A visit to Anandpur Sahib & Celebrating Hola Mohalla Festival
Sikhism is a very important religion of India which emphasizes on remembering their god (Gurus) everytime. In India you will find many Sikh temples also known as Gurudwaras where devotees visit and pray to God. Sikh people believe in sharing and helping which i think is a very nice quality. You will see many volunteers helping in Gurudwaras. Many Sikh temples also serve free food to everybody irrespective of their caste, gender and religion. If you ever visit any gurudwara make sure to have Langar(free food) and take god’s blessings. In India there is a Sikh temple known as Anandpur Sahib Gurudwara which is one of the most prestigious temples of India. People from all faiths are welcomed here and I was very interested to visit there with my family. So last year in 2019 we decided to visit this religious place in March. Anandpur Sahib is a sacred town for every sikh and Gurdwara Anandpur Sahib is the main attraction why people from all across the world visit there. The temple is huge and surrounded by lush greenery which brings calmness in the atmosphere. Once you enter this place, you will feel very peaceful. The beautiful white colored architecture and the spiritual aroma was simply perfect. Everybody has to remove their shoes and cover their head before entering the temple, especially in the Main Hall. The temple was crowded at that time as there were many devotees and I was really impressed because the astounding energy and spirit of the people was commendable and I was really amazed to see it. I saw people volunteering in the kitchen , cleaning the temple, providing water etc. When I entered the main hall, we heard the melodious prayers. Then we sat , closed our eyes and listened to Gurbani(Prayers) for some time. Ananpur Sahib is a town where you can find many Sikh temples and some of the most famous are Gurudwara Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib,Gurudwara Sisganj, Gurudwara Thara Sahib and more. We did not have much time so we only visited Anandpur Sahib Gurudwara.
We planned our visit to Ananpur Sahib in March because we wanted to be part of the three day long Sikh festival known as ‘Hola Mohalla’. It is a special occasion for all the Sikhs to display their martial arts and wrestling, turban tying etc and it is not surprising to say that it is the Sikh Olympics. It is a very big festive event held after or sometimes during the Holi festival and the participants stay there for a week and enjoy camping and demonstrate their bravery and also listen to Kirtan, music and poetry. My family and i really wanted to know about this festival because this festival is not only about physical excellence but also has equal cultural and religious significance. I stayed at Anandpur Sahib for two days only but my experience was heavenly. Not only the sikh community but I also saw some adventurous tourists who participated in the festival. For me, some of the most impressive displays were turban tying, horse riding ,sword-fighting and singing competition. The whole atmosphere was so joyful and vibrant because there were so many activities to do and see. After the completion of the tasks, participants and other people also played Holi with colors and rose water. The Hola Mohalla is very colorful yet a unique form of celebrating a festival. Not only the competitions, cultural programs and rituals were going on, Free food was also provided to everybody by the volunteers. I also volunteered there and provided free food to and I felt so happy that I couldn’t even explain. I enjoyed many local dishes of Punjab there as well that were so delicious. I love the Holi festival and getting a chance to celebrate it in the most religious place was great.
I would suggest you visit Anandpur Sahib at least once in your life and if you have time then do visit there in March and witness the special kind of Holi celebration with lots of exhibitions and festive events. People celebrate it with great enthusiasm that you will also feel that joy and power inside you. My trip to Anandpur Sahib was unforgettable and I would really love to revisit there again during the festival and take part in the poetry competition. So if you are interested to know about the culture and tradition of Sikhs then there is no better place and occasion than the Hola Mohalla festival.