Sultanpur Lodhi: Gurdwara Ber Sahib sees rush of devotees, over 10 lakh visit in a month
Over the last one month, nearly 10 lakh devotees have visited Gurdwara Ber Sahib in Sultanpur Lodhi in the run-up to the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev. Sultanur Lodhi in Kapurthala district is where the first Sikh master, Guru Nanak Dev, had spent 14 years doing ‘tapasya’ and laid the foundation of Sikhism.
The holy city has been seeing a footfall of around 40,000 on weekdays, which touches around 2 lakh on weekends. Also, Ithe Gurdwara ‘Golak’ (donation box) which used to be opened after every 40 days earlier is being opened almost daily now. The old Golak was recently replaced with a new one. The gurdwara comes under the SGPC.
A pathi (one who reads religious text) at the gurdwara on the condition of anonymity said that he has been working here since several years but had never saw such a huge rush at the gurdwara even on the days marked for celebrations of the birthdays of the 10 Sikh Gurus. He said that the SGPC never paid any attention to this place earlier and its main focus was on other big gurdwaras in the state, adding that now that people were getting to know about this place’s importance, they were coming here in large numbers.
“We used to go other big gurdwaras including the Golden Temple earlier and were not aware about the importance of Sultanpur Lodhi, but now we got to know that this is the place where the foundation of Sikh religion was laid by Guru Nanak Dev ji,” said a woman devotee who had come from Fazilka to pay obeisance.
“Our city has seen a surge of devotees in the past one month and there have been times when we have been unable to move out of the city due to a huge inflow of people. This is a small town,” said Jagdish Singh of Sultanpur Lodhi town.
The government is also expecting around 60 lakh people to visit the town during the period of two weeks from November 1 to November 15.
Sultanpur Lodhi MLA Navtej Singh Cheema said that apart from around 10 lakh people in the last one month, 20 lakh have come here in the past three months. “We have put up four langars on the main road because huge number of people could not be fed inside the gurdwara langar hall.
He said that the work of spreading of awareness about this place should have been done by the SGPC, but they hardly did anything in this direction and ever since Punjab government had started the public awareness about the celebrations, the devotees got to know about it and started visiting here in large numbers.