a) What is Hola Mohalla?
Holla Mohalla is a Sikh festival celebrated in the month of March. It is held annually at the grounds of the Anandpur Sahib Temple in Punjab. Hola Mohalla dates back to the year 1701, when it was started by the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, Gobind Singh,who at that time was battling the Mughal empire.On this three-day festival mock battles are held followed by music and poetry competitions. Colorful processions are organized, Sikhs; especially the Nihangs (members of the Sikh army that was founded by Guru Gobind Singh), dressed in their traditional martial costumes form part of the pageant. The Nihang Sikhs carry on the martial tradition with mock battles and displays of swordsmanship, artillery (ancient cannons are fired), archery and horse riding. They perform daring feats, such as Gatka (mock encounters), tent pegging, bareback horse-riding and standing erect on two speeding horses.
b) How do I get there?
All international flights land at Delhi International Airport.
From Delhi, our guests have the option of taking a connecting flight to Chandigarh or getting there by private taxi.
c) How long is the ride?
It is a five day ride excluding arrivals and departures. One day is spent exploring the Hola Mohalla festivities on foot at Anandpur Sahib.
FOOD AND ACCOMODATION
a) What is the food like?
We prepare our meals from scratch using authentic ingredients and fresh seasonal produce. Our team endeavors to add another dimension to your cultural experience through the food we serve. If you have any special dietary preferences, please let us know in advance.
b) What is the accommodation like?
Accommodation is a mix of tented camps, Heritage fort Palaces and Jungleresorts.Our Tented Camps are pitched in beautiful natural surroundings where you can enjoy the peace and calm of nature.The tents are spacious with very comfortable beds. The camp is already pitched by our team when you arrive. You can immediately relax with a cup of tea. Dinner and drinks are served around the campfire.
You will also have the opportunity to stay in Centuries old royal forts which are still inhabited by the original royal families. These forts reflect theexquisite architecture of Northern India. These royal forts are unlike anything you have experienced before.
c) What is the weather like?
March is an excellent time to visit Punjab, the weather is lovely.Temperatures vary between 24 Cto 34C and makes for good riding.
a) What riding experience do I need for this safari?
Our rides are geared towards people who have some riding experience.Guests are expected to be able to canter comfortably and control a horse in open terrain at all paces. The ride can be adapted for less experienced riders that allow for a slower pace and less time in the saddle per day.
If NON-RIDERS wish to accompany the tour, alternative activities can be organized for them and on most days everyone can meet up for mid-day meals.
b) What is the terrain like?
Traveling in the foothills of the Himalayas we will see panoramic views of the Shivalik hills. We ride through meadows and country lanes which are full of flowers and scents. The villages are straight out of a fairytale, all higgledy-piggledy, clustered on and around the slopes upon which they were built. The beauty of this ride is accompanying the river as it grows in size and function. There are beautiful high cliffs on the sides of the river which have been eroded and etched into impressive battlements by rain and waterfall. The ride concludes at Anandpur Sahib where the Hola Mohalla festivities are in full swing.
c) How long will we be riding each day?
We will be covering a distance of 25 -30 km each day.
You can look forward to enjoying four to six hours in the saddle every day.
We will be break for lunch and a light siesta so that we are fully rejuvenated for our evening ride.
d) What kind of horses will we be riding?
We will be riding the indigenous Marwari horses of India. The Marwari is the original warhorse of India. In olden times, you had to be of noble birth to ride a Marwari. These horses are characterized by their crescent shaped ears, calm temperament and hardiness.
The Marwari can only be found in India and the government has restricted the export of this noble breed.
a) Do I need a visa?
Most visitors to India require a visa. These are easily obtained from the Indian embassy in your home country and must be organized before your journey. Please check with them about how long they take to process and the costs.
b) Do I need insurance?
Each guest is advised to buy a travel and health insurance suitable to their needs.
c) Do I need any vaccinations?
Please consult your personal physician for up to date advice on your travel plans
d) What do I need to pack and wear?
Please pack comfortable riding clothing and gear as you will be spending quite a lot of time in the saddle.