Anandpur Sahib is the location where two of the most important festivals are celebrated: Baisakhi-the birth of the Khalsa and Holla Mohalla- display of the Sikh Martial Arts. The town is particularly associated with the Guru Tegh Bahadur and Guru Gobind Singh.
This was followed by a presentation by Sikh Scholar Gurinder Singh Mann who explained how the town was founded and the significance it held for Sikhs. He discussed the importance of Holla Mohalla and as well as discussing the literary pursuits undertaken by Guru Gobind Singh and his Kavi’s at Anandpur. Mann showed specimens of manuscripts written there as well as discussing relics of the Khalsa at Takht Keshgarh Sahib.
Holla Mohalla is one of the busiest festivals of the Sikhs. The vigour and martial exploits has been captured by Author and photographer Astrid Harrisson. She explained how she had visited Holla Mohalla and was amazed at the colourful displays of the Akali Nihangs. As a result she was taken to photograph the breath taking displays of Shastar Vidya and Tent Pegging. She stated that it was a privilege to capture the Akali Nihangs and the warmth extended by the Sikhs to let her see the wonderful festival of Holla Mohalla.
The contributions highlighted by the panel showed the importance that Anandpur Sahib holds in history but also in the present time. With the right collaborations and input from Sikhs across the world the Foundation aims to put Anandpur Sahib on the world map.