About 4,000 pilgrims from India are expected to participate in celebrations to mark the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh religion, in Pakistan.
The Indians will be among 25,000 pilgrims from across the world who will join the celebrations commemorating the 539th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak in Talwandi, now called Nankana Sahib.
Special arrangements have been made to receive the pilgrims and to celebrate the occasion with zeal, said Muhammad Khurram, the additional secretary for shrines of the Evacuee Trust Property Board. The Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee and ETPB will accord a welcome to the Sikh pilgrims on Wednesday.
"The pilgrims will join the celebrations in Nankana Sahib during November 21-24 and stay in Pakistan till November 30. The Indian pilgrims will visit several sacred sites like Gurdwara Sacha Sauda, Kartarpur Shaib and Rohri Sahib. They will travel to Hassan Abdal and Gurdwara Panja Sahib on November 28 and 29," Khurram said.
The celebrations will include the three-day Akhand Path, during which the Sikh holy book, the Guru Granth Sahib, will be read continuously from beginning to end without a break. On the main day of the celebrations, the Guru Granth Sahib will be carried in procession on a float, decorated with flowers. Five armed guards, representing the Panj Pyares, will head the procession.
Free sweets will be distributed and langar or community kitchens will be organised as part of the festivities. The pilgrims from India will be joined by 100 pilgrims each from Afghanistan and Dubai, 80 from Iran, about 2,000 from Europe and 5,000 Hindus from the Sindh province.