People Of Anandpur Sahib

By Sanjeev Nayyar [email protected] | 2014

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This collection showcases people that I met at Anandpur during the 2014 Hola Mohalla festival. Pics were taken during festival days. U see the very pleasant Pushpinder and Gagan who work with the Virat-e-Khalsa, the museum on Sikh history at Anandpur. Both of them work as Guides in the museum. To know more about the festival Click here

People from all over Punjab come for the festival, some in tractor trollies as you see others in trucks and youngsters on motor cycles. This trolley has two levels. Most people who come in tractors and trucks are farmers.

This lady was in a truck when I saw her. The truck was moving and I was virtually running to keep pace with it so that could click this pic.

On the main road in Anandpur saw hundreds of youngsters on motor cycles with flags as you see. Inspite of lots of traffic they tried to drive as fast as they could. Hola Mohalla is an occasion to show brute power (in man and machine) and display fighting skills. BULLET is the most favored bike.

This man had the biggest turban in Anandpur Sahib - u can hardly see his face.

Met a number of Nihangs (warriors). There was a huge open area where Nihangs had set up their tents, langars and doing prayers. Really liked this dashing Nihang with his Ray Ban glassed. Note tractors in background.

Hola Mohalla is also an occasion to sport traditional dress. At about 8.30 pm met this lovely group of children.

Close to Shri Kesgarh Sahib Gurudwara is the holy Sarovar where devotees come for a holy dip. It is quite a big sarovar may be as big as the one in Hari Mandir Amritsar. I met this very cheerful group. To see pics of Golden Temple Click here

After visit to the Sarovar was walking to Shri Keshgarh Sahib Gurduwara for darshan when saw this senior warrior sitting down quietly with bow/arrow and gun. I requested him to pose for a pic, he gladly did. U see aiming for a bird in the sky. When devotees saw me clicking he was suddenly noticed by all - it brought a smile to his face.

In the Holy Sarovar you see a devotee tying a pagdi to another. It was a like a matter of pride for the person tying .

Was in the open area that houses Nihang tents when met this group. Hola Mohalla is also an occasion to dress up like warriors, in full gear and traditional weapons. Spirit of people I met was that we are a brave fighting people.

In the same open area are another group of aging warriors. Loved the look on their faces - full of life and laughter.

Making Shardai a drink that keeps you cool and energized. Served free by many devotees across Anandpur.

On Hola Mohalla day this young man at Shri Keshgarh Sahib Gurduwara with a Mace, reminded me of Lord Hanuman. To chant Hanuman Chalisea - Click here

On steps of the Anandpur Sahib Gurudwara. These guys asked me to click, only too happy to make them happy.

Nihangs at Shri Keshgarh Sahib Gurduwara on Hola Mohalla day. Traditional Nihangs is what you saw earlier. I met a few people who dress like Nihangs and into fighting games but are from different backgrounds compared to traditional Nihangs.

Close to the langar in Shri Keshgarh Sahib Gurudwara met this group. The younger lady thought I wanted to click and sell her pic. How was I supposed to tell her that think she has a great smile.

In the main market met these colorful Nihangs - loved the look and style of wearing pagdis (turbans). Wish someone could enlighten what each style of wearing turban indicated!

Close to the langar in Shri Keshgarh Sahib Gurudwara met this aging warrior Baba Deep Singh. We ate food in the langar together and I got chatting with him there. He asked me to click and could sense that the aging warrior felt bad he was no longer noticed by other devotees.

These gentlemen ran a superb langar where I ate on day one. Matar paneer was the menu - loved it. They had come with lots of groceries in their truck, men cooked veggies whilst ladies made chapatis. A group of youngsters cleaned the utensils. Loved the bhavna (feeling) with which food was cooked and served.

Devotees also come to Hola Mohalla in their tractors like what you see. Festivity is in the air and happiness all around. Note the gentle smile on face of person driving the tractor.

I was walking down the road when got attracted by the hair cut and look of these boys. Note the Bullet bike in front - Hola Mohalla is about showing power in man and machine.

Amongst the most attractive bit during the Hola Mohalla festival are Nihang games. U see a Nihang with Gatka in hand (at Keshgarh Sahib Gurduwara) and making it fly in the air this time taking it thru his legs. Will be uploading a separate collection on Nihang Games.

Met this group in the Holy Sarovar. Young man on left was first shy to be clicked without shirt, a bit of talk about brawn and bravery of Punjabis and he was game.

Hola Mohalla festival ends with horse racing at Charanganga Stadium. U see me with an aging Nihang.

By one estimate there were atleast 500 langars during Hola Mohalla. U see men peeling onions - not the easiest thing to do.

On Hola Mohalla day at Shri Keshgarh Sahib Gurduwara met these colorful boys.

Again met this group at Shri Keshgarh Sahib Gurudwara. The group looked serious in pic one. I then asked whether by nature they were serious, not happy at being here. The result is for you to see.

On Hola Mohalla day a procession of Panj Pyare starts from Shri Keshgarh Sahib Gurduwara and then goes thru the town before ending at the stadium. It is a procession with different Nihang groups on elephants, horses and SUV''s. Nihangs enjoying the festival of colors Holi.

Met these smiling seniors in the garden of Virat-e-Khalsa the museum.

During the procession referred to in earlier pics met these group of youngsters - they were very active in warrior games at Shri Keshgarh Sahib Gurudwara. Shall show games pics separately.

Hola Mohalla festival ends with horse racing at Charanganga Stadium. U see youngsters blowing a Coonch.

At Charanganga stadium met this group of devotees who had come to watch horse riding and various Nihang groups.

Arms on display at Charanganga stadium. Love the looks of these young warriors.

Pani Puri or Gol Gappe is popular in the most parts of India barring perhaps South India. Found pani puris being sold even enroute to Naina Devi Mandir ie at 3315 feet above sea level. To see pics of Naina Devi Mandir Click here

U see me with a group of Nihangs at the Charanganga stadium. One on extreme left of pic is a Pharmacist. As I said these warriors are not the traditional Nihangs but excel at Nihang games nevertheless.

Saw many young children in Anandpur Sahib perform this way - attracted many devotees. To see pics of Royal Citadel Hampi click here

With a foreign devotee at the Charanganga stadium. To see pics of Children of Arunachal Pradesh click here

Group of traditional Nihangs at the Charanganga stadium. There were many group leaders who came for Hola Mohalla. Each leader came with his own group of warriors. To see pics of Shivaji Maharaj ka Raigarh Fort click here

What shall be part of my memory forever is the bhavna (feeling), love and sincerity with which food was cooked and served in the langars. U see a group of old ladies washing utensils on the road. To see pics of Maharaja Ranjit Singh Panorama click here