Sikhs Prepare for Massive Celebration in India

October 24, 2008

Author: Staff Writer

Source: Reuters

Nearly 1 million Sikhs are preparing to descend on a small town in western India to mark three centuries of their religion.

Some will come on chariots or on horseback, dressed in traditional costumes that include a turban and a "kirpan" or dagger.

The celebration runs for a week from Oct. 27 to mark 300 years since the Sikh religion's holiest book, Guru Granth Sahib, was finished.

It will take place in Nanded, about 460 km (285 miles) east of Mumbai in Maharashtra, home of the five "takhts" (main centres) of the Sikh religion in India.

Sikhs will stream in on special trains, buses and flights to also mark the 300th anniversary of the death of Guru Gobind Singh, the last of the 10 gurus.

Across the country in gurudwaras, Sikh places of worship, special prayers were being said and processions held, said P.S. Pasricha, head of the board for the Nanded celebrations.