19 October, Amritsar
Fireworks display and the newly-installed LED lighting marked the celebrations of “Bandi Chhor Diwas” and Diwali as thousands of devotees flocked to the Golden Temple complex here on Thursday.
The complex, where the holiest of Sikh shrines “Harmandir Sahib” is located, was illuminated with LED lights, giving it an all-new look.
The fireworks display duration has been shortened since last year owing to environmental concerns.
There was festive spirit at the shrine complex in this Sikh holy city as thousands of people came here to offer prayers and seek blessings.
The domes, buildings and floors of the shrine complex were cleaned and lighted up for the festive occasion. The day is celebrated in Sikh religion as “Bandi Chhor Diwas” (prisoner liberation day).
On this day, the sixth guru of Sikhs, Guru Hargobind, had 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.
Elsewhere in Punjab, markets wore a festive look on the occasion of Diwali but traders said that sales were down owing to the GST (Goods and Services Tax) introduced recently and the restrictions imposed on the bursting of crackers.
People thronged various markets in Amritsar, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Patiala and other towns.