CHANDIGARH: Braving the early morning chill of the onset of winter, thousands of devotees thronged gurdwaras across Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh on Saturday to offer prayers on the occasion of 'Gurpurab' - the birth anniversary of the first Sikh guru, Nanak Dev.
The holiest of Sikh shrines 'Harmandir Sahib', popularly known as the Golden Temple, in Amritsar, and other gurdwaras elsewhere saw religious fervour to mark the birth anniversary of the founder of Sikhism.
Guru Nanak Dev was born in 1469. Thousands of people, from various faiths, reached the Golden Temple complex since early morning on Saturday to offer prayers.
Tight security arrangements were made around all leading Sikh shrines in Punjab.
The shrine complex was decorated with lighting since Diwali and Bandi Chhor Diwas in October.
Hymns were being rendered at the holy shrine and hundreds of other gurdwaras across the region to mark the occasion.
At other gurdwaras in cities, towns and villages, hundreds of people could be seen coming to offer prayers.
'Langars' (community kitchen), were arranged at most gurdwaras. Reports of Gurpurab celebrations were received from Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of the Guru Nanak Dev, 100 km from Lahore in neighbouring Pakistan.
Nearly 2,600 Sikh devotees have gone to Pakistan to celebrate Gurpurab at Nankana Sahib.
Punjab Governor V.P. Singh Badnore and Chief Minister Amarinder Singh greeted people on the occasion of Gurpurab and urged them to follow the Guru's teachings and maintain peace and harmony.