Road trip

Hola Mohalla : Anandpur Sahib

Not many individuals might have heard of this over 300 yr outdated competition in Anandpur Sahib, referred to as ‘Hola Mohalla’. Celebrated on the day after Holi, it’s a loopy grand competition of the Akali Nihangs, the unique warrior Sikhs, thought-about the private favorites of Guru Gobind Singh.

It was Guru Gobind Singh himself who had established this competition at Anandpur Sahib. It’s a day of poetry, prayers and show of martial abilities, together with equestrian abilities which the Nihangs are so good at.

I’ve at all times wished to go to this competition, however the month of March is full of work. This yr, we determined to simply go for it, and an invitation from a good friend in Una, Himachal Pradesh, solely helped.

Sadly not a lot info is on the market on-line in a cohesive method about Hola Mohalla. In our makes an attempt to search for info, we missed some essential moments. However by and huge, that is the way it occurs:

Hola Mohalla is widely known on the day after Holi. Discover the date of Holi, and it’s Hola Mohalla the following day. Attain the historic Gurudwara of Keshgarh Sahib at Anandpur Sahib, actually early within the morning, like possibly 6/7am if you wish to hearken to the recital of Kirtans and Gurbani. Jathas (teams) of Nihangs stroll between Gurudwaras Lohgarh Sahib, Mata Jito Ji Gurudwara, Qila Fatehgarh Sahib and Keshgarh Sahib. Its an ideal photographic alternative. There are literally thousands of devotees who pour in from all over the place on vehicles, tractors, vans, something… there’s a Langar (a group meal, designed to make sure folks from all walks of life sit and share a meal collectively), virtually each 30 meters, so that you don’t have to fret concerning the meals. For the equestrian show, head over to Charan Ganga Stadium on the Naina Devi Highway. It’s extra like an empty discipline. However attain early, many of the stuff is over by round 2 pm.

Having by no means been to my ancestral village in Punjab, a need has at all times been to make that journey occur some day. While at Anandpur Sahib, we took slightly break on the Gurudwara Lohgarh Sahib, solely to find virtually my total village folks there, serving to out within the Langar service (Seva). What a pleasant coincidence. They recognised by grandfather and nice grand fathers and made us really feel actually particular, sat down with us over a meal and took care of our costly cameras whereas we chatted.

This yr was extra like a recce, and we plan to go extra ready the following time.

Devotees pour into Gurudwara Keshgarh Sahib at Anandpur SahibIndividuals come from all over the place in tractors and trolleys, vans, bikes and many others to attend Hola Mohalla.Girls assist out within the quite a few Langars unfold all around the city…Portrait of an aged gentleman at Keshgarh Sahib.Found this group of girls serving to out on the Langar at Gurudwara Lohgarh Sahib,. Seems all of them come from the identical village as me!A photograph-op with my village folks…A typical Akali Nihang Singh at Hola MohallaJathas of Nihang Singhs marching between Gurudwaras, in search of blessings…On the equestrian and martial arts show the environment is intense and charged with adrenaline…We attempt to wade by means of the crowds to get a greater look, whereas ensuring we get the precise gentle…Tent pegging. A wildly widespread sport amongst the Nihang Singhs. The viewers must be cautious as one is standing within the crowd which adrenaline stuffed horses plough by means of…The Nihang Singhs have been the fearless warriors spearheading battles with oppressive Mughals. The traditions of martial arts proceed.Then comes this loopy gifted Nihang Singh driving three horses! On the Gurudwara Qila Anandgarh Sahib for a ‘Matha Teko’…Two Nihang Singhs look out in the direction of the holy metropolis of Anandpur Sahib from Gurudwara Qila Anandgarh Sahib

When to go to Hola Mohalla : The competition of Hola Mohalla takes place within the month of March at Anandpur Sahib, a day after the competition of Holi. Try the Holi date and Hola Mohalla is precisely the day after. In March the climate is sizzling throughout the day and funky at evening. Put together accordingly.

Learn how to attain Anandpur Sahib: The closest airport is Chandigarh, or Ludhiana. One can take a practice to Anandpur Sahib as nicely. We drove in.

The place to remain: There are a lot of keep choices at Anandpur Sahib. Guide them nicely upfront else they are going to be offered out. Try Anand At The Sutlej for luxurious camps by the river Sutlej, one of many 5 Rivers Of Punjab.

Anything? It’s a non secular cultural gathering, costume modestly, don’t carry alcohol or cigarettes with you, and do carry lengthy lenses in your digicam. And it’s possible you’ll wish to carry your individual water bottles. You might be welcome to seize a meal/snacks/tea and many others at any of the langars. You might be additionally welcome to enter any of the Gurudwaras so long as you retain your head coated and sneakers exterior.

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