Known for wearing heavy gold jewellery on his Kanwar Yatras, the ‘Golden Baba’ Sudhir Makkar had to let go off some of his metallic sheen this year.
Suffering from some health issues, Makkar — who is on his way to complete his 26th Kanwar Yatra this year— wore 14 kg of gold ornaments as compared to the 20 kg he wore last year.
With reduced amount of jewellery, Makkar still continued to command attention from public and police as he passed through the Ghaziabad district on Sunday with his cavalcade.
“Last year, I had announced that my silver jubilee journey will be my last Kanwar Yatra as my deteriorating health did not allow me to go on more Yatras. But with blessings from Lord Shiva, I was able to start my 26th Kanwar Yatra. With two throat surgeries, I had to reduce the number of gold chains that I could wear. The gold I am travelling with this year is about 14kgs,” Makkar said.
What makes the ‘Golden Baba’ special is his gold chains and other ornaments which he wears and likes to flaunts while riding SUVs as part of his long cavalcade which passes through Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.
Makkar says all his gold chains, which are around 21 in number, are crafted by renowned jewellers in Delhi and none of them weighs less than 500-750 grams each.
Apart from the gold chains, Makkar possesses over 21 gold lockets of deities, gold armlets and a Rolex watch that weighs around half a kilogram and is valued around Rs 27 lakh.
“I remember in 1972 when gold was less expensive, I started wearing gold items and possessed nearly 40 grams gold then. And gradually the amount of gold increased,” Makkar added.
Apart from his fetish for gold, Makkar is also fond of cars and owns more than eight luxury cars which are part of his cavalcade.
“The people have showered love on me during each Kanwar Yatra. They come in large numbers to watch me and my cavalcade. I am also thankful to officers of the Uttar Pradesh police who keep track of my location,” he added.
Besides a police cover, Makkar also has a group of bodyguards and disciples to keep guard during the entire Kanwar yatra route.
“After his stay in Modinagar on Saturday night, he passed through Ghaziabad city on Sunday. Our officers kept guard and ensured that his journey was safe,” Shlok Kumar, superintendent of police (city), Ghaziabad, said.
Before moving to spiritualism, Makkar ran cloth shops and property business in Delhi’s Gandhi Nagar market. As his business flourished, he also started selling denim jeans, shirts and jackets under the brand name ‘Bittu.’
Makkar, who lives in a luxurious flat at a high rise in Indirapuram, said he had shut down his businesses and rented out all his properties.
The emerge of Golden Baba-
Sudhir Makkar, popularly known as” Golden Baba” is a businessman-turned godman.
He is believed to run a cloth and property business from Gandhi Nagar market in Delhi before becoming a saint.
He has been participating in Kanwar Yatra, an annual pilgrimage of devotees of Shiva to fetch water of Ganges, for the last 26 years and has always been the centre of attraction.
Initially he used to wear 2-3 grams of gold ornaments but with each passing year it started increasing upto 26 kilo. However, recently he has decreased the amount a bit due to health issues.
The ornaments include a collection of chains, lockets of deities, rings and bracelets.
Golden Baba has a group of his own, consisting of around 250-300 men and he himself provide them with the basic facilities like food, water and ambulance all the time during his Kanwar Yatra.
According to reports, the godman also owns a BMW, three Fortuners, two Audi and two Innova vehicles which are part of his cavalcade.