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Devotees and political workers flock punjab's Anandpur Sahib for Hola Mohalla festival
Thousands of devotees thronged to the Sikh holy town of Anandpur Sahib on Wednesday to take part in the Hola Mohalla festival of Sikhs turning the place into a sea of humanity. The three-day Hola Mohalla celebrations coincide with the Hindu festival of Holi but end a day after Holi. The final day of the 'Hola Mohalla' festival is the most eventful day of the festival.

Hola Mohalla is an annual fair organised on a grand scale at Anandpur Sahib in Punjab on the day following the festival of Holi that was initiated by Guru Gobind Singh Sahib - the tenth Sikh Guru. Hola Mohalla is marked with a long, military-style procession near Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib, one of the five seats of temporal authority of the Sikhs.

Often events get carried on for a week in which people enjoying various displays of fighting prowess and bravery, and listening to kirtan, music, and langars or community meals. The Nihang Sikhs known in blue traditional robes and dumala are prominent participants at the Hola Mahalla festival.

For Nihangs, it is an occasion to demonstrate their martial skills in simulated battles. They demonstrate daring feats, such as Gatka, tent pegging, bareback horse-riding, standing erect on two speeding horses and various other feats of bravery with weapons.

Since Guru Gobind Singh Sahib subscribed for 'Piri and Miri', the leading political parties of Punjab like the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal, BJP, opposition Congress and  Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) are organising their respective political meetings, conclaves and conferences on the occasion.

Addressing a gathering at Hola Mohalla, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Wednesday declared that the Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal would not be allowed to be constructed and called on the party workers to make supreme sacrifices for Punjabis' legitimate rights over the river waters.

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