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Tuesday, April 13, 1999 Published at 15:55 GMT 16:55 UK

World: South Asia

Picture gallery: Sikhs renew the faith

Hundreds of thousands of Sikhs from India and around the world have gathered in the northern Indian town of Anandpur Saheb to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the founding of the cornerstones of their faith.

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The holiest of shrines, the Golden Temple of Amritsar is where the faith has been maintained and protected throughout the centuries.

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Strengthening the faith: Sikh leaders are keen to see the religion maintained by new generations.

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Equality: Sikh doctrine insists on equality between the sexes, both men and women sharing responsibilities within the family.

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Holy procession: The week leading up to the celebrations has seen many events throughout India, including this holy procession from the state of Patna to Anandpur Saheb.

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Defence of the faith: Sikhism has been described as a blend of "sweetness and steel". These young men practice the traditional martial arts with which they would defend their fath.

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The celebrations in Anandpur Saheb have included spectacular martial arts displays.

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A gentle faith: Women in Delhi touch the feet of holy men, a symbol of their continuing faith.

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Internet Links

Sikh Media Action & Resource Task Force (SMART)

Council of Sikh Gurdwaras (UK)

Information on Vaisakhi celebrations world-wide

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