CHANDIGARH: Around four lakh devotees including Bollywood actress Sonali Bendre thronged the Golden Temple in Amritsar on Wednesday morning to seek holy blessings as they usher in the New Year.
Devotees took a holy dip in the savour in the temple complex on the first day of the New Year after paying their obeisance.
After surviving cancer, the 45-year-old actress Sonali Bendre along with her husband Goldie Behl also paid obeisance at the golden temple on the first day of 2020 as well as for her birthday.
Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Shiromani Akali Dal President Sukhbir Singh Badal also visited Golden Temple on New Year and offered their prayers.
Talking with this correspondent, Golden Temple manager Jaswinder Singh said, “On the New Year, around 4 lakh people paid their obeisance here despite the severe cold conditions. There was a massive footfall even at the langar (community kitchen) which recorded double the visitors. The langar also arranged a special tea for the pilgrims. We have made special arrangements of langar, carpets have been laid in the `Parikarma’. Extra employees of the SGPC task force have been deployed for better crowd management. To welcome the New Year, the sangat participated in the `pratham ardas’ this morning.’’
"I along with my family wanted to start our new year with the blessings of the almighty. There is no better way to start the year by paying obeisance at the Golden Temple,’’ said a devotee Gurpreet Singh.
Another devotee Dr Preeti Bir said, "People from across the country have come here to celebrate the New Year. It's always nice to visit Golden temple."
The parking space around the holy shrine was unavailable and the devotees had to park their vehicles a few kilometres away and walk down to the temple.
Also, the hotels and guest houses were totally booked.