SHAH ALAM, Dec 12 — In a ceremony dating back hundreds of years, a large group of faithful Sikhs walked in a 6.4km procession to relocate a holy Guru Granth Sahib scripture from a gurdwara (temple) at a low-cost terrace house to a new premises in Section 18, Shah Alam.
The scripture was accompanied by five men known as panj piare (scripture guards) who donned special attire, and a makeshift chariot.
The chariot then led the procession, followed closely by devotees on foot and a 13-member marching band.
The group, which included the elderly and babies being carried by parents, took part in the walk to fulfill religious requirements when a new gurdwara is open for worship.
More than two hours later, the congregation arrived at the new premises, where the scripture was carried carefully to its designated place, a raised platform called takht.
The newly completed Gurdwara Sahib Guru Nanak Shah Alam in Section 18 was completed at a cost of RM4.5 million.
Building committee patron Tan Sri Ajit Singh, who was former Asean secretary-general, said this is the first Gurdwara in Selangor that has modern facilities.
“It has been a long time coming but now we have proper facilities for the Sikh community in the area for learning, prayers, gathering and celebrations,” said Ajit, who was the organising chairman for the procession.
Gurdwara commitee president Patminder Singh said he is happy that the holy scripture has a new home, after an eight-year wait.
“It is a historic moment for us. The new gurdwara will serve more than 600 Sikhs in Shah Alam and its surrounding areas,” he said.
Patminder added that the preparation for the procession took about three months.
Businessman Sadhu Singh, 53, who has been living in Sydney for the last 30 years, said he planned his holidays to Malaysia so that he could be part of the procession.
“When my sister here told me about the procession, I knew I had to join it. It is good to walk with family to earn blessings,” he said.
Long-time gurdwara member Pranjit Kaur, 40, who joined the procession with her family, said she wanted her children to be part of such religious ceremonies.