar. It would conclude in Delhi on July 31.
His entourage includes cars of different types -- from Audi, Innova, Fortuner, Scorpios to Qualis. Besides, there are three trucks, five tempos and an ambulance. The team also includes 25 personal helpers, and 300 kanwarias.
(With agency inputs)