ANANDPUR SAHIB, INDIA - MARCH 13: Lakhs of devotees and Nihangs visited Anandpur Sahib and Kiratpur Sahib during the Three-day Hola Mohalla festival to pay their obiesance at various gurdwaras including Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib on March 13, 2017 in Anandpur Sahib, India.(Photo by Sanjeev Sharma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
ANANDPUR SAHIB, INDIA - MARCH 13: Lakhs of devotees and Nihangs visited Anandpur Sahib and Kiratpur Sahib during the Three-day Hola Mohalla festival to pay their obiesance at various gurdwaras including Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib on March 13, 2017 in Anandpur Sahib, India.(Photo by Sanjeev Sharma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

The Revolutionary Hola Mohalla Warriors Festival, Punjab

Hola Mohalla Warriors Festival

Hola Mohalla is a 3-day grand Sikh festival where the Sikh Nihang warriors of Punjab participate to exhibit their esteemed martial arts prowess. The word ‘Hola Mohalla’ stands for the “charge of Sikh Nihang warriors”.

The Hola Mohalla festival is celebrated on the day after Holi, on the first day of the Lunar month of Chet (the first month in the Nanakshahi calendar) which usually falls in March.

hola mohalla anandpur sahib

The Nihang warriors are members of Khalsa army, also known as crocodiles of Punjab, their dauntlessness and martial art spirit are the main attraction of the Hola Mohalla festival.

The magnificent and vibrant procession of Nihangs in their traditional panoply of blue robes and dumala, participate to display their gatka spirit (the Sikh martial art sword dance), chakar spinning, horsemanship, swordsmanship, tent-pegging, and other war-like sports.

Even the kids of all ages participate in the skillful display of martial arts and bravery. The festival also includes kirtan and poetry competitions followed by free langar (free traditional food) which is served to the people visiting Anandpur Sahib.

Hola Mohalla Warrior
Hola Mohalla Warrior

The Hola Mohalla was started by the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh in 1701 as a practice of military exercises and mock battles.

The Guru was defending the Sikhs from the Mughul attacks and the attacks from Hill Rajputs. Since then, the grand annual festival is being held at Anandpur Sahib in Punjab. Sikhs all over the world also celebrate this festival locally in whichever place they live.

The Hola Mohalla emphasizes the audacity, dexterity and readiness of the Sikh warriors against any dangers to their community.

Remembering their Gurus, the Hola Mohalla warriors show off their tremendous amount of courage and warrior spirit towards protecting the Sikhs from all sorts of threats to the community. Hola Mohalla is a great tribute to Guru Gobind Singh.