54 year-old godman Sudhir Kumar Makkad’s infatuation with gold has earned him the sobriquet ‘Golden Baba.’ He has become the centre of attraction at Kanwar Yatra (an annual ritual of carrying holy water to offer Lord Shiva) as people from far flung corners come to catch a glimpse of the golden godman.
The godman wears glittering gold lockets, armbands, rings on all his fingers with a specially crafted diamond watch and has a round the clock security detachment of policemen. He wears gold not to show off his wealth and says he is at peace when wears gold and it is the symbol of Luxmi, the goddess of prosperity as per Hindu beliefs.
Golden Baba travels in a motorcade of 17 sedans guarded by 25 security guards. He is a devotee of Lord Shiva and carrying holy Ganga water on his shoulder from Haridwar to his ashram in Gandhinagar, Delhi. This year Golden Baba began his holy travel on July 24 from Haridwar and it will conclude in Delhi on July 31.
Security is a major concern for the ‘Golden Baba’ therefore police have an elaborate security arrangement for the godman, a team of security officers escorts his convoy as it passes through their respective areas to ensure that nobody approaches him without permission.
The Golden Baba was once a wealthy cloth merchant before he became a godman.
“I was a garment businessman in Delhi but realized one day that I have committed a lot of sins. To repent, I became an ascetic and started helping needy people. Every year I marry off at least 200 girls and bear the entire cost,” said the ‘Golden Baba’.
The ‘Golden Baba’ is one of the several godmen in India who try to attract attention of the followers in their own unique way.