India Tour in Punjab with Hola Mohalla festival
A tour of India to discover the Sikh Heritage festival of Hola Mohalla in Punjab and Shekhawati, the region of the painted havelis. Witness the glory of Khalsa at Hola Mohalla Sikh Festival in Anandpur Saahib where millions of Sikh meet to celebrate a historical event at the day of Holi. They perform martial arts and other traditional activities in the stadium and around the temple. Then move towards the city of Golden Temple, Amritsar, and other main cities of Punjab. The tour will en in the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan, known for its colourful houses called havelis. Once, this area was the part of the Silk Route and is now a real open air museum. An experience of three beautiful faces of India.Read more
A tour of India to discover the Sikh Heritage festival of Hola Mohalla in Punjab and Shekhawati, the region of the painted havelis. Witness the glory of Khalsa at Hola Mohalla Sikh Festival in Anandpur Saahib where millions of Sikh meet to celebrate a historical event at the day of Holi. They perform martial arts and other traditional activities in the stadium and around the temple. Then move towards the city of Golden Temple, Amritsar, and other main cities of Punjab. The tour will en in the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan, known for its colourful houses called havelis. Once, this area was the part of the Silk Route and is now a real open air museum. An experience of three beautiful faces of India.
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the railway station to board the train to Chandigarh. Leave for Chandigarh by Kalka Shatabdi Express (07.40/ 11.05hr). On arrival, visit the Rock Garden, a rare scenario, which cannot be equated with anything else. The garden is put up with the urban and industrial wastes. This wonderful artwork is the innovative creation of Nek Chand, a former Road Inspector in Chandigarh. Molded in the form of an open-air exhibition hall, Rock Garden is spread over an expanse of 64 acres. Later, leave for Anandpur Saahib (90km/ 01:30hr). On arrival in Anandpur Saahib, check-in at the hotel. Dinner at the hotel.
Early breakfast at the hotel. Full day excursion to Anandpur Sahib to witness Hola Mohalla celebrations. Anandpur Sahib is one of the most important shrines of the Sikhs. The historic Gurudwara witnessed the birth of the Khalsa 300 years ago and has continued to be the venue for significant religious and political gatherings.
It was on the 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. Anandpur Sahib comes to life every year on the occasion of Hola 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 colour 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 devotees from all over the country for a festival of colour and gaiety. The Nihangs (members of Guru’s army) in their colourful 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. Evening back to the hotel for overnight.
Breakfast at the hotel. Leave for Amritsar. On arrival in Amritsar, check-in at the hotel. The city of Amritsar is a glittering showcase of compound traditions and secular culture. A thriving city with important devout centers and historical sites, Amritsar exhibits a glorious past, magnificent present and a hopeful future. A synonym of Sikh religion, every pious Sikh desires to take a pilgrimage to Amritsar and to have a divine bath at the Golden Temple.
A visit to Amritsar is supposed to cleanse the soul of the pilgrim. Dinner at the hotel. After dinner, attend “Palki Sahib” ceremony at the Golden Temple at 21:30 hrs. Every night, the Granth Sahib is carried in procession along this bridge to its “bed” in the Akal Takht, the seat of the Sikh parliament (built 1609).
Called the Palki Sahib, this nightly ceremony provides a chance for all male pilgrims and visitors to actively participate in the veneration of the Holy Book. Lines form in front of and behind the heavy palanquin and each man shoulders the burden for a few seconds before passing it along, forming a human conveyer belt that allows everyone to participate and everyone to rest. The ceremony usually takes place at 11pm in summer at 9:30pm in winter. Overnight in Amritsar.
Breakfast at the hotel. Sightseeing tour of the city visiting the Golden temple, Durgiana temple and Jallianwala Bagh. Optional lunch at the community kitchen ‘Langar’ at the Golden Temple. The holiest abode of the Sikhs all over the world, the Golden Temple at Amristar is popularly called as the Sri Harmandir Sahib. The idea behind this sacred shrine was conceived by Guru Arjan Sahib, who himself designed the structure of the temple.
A Muslim saint,Hazrat Mian Mirji from Lahore, laid the foundation of the Golden Temple on 1st December, 1588. The holy abode of goddess Durga in Amritsar, Durgiana temple resembles the golden temple in its structural design. It is considered as one among the holiest temples in the city and it dates back to the 16th century. Intricately carved paintings of goddess Durga in her various incarnations are the significant feature of this marvelous shrine.
Jallianwala Bagh is a sprawling memory of the great tragedy, which evokes the patriotic spirit in every Indian. It was here, that the worst massacre in the entire history of the Indian struggle for freedom took place in the year 1919. To commemorate the murder of the innocent people a memorial was constructed at the site of the gruesome bump off.
Late afternoon excursion to Wagah border to witness the ‘Beating the Retreat’ Ceremony. The international borderline between India and Pakistan, Wagah is always been in the news headlines of both countries. Convoluted buildings, barriers and roads mark both sides of the border. The fencing between the borders is electrified with a high voltage. Evenings in this army outpost are very charming and colourful with the “Beating the Retreat” ceremony. The pageantry and pomp, and the change of guard within a short expanse make an appealing spectacle, which grabs large gatherings. Return to the hotel. Dinner and overnight.
Breakfast at the hotel. In the morning leave for Bhatinda visiting Shri Tarn Taran Sahib temple and Gurdwara Tilla Baba Farid at Faridkot enroute. Arrive at Bhatinda and visit the Bhatinda Fort. Later check-in at the hotel. Dinner at the hotel.
Gurudwara Tilla Baba Farid is an old building located near Qilla Mubarak, Faridkot. It is an important place of worship for Sikhs in the country. Many travelers and devotees visit this place. Every Thursday followers of Sikh religion offer prayers and pay respect to the great Sufi Saint, Baba Farid. Shabad Kirtan (Sikh Sacred Music) is rendered and Langer (community kitchen, which serves food for all, started by Guru Nanak) is served every day to the devotees and tourists who visit this place.
It is believed that Baba Farid (the Great Sufi Saint) meditated here for 40 days before proceeding to Pakapattan. A sacred piece of wood is preserved here. It is believed that Baba Farid wiped the piece of wood with his hands and covered it with mud.
Tarn Taran Sahib Gurudwara was founded by the fifth Sikh Guru Shri Guru Arjan Dev Ji (1563– 1606). He laid the foundation of Sri Tarn Taran Sahib Temple. In 1947, the year of the partition of India and the partition of Punjab, Tarn Taran was the only tehsil (district) in Punjab along with Shiekhupura, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Hoshiapur, Kapurthala, Amritsar, Lyallpur, Patiala with a majority of Sikh population. The city was the center of the Sikh insurgency during the 1980s and early 1990s. Tarn Taran Sahib was suggested as the capital of Khalistan, the proposed Sikh independent nation.
The main occupation in this area is agriculture and agroindustry with very few other industries. Tarn Taran district was formed in 2006. The declaration to this effect was made by Captain Amrinder Singh, Ex-Chief Minister of Punjab, during celebrations marking the martyrdom day of Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji. With this, it became the 19th district of Punjab. It is believed that Rao Bhatti established the modern town of Bathinda in the Lakhi jungle area in the third century, and it was captured from him by the Brars. Bala Rao Bhatti inhabited the city in 965 AD, naming it Bhatti vinda after his surname. The city also remained the capital of Raja Jaipal. Later the name of the city was changed to Bhatinda. It is now known as Bhatinda.Overnight in Bhatinda.
Breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast, leave for Alsisar visiting enroute Agroha and its temple of Agrasen. On arrival in Alsisar, check-in at the hotel. Dinner at the hotel. Three thousand years back, Agroha was the kingdom of Maharaja Agrasen. The Agroha Mound is situated about 1.5 km away from the present Agroha village. Buried under this mound are the remains of the ancient town. Its excavation was started in the year 1888-89. It was at this time that people came to know about this great kingdom.
Agroha is situated in the district of Haryana and in it lie buried the ruins of the capital of the Agroha State. The ancient Agroha town existed some hundred years before the Kushan dynasty. Once the state was renowned for its prosperity. As time passed it could not stand the invasions of Greeks, Yavanas and Hunas. The invasions led to the migration of Agroha residents to other parts of India like Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Malwa.
The people got the common name of Aggarwals meaning "people from Agroha". From the excavations it is clear that below the mounds existed a big, well planned and progressive town. Large number of silver and bronze coins of different shapes and sizes have been discovered from the excavated site. The scripts on the coins prove that they belong to different periods. Statues made of stone and sand were also excavated from the sites. Utensils belonging to the 2nd century BC were also found.
Sheela Mata Shakti Mandir is a temple of Tri-Shakti. Tri-Shakti means “the three powers” and combined together refers to three Goddesses: Maha Durga,Maha Laxmi, and Maha Saraswati. The three powers also represent the cosmic energy of the three forms of the supreme God. They indeed are the female aspect of the same forms of the God. The temple was constructed with red stone. It has been designed on the Rajasthani Architectural pattern. The main architect for the temple was Mr. Harshad Chavda from Ahmedabad. The main dome of the temple is 85ft above the ground. Under the main dome is the Madhi of Sheela Mata. In the Main Temple Complex idols (Murtis) of Ma Durga, Ma Laxmi, and Ma Saraswati are placed. In addition there are 4 smaller temples built around the main temple. Overnight in Alsisar.
Breakfast at the hotel. In the morning Gangiasar village of Qaim Khani Muslims. Qaim Khanis Muslims are muslim rajputs. Khem khanis trace their lineage to the Hindu Rajput Prince Karam Chand who was converted to Islam by the orders of King Firoze Shah Tughlaq along with two of his brothers. Prince Karam Chand was re-christened Qaim Khan. The Khemkhani Rajputs are descendents of Qaim Khan. Later visit the painted havelis of the region. After the visits, return to the hotel. Dinner at the hotel. Overnight in Alsisar.
Breakfast at the hotel. In the morning leave for Nawalgarh by surface. Afternoon: Visit the painted havelis of the region. Return to the hotel after visits. Dinner at the hotel. Nawalgarh is a town located in the Sekawati region and the town is known for its many havelis that are located in most places around the town. The havelis are built on a large scale and one can see many frescoes and paintings on them. The town is one of the few places where many of these are still very well preserved. Overnight in Nawalgarh.
Breakfast at the hotel and leave for Delhi by surface. Arrival in Delhi. Dinner and transfer to International airport to board onward flight.(Post tour accommodation and transfer can be arranged if required).