Hola Mohalla : Anandpur Sahib

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

It was Guru Gobind Singh himself who had established this pageant 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 all the time needed to go to this pageant, however the month of March is crammed with 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 out there 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 well 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 take heed 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 excellent photographic alternative. There are literally thousands of devotees who pour in from in every single place on automobiles, tractors, vehicles, something… there’s a Langar (a group meal, designed to make sure folks from all walks of life sit and share a meal collectively), nearly each 30 meters, so that you don’t have to fret in regards to the meals. For the equestrian show, head over to Charan Ganga Stadium on the Naina Devi Highway. It’s extra like an empty area. 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 all the time been to make that journey occur some day. While at Anandpur Sahib, we took a bit break on the Gurudwara Lohgarh Sahib, solely to find nearly my complete village people 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 Sahib
Individuals come from in every single place in tractors and trolleys, vehicles, bikes and so forth to attend Hola Mohalla.
Girls assist out within the quite a few Langars unfold everywhere in the city…
Portrait of an aged gentleman at Keshgarh Sahib.
Found this group of women 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 people…
A typical Akali Nihang Singh at Hola Mohalla
Jathas of Nihang Singhs marching between Gurudwaras, searching for blessings…
On the equestrian and martial arts show the ambiance is intense and charged with adrenaline…
We attempt to wade via the crowds to get a greater look, whereas ensuring we get the correct 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 crammed horses plough via…
The Nihang Singhs have been the fearless warriors spearheading battles with oppressive Mughals. The traditions of martial arts proceed.
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 pageant of Hola Mohalla takes place within the month of March at Anandpur Sahib, a day after the pageant of Holi. Take a look at the Holi date and Hola Mohalla is strictly the day after. In March the climate is sizzling in the course of the day and funky at night time. Put together accordingly.

Easy methods to attain Anandpur Sahib: The closest airport is Chandigarh, or Ludhiana. One can take a prepare to Anandpur Sahib as properly. We drove in.

The place to remain: There are lots of keep choices at Anandpur Sahib. E-book them properly prematurely else they are going to be bought out. Take a look at 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 on your digital camera. And chances are you’ll need to carry your individual water bottles. You might be welcome to seize a meal/snacks/tea and so forth 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 outdoors.