Falling on the second day of the month of Chet, which usually comes in March as per the Gregorian calendar, Hola Mohalla is all about exploring the essence of Punjabi culture.
Organized at a grand scale in Anandpur Sahib in Punjab, following the day of Holi celebrations, this festival takes people on a fun-packed ride of heritage, glorifying the Sikh Culture.
Mohala is a word that is usually used to describe a cheerful procession. And Hola Mohalla primarily implies to be a form of an army column that is accompanied by the war drums, standard-bearers, and much pomp and show.
Hola Mohalla was first organized by the tenth guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh Ji. It is believed that the main purpose of organizing this festival was to fundamentally strengthen the Sikh Community with fair use of military exercises and mock battles.
Daredevil acts like bareback horse-riding by the warriors, standing upright simultaneously on two speeding horses to even tent pegging are a few common acts on display during this Indian festival.
Hola Mohalla truly depicts the bravado of Sikh men through mock fighting of the Sikh warriors, which they have showcased in the battlefields over history.
So, if you want to know how it feels to be a part of something bigger than yourself and to witness the colorful spectacles in front of your eyes then do not miss Hola Mohalla.
According to history, Hola Mohalla was founded by the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji. This was the time in history when he had recently founded Khalsa Panth and was fighting the Mughal Empire and the Rajputs at the same time.
It is believed that on March 7, 1701, Guru Gobind Singh started a completely new tradition where the people participated in mock fights and poetry contests majorly at the Lohgarh Fort.
Since its inception, the festival has spread from Anandpur Sahib to Kiratpur Sahib along with the foothills of the Shivaliks. It has also been stated that the Guru himself used to participate in the mock battles organized with the onset of this tradition.
Organized for a period of three days, Hola Mohalla is full of nothing but celebrations that are a spitting image of the Sikh Culture and everything good about it.
The festival incorporates a show of weapons, battle moves, some traditional poetry, music, and much more. During this festival, a number of durbars are also held at various places along with Kirtans and lectures that take place during this time.
The last day, especially, comes across as the highlighting factor of the whole event. The procession begins with Panj Pyaras. Panj Pyare is a collective name given to the five men from the Sikh community namely Bhai Dhaya Singh, Bhai Dharam Singh, Bhai Himmat Singh, Bhai Mohkam Singh, and Bhai Sahib Singh. These names were given by Guru Gobind Singh Ji on April 13, 1699.
The procession starts from Takht Keshgarh Sahib, which is one of the five Sikh religious seats, and then passes through various important gurdwaras like Qila Anandgarh, Lohgarh Sahib, Mata Jitoji, and then, again, finally terminates at the Takht.
People who visit Anandpur Sahib are treated with delicious langars, organized by the locals. This is considered an essential part of the Sewa by the Sikhs. For preparing the food, raw materials like wheat flour, rice, milk, and vegetables, as well as sugar are also provided by the people from nearby villages. The womenfolk volunteers not just cook the food but also take part in cleaning the utensils.
Anandpur Sahib in Punjab is not a city but a religious sentiment for the Sikhs. It is very well connected to nearby Indian cities by road and railway networks. It is located at a distance of 313, 1,722, 2,489, 1,830 km from Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Kolkata respectively. This is how you can reach here by the following means of transportation.
By Air. Anandpur Sahib doesn’t have its own airport. The nearest airport is the Chandigarh Airport (IXC) located at a distance of 94 km via NH205. This airport mainly serves as the Union Territory of Chandigarh and nearby regions. The Chandigarh Airport is known for catering to about seven domestic airlines and connects Chandigarh to 2 international and 16 domestic destinations.
After you deboard at the airport, you would need to cover the remaining distance by some means of public transportation like a cab, bus, or even a train. To travel by train, you will need to board UHL Janshatabadi from Anandpur Sahib station and deboard at the Chandigarh station.
Here is how you can reach here by flight.
By Train. The city of Anandpur Sahib has its own railway station. It has only one platform. However, it doesn’t have good connectivity with other Indian cities via direct trains. For instance, from Delhi, you can board Himachal Express and UHL Janshatabadi Express. It will take you around 3-6 hours to reach here by train from Delhi.
By Road. Depending upon your location, you can consider traveling to Anandpur Sahib by road networks as well. As per your convenience, you can choose to travel either by your own vehicle, bus, or cab.
From Jaipur, the bus fares start from Rs.700; from Ajmer, Rs.750; and from Udaipur, Rs.1,800.
Here is how you can reach here by the following means of road networks.
You can plan your trip and create your own route to the city with Adotrip’s technically driven circuit planner. Click here.