Fateh Diwas (Bandi Chhor Divas) in Amritsar (2014)

Fateh Diwas (Bandi Chhor Divas) in Amritsar (2014)

Fateh Diwas is celebrated each year the next day after Diwali (also known as ‘Bandi Chhor Divas‘) festival at a ground behind Shaheed Ganj Gurudwara near Amritsar Railway Station. We visited via Cycle Rickshaw during the afternoon hours.

Golden Temple to Shaheed Ganj Gurudwara (Islamabad road) we paid Rs. 30 Cycle Rickshaw fare.

Nihang organizations from all over Punjab visit in large numbers with horses, elephants, and vehicles to participate in the celebration. We met Malkeet Singh – a Nihang from Kapurthala (Punjab). Even women are Nihangs known as Singhani.

Upon query about the event, Malkeet Singh shared the knowledge as follows:

We all know the Indian Army and its grand parade during Republic Day. Just like that, the ‘Khalsa Fauj‘ parade is held the next day after the Diwali festival to celebrate the return of Guru Hargobind ji from Gwalior fort to Amritsar. Fateh Diwas was started after 1699 by Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj. It is also known as ‘Akal Purakh ki Fauj.’ Akal means Parmatma i.e., God.

Nihangs were provided with five kakaars.
1. Kada 2. Kachhera 3. Kesh 4. Lakkad da Kanga 5. Kirpan

Nihang is having various meanings, but a few are:
– The one who is not proud
– The Warrior

The celebration was about to start. Malkeet’s wish was to leave to join. Thank you very much – said I. Knowledge enhanced.

The celebration started at 2 pm and continued till late evening hours. Nihangs with their traditional weapons and horses display martial art as well as horse-riding skills. A few Nihangs I saw standing straight over one or two running horses. Amazing skills. All I can say is it was my first experience of such a traditional celebration. One should visit once to watch.

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