When trees in our garden sprout fresh green leaves and the air is full of fragrant blossoms; when the cold calms down and makes way for pleasant, breezy mornings and when flowers blossom making one believe in magic; you know, Spring has arrived! For Indians, spring holds the promise of harvest and bounty and we welcome the season in our own, special way.
With our fields full of fruit and hearts full of gratitude, we celebrate the annual spring & harvest festival of Baisakhi. One of the most prominent celebrations of this magical time, Baisakhi is celebrated with great pomp and show across the fertile Northern plains, especially in the states of Punjab and Haryana. Baisakhi holds special significance for followers of Sikhism and is observed with a lot of vibrance and happiness.
Baisakhi is a time full of colour, happiness and celebrations all around, making it a great time to take a trip up north. Get a car on rent with MyChoize coupons and read on to find out where to take your next Baisakhi road trip!
The Legend of Baisakhi :
The day of Baisakhi marks the start of the Hindu solar new year. The date usually falls between 13th-15th April every year and is celebrated in a variety of ways across India. In North India, Baisakhi is associated with a time for harvest and farmers pray for a healthy crop with offerings to the Gods.
For Sikhs, Baisakhi is a historical occasion, marking the birth of the Khalsa order. Legend has it that after the execution of Guru Teg Bahadur, his son, Gobind Das took five men with him and dressed them in saffron yellow from turban to toe. Gobind Das was bestowed the title of Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru of the Sikhs and he titled the five men as the ‘Panj Pyaras’ and announced the beginning of Khalsa Panth. The men were told to carry forth the message that men and women must live a life of courage, integrity and love and must do so fearlessly. This message transformed millions who went on to constitute the religion of Sikhism. Hence, every year, Sikhs celebrate the birth of their religion by observing the festival of Baisakhi with prayers at Gurdwaras and remembering the Guru in good conscience.
Traditionally, Baisakhi celebrations begin with an early bath and dawning new clothes. Punjabis all over dress in their best and brightest salwars and kurtas and head out to the Gurdwara for the morning prayers. People from all over enter the Holy Gurdwaras with their palms folded and children wait eagerly for the sweet ‘Kadaa Prashad‘ ! After the morning prayers, devotees perform ‘Seva’ and everyone, regardless of their religion, race or gender, sits together and enjoys a grand ‘Langar’ or holy lunch full of scrumptious vegetarian delicacies. The ‘Sevadaars’ or volunteers then get busy clearing the roads for the annual procession.
On Baisakhi, there is a tradition to take out a procession carrying the Guru Granth Sahib- Holy Book of the Sikhs. The ‘Panj Pyares‘ dress up in all saffron and lead the procession with people accompanying them and singing ‘Kirtans‘ or holy songs. The procession is known as a ‘Nagar Kirtan’ and ends after the evening Ardaas when the Gurdwara is lit up with lights.
Celebrations in Punjab are incomplete without song & dance. Thus, on Baisakhi, men and women get together to indulge in some folk celebrations. Brightly garbed men and women come together and match beats with the rhythm of the ‘dhol’ and ‘dholak’! Bhangra songs are played in every street and women get together to put together an exquisite ‘Gidda’ performance. These performances are an unforgettable sight!
Top 5 Places to Celebrate Biasakhi, 2021:
As you can see, Baisakhi is not just a festival: it’s an experience. To enjoy an authentic Baisakhi and indulge in the culture, it is best to get your favourite car on rent and drive through the streets of Punjab, soaking in the spirit of spring.
Baisakhi celebrations are a mosaic of cultural and spiritual affairs. The following places in Punjab & Haryana are spots where the best Baisakhi celebrations take place! Make a quick ‘car rental near me’ search, book a car on rent with MyChoize and take a trip to the most authentic spots for Baisakhi, 2021 !
Harmandir Sahib, Amritsar
The Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar is a beautiful sight any day but on Baisakhi, the Golden Temple adorns a special shine! People from all over thong to Amritsar for Baisakhi prayers, making it a vibrant scene. The Golden Temple is lit up in the evening and it is a mesmerizing sight.
If you’re visiting Punjab for the first time, Amritsar has to be on your bucket list! From historical monuments to picturesque architecture and busy ‘bazaars‘, the city has it all. Be a part of history in the Jallianwala Bagh; indulge in some local, punjabi delicacies like Dal Makhani, Makhan fish and piping hot jalebis and shop for authentic Phulkari dupattas and Jadau jewellery from the bustling bazaars!
Driving around the lanes of this historical city is a guaranteed fun ride. Get your favourite car on rent and go on a ‘gedi’ in the bustling lanes of ‘Ambarsar’ with MyChoize car rental service. With a grand range of cars to choose from and great deals using MyChoize coupons, fun is just a rental car away!
Pinjore Garden, Haryana
This 17th century garden hosts one of the largest Baisakhi ‘Melas’ or fairs in India. The Baisakhi festival here is a grand two-day affair in April, celebrating the onset of spring. The Pinjore garden or Yadavindra Garden is located in Panchkula, Haryana and the festivities are organized by the Haryana State Department of Information, Public Relations and Cultural Affairs.
On Baisakhi, the Pinjore Garden transforms into a medley of local cuisine, handicrafts and cultural performances. Live folk dances are performed here and the aroma of authentic North Indian flavours wafts through the air, as you sit near a fountain and listen to the craftsmen’s tales about niche, Indian handicraft. In the evening, the garden is lit up and for a moment, the Mighal style architecture takes your breath away. Attending the Baisakhi festival in Pinjore garden is an immersive experience and one that reminds you of the beauty and vibrancy of India.
Drive down to Pinjore Garden from Chandigarh this Baisakhi for a culture trip! Book a car with MyChoize coupons to avail the best deals.
Anandpur Sahib or Anandpur is one of the holiest places in Sikhism as it is here that Guru Gobind Singh chose the ‘Panj Pyares’ and the Khalsa Panth was born. This city is located in Rupnagar, Punjab and is home to the historically prominent Takht Shri Keshgarh Sahib-birthplace of the Khalsa. The city is also home to the Virasat-e-Khalsa Museum, commemorating 500 years of the history of Sikhism.
Visiting Anandpur Sahib for Baisakhi is an authentic experience as Baisakhi is celebrated with great vigour here. Other festivals of repute in Anandpur are Hola Mahalla where you can witness the typical martial arts practiced by the Sikhs and visit Keshgarh Sahib to see the personal artifacts and belongings of Guru Gobind Singh.
A drive to Anandpur for Baisakhi is worthwhile for those interested in exploring histories of India! You can make several pit stops to try the local ‘shakkar’ or jaggery and beat the heat with fresh, sweet orange juice sold every few metres on the road! Get a car on rent with MyChoize and take a deep ‘drive’ in history.
Talwandi Sabo, Bhatinda
In Talwandi Sabo, sits one of the five thrones or ‘Takhts’ of Sikh temporal authority- Takht Shri Damdama Sahib. It is here that Guru gobind Singh compiled the holy Guru Granth Sahib and is also where the Guru rested after many battles.
At Talwandi Sabo, Baisakhi is a grand affair and attracts lakhs of visitors every year. There have been several documentaries featuring the Baisakhi celebrations where every year devotees take a holy dip in the ‘Sarovar’ and seek the Guru’s blessings. You might also witness the authentic tradition of ‘Awat Pauni’ early in the morning where farmers come together and harvest their crops while singing ‘Kirtans’ and ‘Dohas’ to the rhythm of ‘Dhols’. The city is full of ‘Dhabdis’ or bards reciting tales of valour and victory of the Guru and reminding devotees to live a good life.
The planned city of Chandigarh is also a great option for your Baisakhi plans! The city adorns itself with lights and celebrates Baisakhi on a grand scale. People dress their best and there are amazing live performances going on across the city. Gurdwaras are decorated with lights and flowers and a ‘gedi’ along the avenues is a must to try all the delicacies prepared for the special day!
Baisakhi in Chandigarh is sure to enthrall you. It’s a festival of lights and colour where people come together and wish each other a good, happy and healthy life. There are many street fairs, live performances and ‘Dhol’ parties happening across the city and you are in for a jolly good time. Take a trip to Chandigarh this Baisakhi and put on your best traditional wear for the perfect experience!
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