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Tourism: The Festival of Holla Mohalla

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From SikhNet:

Nihangs Display Martial Valour

14 lakh pay obeisance at gurdwaras

Kiran Deep

Tribune News Service

Nihangs hold a procession to mark the Hola Mohalla festivities at Anandpur Sahib on Saturday. — Tribune photo by Manoj Mahajan

A magnificent display of martial art skills by thousands of Nihangs in a procession led by horsemen and Nihangs on elephants marked the last day of the Hola Mohalla festival at Anandpur Sahib here yesterday. Dressed in blue, Nihangs exhibited battle skills with traditional weapons on the roads of the holy town.

Nearly 14 lakh devotees from India and abroad paid obeisance in different gurdwaras of the holy town during the three-day celebrations.

The march past by 13 different groups of Nihangs armed with swords, rifles, “katara†and “barcha†began from their respective deras at about 11 a.m. After demonstrating their performance in streets of the towns all their way, the groups converged at the Gurdwara Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib at about 2 p.m. Nihangs as young as four-year-old to above 60 years old were seen exhibiting their skills with swords and performing gatka.

The main event of festival a procession of all groups of Nihangs, includes the Budha Dal, and the Tarna Dal, proceeded from Gurdwara Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib about 3.30 p.m. The march was delayed for about one-and-a-half hour following security reasons. Nihangs followed this on horses, cars, jeeps, trucks and buses. Besides exhibiting their skills, the Nihangs also sprayed colours on all people on their way. The devotees considered it as blessing from the Guru. The procession passing through different gurdwaras ended at the Charan Ganga river. Thereafter, the groups exhibited martial art skills on horses in the stadium.

“The third day of the festival belongs to the Nihangs. Guru Gobind Singh started the tradition in 1701 to train his forces for the war. Since then, the festival has been celebrated with great fervour in the town, said Nihang chief of the Shiromani Panth Akali Budh Dal Balbir Singh.

“We get up at 3 a.m. After reciting Guru Granth Sahib, we take four hours to dress up in the traditional way,†said three Nihangs who were the main attraction of the procession — Major Singh (35-kg turban), Kulwant Singh and Khardul Singh (25-kg turban each). The three Nihangs led the procession of the old faction of the Nihangs Budha Dal.


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jathedar or not jathedar..

I respect bhai sahib balbir singh bold step in support of operation blue star and for shaheeds.

may not agree with his claim of being jathedar of budda dal aspect.

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