Hola Mohalla Sikh Festival – 5 days Tour Anandpur Sahib Punjab
Head north to the Punjab and attend the amazing Hola Mohalla Sikh Festival in Anandpur Sahib! Experience magnificent displays of horsemanship and exciting mock fighting (Gatka), witness the tremendous colors of the Sikh faith, including the stunning blue and orange blend of the Nehang Sikh Army.
Dates – 10 – 12 March 2020
Hola Mohalla Tour Details
Day 1: Delhi
Welcome to India! Arrive into New Delhi and be transferred to our hotel. The remainder of the day can be spent at leisure exploring India’s capital. Overnight – Delhi
Days 2 – 3: Holla Mohalla at Anandpur Sahib
Delhi – Kangar Village. After breakfast on day 2 we climb aboard the Shatabdi Express train north to Chandigarh, passing through the picturesque state of Haryana which is blessed with lush green scenery and beautiful lakes and rivers. Upon arrival in Chandighar we are driven to the tranquil Kikar Lodge in Kangar Village. This is our base for the next 3 nights, while we attend the prestigious Hola Mohalla festival in the nearby holy city of Anandpur Sahib. Hola Mohalla is an annual 3 day festival which occurs during the first lunar month of Chet.
We spend the remains of day 2 and day 3 at the Holla Mohalla Festival, where we’ll witness all the colorful festivities which include dramatic mock martial arts battles (known as Gatka), impressive displays of weaponry, archery and wrestling. There’s also music, poetry and prayers, singing and chanting, while food is served to pilgrims from all castes and creeds by women from the neighboring villages, who set up langars (community kitchens). This is impressive and humbling to watch as regardless of caste, all Sikh’s sit together.
There are also exciting horse riding displays from the Nahib Sikh Army where the riders gallop bareback, performing tricks like riding astride two horses. One of the main attractions at the festival are the Nehangs – a prestigious armed Sikh order who wear a striking blend of blue and orange, with twisted moustaches and staggeringly giant embellished turbans. Any keen photographers will have a whale of a time here with all the amazing sights and vibrant colors on show. Overnight – Kangar Village
Day 4: Kikar
Today is yours to spend at leisure. Anyone who wants to return to the Hola Mohalla Festival can do so, or there are plenty of other forms of entertainment. The lodge is surrounded by nature trails for any keen walkers and wildlife is here in abundance. Sporting activities include volleyball and badminton and there’s the opportunity to take a leisurely buffalo cart or tractor ride. Overnight – Kangar Village
Day 5: Delhi
Kangar – Chandigarh – Delhi. Today we travel back to Chandigarh and explore its wonderful Rock Garden. This unique attraction displays numerous sculptures made entirely from industrial and urban waste. Look out for sculptures made out of mudguards and marbles, broken bangles and brake pads or even handle bars and hubcaps! Next we head over to Sukhna Lake. This picturesque manmade lake is 3 km in length and is very popular with water sports fans and is a great place to relax and unwind. Early this evening we travel by train back down to Delhi.
Once back in Delhi we are transferred back to the airport for onward journeys. Tour end.
If you are coming to India for the first time, have a few more days available then you may consider adding a Golden Triangle Tour of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur to the above tour plan for a rich experience. This is the best option because the 3 cities have unique past, forts, palaces and museums which offer a unique insight into the past.
Day 6: Old Delhi
This morning meet you guide and the any members of the group who are starting their tour in Delhi at the Welcome Meeting. We’ll then enjoy a full day sightseeing tour of Delhi, taking in the impressive Red Fort, Jama Masjid – India’s oldest and largest mosque, Raj Ghat – the site of Gandhi’s cremation and more. Tonight, we enjoy a group Namaste Dinner at a restaurant specialising in classic Indian cuisine. Overnight – Delhi
Day 7: Taj Mahal
Delhi – Agra. Departing Delhi, we journey to Agra, once India’s Mughal capital. Here, we take a motorised buggy to the legendary Taj Mahal. Built entirely of white marble, the Taj Mahal has no peers. Continuing, we visit Agra fort, which boasts some of India’s finest Mughal buildings behind it’s fortified walls. Overnight – Agra
Day 8: Agra
Agra – Jaipur. En route to Jaipur, we visit the ghostly former Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri, abandoned due to lack of water. We enjoy lunch at Udai Vilas Palace in Bharatpur, before taking a walk through the nearby rural village Peharsar. In Jaipur, we visit a cotton trading/tailor shop where you can get clothing tailored for delivery to your hotel before we leave! Overnight – Jaipur
Day 9: Jaipur
Maybe opt for an early morning balloon flight over the pink city of Jaipur. Look out for the snake charmers that dot our route, as we travel to the 16th century Amber Fort. An exotic elephant ride transports us to the lofty fort, where we’ll enjoy a tour of this Rajput extravaganza. Later in the afternoon we tour the City Palace, which boasts an interesting museum of regal attire and Jantar Mantar, an ancient astronomical observatory. Overnight – Jaipur
Day 10: Village life, rural India
Jaipur – Surajgarh/ Shekhawati region. Today, we drive to the semi-desert Shekhawati region. The small towns in this region became important trading posts, a lasting legacy of which are the beautiful painted havelis (mansions) constructed by wealthy merchants in the 18th and 19th centuries. Afternoon village walk and time to relax. Overnight – Surajgarh
Day 11: Surajgarh to Delhi
Shekhawati region – Delhi. Returning to Delhi, the latter part of the afternoon is free for you to relax or independently explore more of Delhi. Overnight – Delhi
Day 12: Delhi
Saturday. Hotel check out and included onward departure transfer to airport.