has a number of historical Gurudwaras, with a backdrop of Naina Devi Hill. On
the day following the festival of Holi, devotees flock to Anandpur Sahib, to
participate in the Hola Mohalla celebrations, re-enacting Sikh battles of yore,
with ancient arms and weapons.
About 85 kms
north-west of Chandigarh, district Ropar (Rupnagar) Punjab-India.
Mohalla At Anandpur Sahib
Mohalla : This tradition dates back
to the times of the 10th Guru, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji. The Guru
decided that the occasion of the festival of Holi, fun and frolic and color
splashing, be the occasion for the display of the martial spirit of his people
and he gave this festival of Holi a more masculine name of HOLA MOHALLA. Each
year Hola Mohalla marks the congregation of lacs of devotees from all over the
country for a festival of color and gaiety. The Nihangs (members of Guru's army)
in their colorful attire are the greatest attraction for the people visiting the
Hola Mohalla. In deep blue robes with saffron girdles, high conical turbans
decorated with steel rings, flowing beards, twisted moustaches, the nihangs
enact mock battles on this occasion armed with spears and swords. Their army
halts at many places to show off their art of fencing, tent-pegging and jousting
to thousands of people gathered from all over the country at Anandpur Sahib on
the occasion of Hola Mohalla.
Baisakhi 1999 at
Anandpur Sahib had been significant as it marked the completion of 300 years of
the Birth of the Khalsa. It was on Baisakhi day in 1699 that Sri Guru Gobind
Singh Ji baptised the ‘Panj Pyaras’ at Anandpur Sahib at the place where Takht
Sri Kesgarh Sahib stands.
Having purchased the dune of Makhowal from
dowager Rani Champa, wife of late Raja Deep Chand of Kahlur-Bilaspur State, the
9th Guru of the Sikhs, Sahib Sri Guru Teg Bahadur had laid the
foundation of a new town on the 19th June, 1665. He called it Chak
Nanki after the name of his mother.
Quietly, the Chak had
grown into a poverty free, self sufficient and a progressive State within the
Mughal State of India. Run on the basis of divine principles of love and
liberty, it became a heaven for the people oppressed by the fanaticism of
Emperor Aurangzeb. On 25th May, 1675, tyrannized Kashmiri Brahmins
under the leadership of Pandit Kirpa Ram came here to seek solace and salvation
and the greatest Arabic and Persian Hindu scholar of the time Bhai Nand Lal Goya, who had also served as a tutor to the sons of Emperor
shelter at Sri Anandpur Sahib when threatened with forcible conversion. It is
widely believed that the name of Chak Nanki was changed into Anandpur Sahib by
Sahib Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
The miseries of the
Kashmiri Brahmins and others had prompted the ninth Guru to offer a martyrdom
unique in the annals of the world for upholding humanity's right to freedom of
Historical Importance At Sri Anandpur Sahib
Residence of Sri Guru
Teg Bahadur inherited by Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji; the sahibzadas- the holy sons
of the tenth Guru were born here.
There is an underground room cut off from the din of life where the ninth Guru used to meditate.
GURUDWARA THARA SAHIB
The ninth Guru used to
deliver sermons from this raised platform. There is place to mark the spot where
the Kashmiri Brahmins came to seek protection.
In November, 1675, the
martyred head of the ninth Guru which was heroically brought by Bhai Jaita (
Bhai Jiwan Singh after taking holy nectar according to Sikh rites in exultant
defiance of the Mughal authorities was cremated here,
After cremation of the holy head of his father, followed by a prayer to
the Almighty, the tenth Guru had rested here with his relations and
GURUDWARA DAMDAMA SAHIB
The tenth Guru was given the Guru
Gaddi, here. It was from here that he
had declared the end of the institution of the Masands-the priestly agents of
the former Gurus.
GURUDWARA MANJI SAHIB
received their education and military training at this spot. Military exercises
were also rehearsed here.
GURUDWARA TAKHT SRI KESGARH
In 1699, on the
occasion of the festival of Baisakhi, Guru Nanak's mission was fulfilled by the
tenth Guru, Sahib Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji, when, through baptism of the
double-edged-sword the Sikh was consummated as the Khalsa-Saint Soldier- in
direct commune with the Guru and God. Still more astonishing is the fact that
the Guru had got himself baptised by the Panj-Pyaras, the five beloved ones, who
had offered him their heads to uphold Dharma - the righteous cause.
FORT SRI ANANDGARH SAHIB
This fort with a deep
well was built in the year 1686. It was attacked several times by the combined
forces of the hill chiefs and local Mughal officers and every time the attackers
were put to flight, In 1704, however, when the Rajas of Bilaspur, Kangra, Kulu,
Mandi, Nurpur, Guler, Chamba, Jammu and Garhwal, in tandem with the Mughal
Governors of Delhi, Lahore and Sirhind attacked Anandgarh, although the Fort
held out, but for lack of ration and ammunition the inmates were reduced to dire
straits. When the besieged Khalsa insisted and the enemy vowed safe passage, the
fort was vacated. Since the vows were not kept, the exodus from the fort spelt
disaster in which the tenth Guru's four sons, several intrepid warriors and
financial and literary treasures were lost.
was Sri Anandpur Sahib's Armoury, weapon manufacturing factory and martial
sentinel that acquired a colourful hue on the day of Hola-Mohalla.
Stood guard over the highways which connected Sri Anandpur Sahib to
Sirhind and Lahore in the north and to Delhi in the south.
Kept watch over the
hill states. This fort was built to prevent any attack from the side of the hill
State of Bilaspur.
Places On The Margin Of Sri Anandpur Sahib
It is 11 kms on Sri
Anandpur Sahib-Ganguwal route leading to the State of Himachal Pradesh. On
25th January, 1686, the tenth Guru's wedding to Mata Jito Ji was
celebrated here. Two almost pinhead springs still functional, were pierced by
the tenth Guru by lancing the rocky mountains.
Not far from
Holgarh Fort. Mata Jito Ji was cremated here.
BHAI GHANAIYA JI: HIS BAOLI /
Across the now almost
dried up rivulet Charan Ganga and below the Taragarh hill, Bhai Ghanaiya Ji had
anticipated the RED CROSS almost two centuries before its formation in
the modern times. He used to render first aid to friends and foes,
alike-something unknown in the world, then.
Sahib is the mainstay from where the stormy defence was put up to maintain
liberty from the prejudiced slavery of the Mughals and their tributory chiefs of
the surrounding hills.