Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday asked the Punjabi University Patiala to undertake extensive research on the holy journey (Udasi) of the first Sikh Guru, Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, to Nepal.
Addressing a galaxy of Sikh intellectuals, academicians and scholars during a presentation on Sikh Heritage of Nepal here at Punjab Bhawan, the Chief Minister said that Nepal had a strong Sikh connect. Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji had blessed the holy land during his ‘Udasi’, aimed at redeeming mankind from suffering and pain, he pointed out. The Chief Minister suggested that research on the subject would go a long way in exploring new dimensions to Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s holy visit to Nepal.
Captain Amarinder Singh observed that both India and Nepal shared century-old ties and had common cultural heritage, with his own family sharing warm family relations with the Ranas of Nepal. The Maharaja of Patiala had, in fact, attended the wedding of Yuvraj Raghunath Singhji of Jaisalmer at Singha Durbar in Kathmandu in April 1950, he pointed out.
Recalling the strong bonding between Sikh and Gorkha regiments, Captain Amarinder, an ex-Army man and a military historian, pointed out that both these regiments served their countries with distinction and glory.
On the occasion, the Chief Minister also extended an invite to the Punjabi diaspora settled in Nepal to attend the 550th Prakash Purb celebrations of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji in November at Sultanpur Lodhi, where the founder of Sikhism spent over 18 years of his life and got enlightenment.
Earlier, in his presentation, Indian Ambassador to the Himalayan kingdom, Majeev Puri, said that the 550th birth anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji had given the embassy an opportunity to bring out a publication on the Sikh heritage of Nepal. It comprises information on places linked to Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s visit to Nepal, the interactions that took during the time of the great Sikh ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh, down to the modern times.
Puri also dwelled on Nepal’s links with Punjab, starting from 1809 when the Gorkha and the Sikh armies met in Kangra. He hoped that the 550th Prakash Purb celebrations would reinforce these connections.
The Indian envoy in Nepal also briefly mentioned the places visited in Nepal by Guru Nanak Dev Ji, including Nanak Matth, Gyaneshwor, Shobha Bhagwati, Thapathali and Pashupatinath. He also revealed that there were 10 copies (sarups) of Sri Guru Granth Sahib at various sacred places connected with the first Sikh Guru.
Nepalese Ambassador to India, Nilamber Acharya, expressed gratitude to the Punjab Government, especially the Chief Minister, for organizing this programme to showcase Sikh heritage of Nepal. Acharya said that 550th birth anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji would further act as a catalyst to foster bilateral ties besides strengthening the Sikh connect with Nepal, where the community had made immense contribution across various fields.
On the occasion, both the Ambassadors presented a set of the publication on Sikh Heritage of Nepal and commemorative coins as a token of love and affection. Reciprocating the goodwill gesture, the Chief Minister also handed over a set of various commemorative publications brought out on the ongoing 550th Prakash Purb celebrations of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji.
Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal, Cultural Affairs and Tourism Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, CM’s Media Advisor Raveen Thukral, Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh, Principal Secretary to CM Tejveer Singh, besides several senior civil and police officers, were present at the event.