3rd March – 5th March, 2018

The foothills of the Shivaliks in Ropar district of Punjab’s north-eastern region, especially around the historic townships of Anandpur Sahib and Kiratpur Sahib, have, since 1701, been playing host to Hola Mohalla. Hola Mohalla is an annual fair that is held at Anandpur Sahib in Punjab on the day following the festival of Holi. Anandpur Sahib is one of the most important sacred places of the Sikhs and is closely linked with their religious tradition and history. The  practise of holding a fair of this kind was initiated by Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh guru. The purpose of the fair was to physically strengthen the Sikh community by holding military exercises and mock battles.

Anandpur Sahib is easily accessible from Chandigarh. Hola Mahalla is a Sikh Olympics event which begins on the first day of the lunar month of Chet in the Nanakshahi calendar. It most often falls in March, and sometimes coincides with the Sikh New Year. The festival is celebrated for three consecutive days, in which members of the Sikh community display their physical strength by performing dare-devil acts like bareback horse-riding, standing erect on two speeding horses, Gatka (mock encounters), tent pegging et  For meals, which is an integral part of the Sikh institution (Gurdwara), visitors sit together in pangats (Queues) and eat vegetarian food of the Langars.The event concludes with a long, military-style procession near Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib, one of the five seats of temporal authority of the Sikhs.

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