Hola Mohalla – Saddle of Self Reflection

Hola Mohalla – Saddle of Self Reflection

Today, 17th March 2014 is the the day of Hola Mohalla celebration.


Holi, the Indian festival of colors becomes Hola Mohalla in Punjab. Hola being the masculine representation of Holi and Mohalla implies an organized procession.


Holi is celebrated across India by throwing colors at each other to celebrate the victory of good over evil, associate with the mythological story of Prahlad and Hirnayakashyap.  It also signifies the coming of spring season.


In Punjab the significance and meaning of this festival changes altogether. On the day of Hola Mohalla, a large scale annual fair is organized at Anandpur Sahib in Punjab on the day following the Holi festival. From the time of the 10th Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh, the community gets together for three consecutive days to display their martial spirit.


During the festive celebration of Hola Mohalla, which I witnessed in the year 2013, Nihangs (Sikh military order, dating back to 17th century) riding their horses as they were one with them, reminded me of Saint Kabeer’s saying on self-reflection.


Resting the Consciousness on the saddle of self-reflection, leveraging the stirrups of intuition to balance and striking with the whip of love, Kabeer rides the soul to a state of liberated living.


On saddle of  self-reflection,

and stirrups of intuition, placed my feet.

grasped the reins and attached the bridle;

I rode through the skies.

so let me ride you to heaven.

If you hold back, I shall strike with whip of love.

Says Kabeer, remain detached to be the best rider.

                                                                             Adi Granth, page 329


Such simplicity of words, connecting the Self with the activity of horse riding. This is the beauty of Saint Kabeer.


The sense of liberated living could be felt in the energetic expressions of Nihangs riding their horses at high speeds, while performing acrobatics on the horse backs.


Click first photo below and scroll to view series in slide show.


  1. Parmeet

    Id love to goto holla mohalla one day. Youve done an amazing job capturing it.

  2. Beant Kaur Khalsa

    these photographs are the most sharpest i ever saw in moving action… Blessings, that you let us seen the unseen… Waheguru ji ka Khalsa waheguru ji ki fateh!

  3. Bahadur singh

    i felt happy and proud. thank you

  4. Nice Pictures and truly pro.Nihangs are keeping the military traditions alive.Stirrings of soul,used as Metaphor for horse-riding is aptly brought out through the hymn of the Saint Kabeer(page 329 of Sri Ad Granth).Thanks for posting.

  5. Manpreet Singh

    These are amazing, I am sure you must have clicked many, can you please share those ?
    Regards and Gurfateh

  6. Harbans Khakh

    Beautiful photos of a martial tradition…. Reminds me of a very old ode of a Nihang Singh taking leave of his wife before riding off into battle to defend his homeland…

    ” Wagaan chhad de hanjhooan waaliye ni,
    Pair dharan deh mainu rakaab utthay.
    Mere desh tey vairiyan bheerh paiyee,
    Dushman paiay ni tut Panjab utthay…
    Jekar jiyunday jee main parat aaya,
    Lakhaan Rab de shukar manaa chhaddeen,
    Jekar jang wich main shaheed hoya,
    Mere putt hath teg phrhaa chhadeen!”

  7. No words can describe the beauty of these pictures. Captures the spirit perfectly. Well done Sir!

  8. Once again Amardeep you have produces exquisite photos. Wonderful and so colorful.
    Sat Nam;

  9. Mohindra Chadha

    Very Impressive!!
    Beautiful pictures and so well embellished with words from Kabir.

  10. Ravinderpal Kaur


  11. Rajinder singh

    Presented the facts very professionally and described it perfectly.


    Keep it up.

    Guru Ang Sang


  12. Surupa Chatterjee

    These moving images were like portraits in motion of an old tradition kept alive through the Nihangs and through your vibrant mastery over the art of taking photographs…..Educative, Informative, Reflective and Enthralling…..You are getting better with every shot…..

  13. adarsh

    Excellent, gives a feel of being a part of it….very well captured n very well depicted.

  14. Mr. Milkhasingh Hukumsingh Bedi

    To learn the purpose of celebrating Holi Festival

  15. Sandeep

    Amazing work Amardeep. Thanks for sharing/ capturing our heritage in these beautiful pictures.

  16. These are breath taking pictures. Awesome Job!

  17. Nice action pictures

  18. Very Smart & Professional Click


  1. The Importance of Holla Mohalla in Sikh History | Daily Sikh Updates - […]   Below article published by: Amardeep Singh Photography […]

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *