Baisakhi celebrated with fervour across Kashmir
Srinagar, Apr 14 (UNI) Baisakhi, the festival of harvest, was celebrated with traditional gaiety and fervour across Kashmir today as the day marks the end of harsh winter and onset of spring in the Valley.
Transcending all barriers of religion and caste, hundreds of people -- both tourists and locals -- visited the world famous Mughal Gardens here which are opened for the general public every year on Baisakhi.
Notwithstanding a cloudy day, Sikhs in colourful dresses danced to the tunes of hit Hindi and Punjabi songs at the Mughal Gardens, specially decked up for the occasion. People cutting across religious lines joined them in the celebrations.
The day is celebrated by the Sikhs as birth anniversary of the tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, who founded the Khalsa (the Sikh brotherhood) in 1699.
For Hindus, Baisakhi signifies the day the Ganges descended to the Earth and the devotees take holy dip in different rivers across the country.
Baisakhi is celebrated every year on April 13, but once in 36 years it falls on April 14. It marks the new year and the festival of harvest in Punjab and is celebrated with music and dance.
The Jammu and Kashmir government had organised a number of functions at different places of recreation besides making elaborate arrangements for the day.
The Jammu and Kashmir Police band played several songs from hit Hindi and Punjabi songs at the Nishat Gardens. An orchestra was also organised on the occasion.
A large number of domestic tourists, mostly from West Bengal, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and North East, visited the Mughal Gardens of Nishat, Shalimar, Harwan, Chashma Shahi, Chaar Chinari, Pari Mahal, Tulip Garden and other places.
Many foreign tourists, including those from Hong Kong and Japan, were also seen at these places.
The Mughal gardens are kept ready for the day as visitors from different parts of India and abroad had started arriving in the Kashmir valley, much ahead of the onset of the tourist season.
The visitors were seen taking ''shikara (boat)'' ride in the famed Dal Lake.
Several hotels and houseboats have been booked by the visitors for the coming tourist season. Many of the hotels reported 100 per cent occupancy today.
UNI AG PA SP1348