Chandigarh: The year-long celebrations of the 350th anniversary of Anandpur Sahib, associated with the birth of the Khalsa, begin on June 19. An akhand path was started today at Gurdwara Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib. Earlier known as Makhowal, the town was founded by Guru Teg Bahadur. The foundation was laid on June 19, 1665. On the occasion of Baisakhi in 1699, Guru Gobind Singh baptised “Panj Piare” at this place, marking the birth of the Khalsa.
The SGPC has constituted a committee to celebrate the town’s 350th anniversary. The town, that has a fort, is now a subdivisional headquarters where thousands of devotees and tourists gather for Hola Mohalla in March every year.
EcoSikh, a non-government organisation, has appealed to the state government and the SGPC to work towards making this holy city eco-friendly.
Dr Rajwant Singh, president of EcoSikh, said: “Anandpur Sahib should be declared a green city. The town’s tranquil environment should be protected and preserved.”
Ranjodh Singh, state convener of EcoSikh, said: “Construction around sacred sites, such as Takht Sahib, should be restricted. The town’s serene environment should not be tampered with. The Punjab Government should declare Anandpur Sahib a plastic-free town.”
He said that in consonance with the trend worldwide, the state government should look at the possibility of promoting alternative systems of medicine in the area.
EcoSikh is working with national and international organisations to use technology to make Nanded Sahib, which houses Takht Hazur Sahib, an eco-friendly town.
About Phase II of Virasat-e-Khalsa:
Chandigarh: The second phase of Virasat-e-Khalsa will be completed within a year. Work on the project has begun and the first installment of funds totalling Rs 17 crore has been released. Sohan Singh Thandal, Minister for Jails, Tourism, Cultural Affairs and Printing and Stationery, put the project cost at Rs 51 crore. He said the second phase would be completed as the yearlong celebrations in Anandpur Sahib come to a close in 2015. The government had demarcated five acres for Bhai Jaita Ji Memorial at Sri Anandpur Sahib, the minister said. “As soon as the concept for this memorial is ready, construction will be started without any loss of time,” Thandal said.
The town’s significance:
- Earlier known as Makhowal, the town was founded by Guru Teg Bahadur
- The foundation was laid on June 19, 1665
- Guru Gobind Singh, on the occasion of Baisakhi in 1699, baptised Panj Piare at this place
- This marked the birth of the Khalsa
- The town is now a subdivisional headquarterss
- Thousands of devotees and tourists gather in the town for Hola Mohalla in March every year
Source: The Tribune