Amritsar, Nov 3: The entire Golden Temple complex, which is home to the holiest of Sikh shrines ‘Harmandar Sahib’, wore a festive look Sunday with millions of lights being put up all around the complex.
Hundreds of devotees could be seen lined up since Sunday morning to offer prayers at the shrine.
The day is celebrated in Sikh religion as ‘Bandi Chhor Diwas’ (prisoner liberation day). On this day, the sixth guru of the Sikhs, Guru Hargobind, returned to Amritsar after being released, along with 52 princes, from imprisonment by the Mughal emperor Jahangir from Gwalior prison in 1619.
The guru and the princes arrived in Amritsar during Diwali festivities. Since then, the ‘Bandi Chhor Diwas’ and Diwali celebrations coincide at the Golden Temple complex.
A fireworks display is held on Diwali night at the complex.
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), which manages the Golden Temple complex and other gurdwaras in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, has decided to shorten the fireworks display this year. The fireworks display will be only 15-20 minutes this year, a SGPC official said.
Elsewhere in Punjab, markets wore a festive look on the occasion of Diwali. Hundreds of people thronged various markets in Amritsar, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Patiala and other towns.