|Keshgarh Sahib bedecked at night; pix by Kanwardeep Singh Narula
While the sounds of shabad reverberated 24X7 at the quiet little town of Anandpur Sahib, the grounds of SGS Khalsa Senior Secondary School there had another sound—the neighing of horses and clang of polo sticks. Clad in blue and saffron tees, white polo pants and breeches, six men mounted their horses to play the first ever Arena Polo competition held during the Holla Mohalla celebrations there.
It was the Sodhi Kishan Singh Memorial Polo Cup organised by Anandpur Sahib Heritage Foundation. A polo player of international repute, the Chairperson Sodhi Vikram Singh has begun his journey to popularise the rich history of the sacred town. “The polo competition is one of the many things to get people to know what my hometown offers,” says Singh who belongs to the 15thgeneration of Guru Ramdas, the fourth guru of the Sikhs. Sodhi Kishan Singh was Vikram’s grandfather.
|Sodhi Vikram Singh in Blue, pix by Kanwardeep Singh Narula
Anandpur Sahib is the place where the brotherhood of the pure, khalsa, was born. It is during the Holla Mohalla when the armies of Skih, Nihangs, as the warriors are called, are felicitated. Guru dee fauj, karegi mauj, is how the people of Punjab refer to them. Weapons, bhang, langars, the town is hub during these three days. And in sync with this are the kabbadi and wresting competitions organised by Ananpur Sahib Sport Club UK.
Tallking more about polo, the participating teams on day one were British Airways Anandpur Sahib Polo Team (Blue) led by Sodhi Vikram Singh and Hyatt Regency, Ludhiana, Delhi Polo Team (Saffron) led by Col Pandher. On the second day, there were three participating teams- Anandpur Sahib Heritage Foundation Polo Team (Blue), Hyatt Regency, Ludhiana, Delhi Polo Team and the British Airways Jaipur Polo Team (White). The third day of the tournament had British Airways/ Anandpur Sahib Polo Team (Blue) and Hyatt Regency- Ludhiana/ Delhi Polo Team (Saffron) fighting for the trophy. The winner was the Saffron team.
|The game continues; pix by Kanwardeep Singh Narula
The Anandpur Sahib Heritage Foundation will organize its second edition of SKS Memorial Polo Cup on 4,5,6,7 and 8 March, 2015 during Hola Mohalla with added cultural features to entertain and engage the people of the holy town so as to infuse pride in the traditional heritage of Punjab.
Things to explore in Anandpur Sahib
Virasat-e-Khalsa—the museum housing the strong culture and life of the Sikhs
Naina Devi temple
A walk around the canal
And visit to the many gurudwaras there—Keshgarh Sahib, Sis Ganj, Anandgarh Sahib and more
You can drive down to the Bhakra and Nangal dam
What is Hola Mohalla?
How to reach Anandpur Sahib
Take a train or drive down from Delhi to Anandpur Sahib
Or you can reach Chandigarh by bus, air or train and drive down to Anandpur Sahib