All About Mairi Mela at Baba Vadbhag Singh Ji

The HOLA MOHALLA FAIR is held once a year at Mairi Dera Vadbhag Singh ji on the full Moon day in February-March.The fair lasts for ten days. The fair is attended by those persons who or whose relatives are possessed by evil-spirits, Depression or who seek protection against similar malign influences.

Treatment of Mentally Ill, Depressed, Schizophrenia at Baba Vadbhag Singh Ji

The afflicted persons, called ‘dolis’, are seated in rows while bell-metal-platters and drums are beaten to charm the evil spirits. During the drumming, the dolis who continue tossing and swaying their heads about are made to inhale the odour of some burning incense. A number of methods are adopted to torture the evil spirits till they do not agree to leave the body of the afflicted person. And then at that stage the spirit is asked to proceed to ‘dhaulidhar’ to which it agrees. The spirit is then questioned whether it has reached there and sees Baba Vadbhag Singh with a cage. When the spirit replies in the affirmative, it is asked to enter into the cage and to request Baba Ji to shut the cage. All this over, the afflicated person is seen to have made the recovery.

What Happens at Mairi Mela at Baba Vadbhag Singh Ji

Every visitor who attends the fair, pays obeisance at the shrine of Baba Vadbhag Singh besides taking a holy bath at the water fall known as ‘dhaulidhar’ or ‘charan ganga’ especially on the full moon–day.

The pilgrims/devotees take the sacred water of the water fall home as well.

Every third year, a 50-foot-long trunk of a pine tree with a girth of 4-5 feet is selected and is stripped of its bark. Before being raised on the occasion of Holi, it is washed with curd and water. Next, yellow and vermilion silk scarves offered by devotees are tied along its length to cover it. It is then draped thrice over with silk, and decorated with coins, betel-nuts, multi-coloured scarves and balloons. At such times when the standard is changed, devotees consider it a great fortune to receive fragments of the old habit.

Devotees coming to the mela camp at Mairi for days and spend nights singing to the accompaniment of the drum and tongs. Many sway rhythmically to the beat of the music. Men and women — mostly it’s the latter — sit or stand fixedly with their long hair swishing about as they swirl round their heads with ever-increasing bursts of energy. This trance-like state continues for hours after which it is all serenity. They are then supposed to have rid themselves of evil spirits.

The Mairi Mela is, on the one hand, indicative of faith of countless people in a tradition, and on the other, it is a symbol of amity and devotion..

Hosting of Jhanda Sahib at Mairi Baba Vadbhag Singh Ji

The most important ceremony at the shrine is the hoisting of the flag ‘Jhanda Sahib’ as the flag is called in reverence. It is done on the full moon day of Phalgun.

The old Jhanda Sahib is de hoisted after recitation of supplication. The devotees try to obtain a piece of the old cloth or various other articles attached to the dehoisted ‘Jhanda Sahib’, such as cowrie shells, betelnuts, coins etc., the possession of which is regarded as a boon. A young pine tree which may be as tall as 70/80 ft., and whose trunk measures 4/5 ft. in diameter is earmarked every third year to serve as pole for the ‘Jhanda Sahib’.