The last name, Singh, meaning lion, is given to baptized Sikh males, and the last name Kaur, meaning princess/lioness, is given to baptized Sikh females. Baptized Sikhs are bound to wear the Five Ks i.e. kes(uncut hair), kangha(small wooden comb), kara(circular steel or iron bracelet), kirpan(sword/dagger), and kacchera(special undergarment) all the times.
Sikh Diaspora :
A large community of Sikh can be found in India. About 75% of Sikhs live in Punjab. Haryana, an Indian state is the home to the second largest Sikh population in India. Sikhs constitutes about 2% of the Indian population.
Legend and History :
Guru Nanak, now called Nanak Sahib, is the founder of Sikhism. He belongs from the family of Khatri Hindus. His desire to explore the mysteries of life eventually led him to leave home. At the age of 30, he went missing and presumed to have drowned. He appeared three days later and declared: “There is no Hindu, there is no Muslim”. It was from this moment that Nanak would begin to spread the teaching of what was then the beginning of Sikhism.
Lahina, later named Guru Angad, became the second guru of the Sikhs. In 1552 at the age of 73 Guru Amar Das became the third Sikh guru. Guru Amar Das encouraged langar. Before death, Guru Amar Das appointed his son-in-law namely Jetha(later known as Guru Ram Das) as the fourth Sikh Guru. Guru Arjan, youngest son of the fourth guru became the fifth guru of the Sikhs. Fifth guru prepared the Sikh sacred text known as Adi Granth which contains the writing of the first five gurus. The tenth guru of Sikhism, Guru Govind singh, proclaimed the Guru Granth Sahib to be the ultimate spiritual authority for the Sikhs.
Gurudwara- A place of worship for Sikhs :
Any place where the Guru Granth Sahib is present or installed can be referred as Gurudwara. Gurudwara means a gateway to the Guru. Gurudwara is a place where Sikhs use to worship. In Gurudwara there is a installation of the Guru Granth Sahib, under a canopy or in a canopied seat, usually on a platform higher than the specific floor on which the devotees sit, and a tall Sikh pennant flag atop the building.
Panj Takht :
In Sikhism there are five Takhts and these are the five Gurudwaras. Literally Takht means a throne. These five Thakts have a very special significance in Sikhism.
Akal Takht Sahib – This is the first and the most important Takht established by Guru Hargobind in 1609 which literally means Eternal Throne. This Takht symbolizes the dispensing of justice and temporal activity. This Takht is situated opposite to the Harmandir Sahib and is connected by a passage.
Takht Sri Damdama Sahib- This Takht is also famous because Guru Gobind Singh stayed at this place for about one year and compiled the final edition of guru granth sahib. This is the reason why Guru Granth Sahib is also known as the Damdama Sahib. The takht is in the Talwandi village near Bhatinda.
Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib- This is the place where Guru Gobind Singh founded the order of the Khalsa in the year 1699. The Takht is situated at Anandpur Sahib. Here some weapons of Guru Gobind Singh are displayed.
Takht Sri Hazur Sahib- Takht is situated on the bank of Godavari River in Marathwada region of Maharashtra state. Guru Gobind Singh, in 1708 came to Nanded, his permanent abode. A Gurudwara has been constructed at the place where he died.
Takht Sri Patna Sahib- Patna, the birth place of Guru Gobind Singh is the capital city of Bihar also Takht Sri Patna Sahib is situated in this city.
Gurpurbs, Nagar Kirtan, Visakhi, Bandi Chhor, Hola Mohalla are some of the festivals celebrated by the Sikhs. Also technically, there are no festivals in Sikhism as the calendar is highly controversial among Sikhs
Sikh Pilgrimages in India :
India is a land of every religion. Sikhism is India’s fourth largest religion. Sikh pilgrims have always a good option as India. There are various Gurudwaras all over India. Not only Sikhs but peoples of different religion take interest in visiting Gurudwara. Some of the chief places in India for Sikh pilgrimage are:-
Golden Temple :
Being the chief pilgrimage place for Sikhism, people from all over world frequently visit this holy place. It is situated in the city of Amritsar. It is believed that one can wash his / her sins by bathing in the holy water. This place is also known as Darbar Sahib or Sri Harmandir Sahib.
Hemkund Sahib :
This place is famous because Guru Govind singh meditate here near the lake. And is located near the Lokpal lake.
Anandpur Sahib :
people all round the globe use to visit this place. This is the 2nd most important place of the Sikhs and was founded by Guru Teg Bahadur JI.
Patna Sahib gurudwara :
in the state of Bihar is also one of the chief pilgrimage of Sikhs. Also Damdama Sahib, Manikaran, Poanta Sahib and many more are able to magnetise the people.
Sikh pilgrimage in Pakistan :
Not only India, Pakistan is also a home to various chief pilgrimages sites. Nanak Sahib in Pakistan is the birth place of Guru Nanak Dev. Besides this Panja Sahib, Dehra and many more are the place for Sikh pilgrimages.