Hola Mohalla is Punjab’s biggest annual fair which is celebrated every year at Anandpur Sahib immediately after Holi. A festival which epitomizes the spirit and valour of Punjab, Hola Mohalla has earned the stature of a National Festival as well in the year 1996. The festival gives pilgrims and visitors a chance to bask in the glory of Punjabi spirit, Sikh religion and Punjabi courage. It is one of those unforgettable Punjabi festivals which reflect the dedication & heroism of Punjabi community and Punjabi way of life.
History – Hola Mohalla gets celebrated in Anandpur Sahib on the day following the festival of Holi. The practice of Hola Mohalla was started by Sh Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the tenth Sikh guru. The festival is celebrated for three consecutive days; each day the participants can witness rare display of physical strength by Sikh warriors. It has been beleievd that Guru Gobind Singh rechristened the Holi festival as Hola Mohalla and used the festive occasion to indulge his forces in martial arts and the art of warfare. In those days, Guru Sahib made his Sikh warriors, Nihangs, to form two groups and engage in mock battle which was like a practice of war for them.
What all make Hola Mohalla so very special –
Three days of energy & enthusiasm; there is so much excitement you would want to be a part of.
- Shining swords and long spears in the hands of warrior Sikhs.
- Conical turbans and twirled-up moustaches of Nihangs
- Daredevil acts by Guru di laadli Fauj; acts like bareback horse-riding, standing erect on two speeding horses, Gatka (mock encounters), tent pegging etc
- Music and Poetry competitions
- Kirtans and Langars
- The last day procession which is led by Panj Pyaras. This processions starts from Takht Keshgarh Sahib, one of the five Sikh religious seats, and passes through various important gurdwaras like Qila Anandgarh, Lohgarh Sahib, Mata Jitoji and terminates at the Takht
So next time, make sure to visit Sri Anandpur Sahib to cherish Hola Mohalla!