Indian culture is synthetic amalgam of diverse ideologies. The fairs are a living symbol of our culture life. The gay and vivacious Punjabis are very fond of fair or a festival. People of all communities come to participate in these fairs from far flung areas.
The important fairs of Jalandhar District are described below :
Hariballabh Sangeet Mela
The famous Hariballabh Sangeet Mela is held in the memory of the sant-musician, Swami Hariballabh. It is organised at Devi Talab near the samadhi of the saint from 27 December to 30 December every year. . It is attended by classical singers and musician of repute from all over the country. According to the finding of the Punjab University, Swami Hariballabh came from a rich family of village Bajwara of district Hoshiarpur. He renounced the world and became a disciple of Swami Tulja Gir who was initiated him into the art of music. He toughs great heights in classical music and his dhrupadhs were his master pieces. Besides, being a master musician, he was a good composer of new tunes in classical music.
He attracted a large number of admirers and disciples. One of his disciples was Pandit Tolo Ram, a brahmin of Jalandhar. Besides being a lover of music, Pandit Tolo Ram had a great organizing ability and on the death of his guru ,he put himself and his heart and soul to the service of the institution. He toured far and wide and collected funds for the mela. The advent of this great master on the stage of the Hariballabh became a place of pilgrimage for all top class magicians, without distinction of cast and creed. Heardly was there a classical singer of repute who did not visit the fair.
In 1956, a regular Sangeet Academy under the aegis of the Haribhallabh Sangeet Mahasabha was formed. The object of the Academy is to setup a centre in the Punjab for teaching and research in classical music. A syllabus has already been farmed and the teaching institution has been open with the objective of holding their own examination for award of diplomas and degrees.
The shrine is the smadh of Sh. Haribhallabh Bhai buld on the bank of the tank which goes by the name of Devi Talab. It is an unassuming single small-roomed construction in which has been place lingam (phallus) of Lord Shiva which is worshipped. The people come from distant place to enjoy Indian classical music. Admission to the samelan is free as also board and lodging during the day of the fair.
Harballabh Sangeet Samelan Website
The Fair of Baba Sodal
The fair of Baba Sodal is associated with Sodal, a small boy who came to be respected as a baby-God. The fair is held to commemorate his death anniversary at his smadh. The fair is held once a year in the month of Bhadon which roughly corresponds to mid-September. The celebration take place on the 14th of Shukal Paksh (bright half of the lunar month), the day on which child deity left for his heavenly abode. The fair lasts for one day./ in the early hours of the morning, women come in large numbers to make offering at the smadh.
The legend goes that Sodal was born in a family of Chadha clan of Khatri caste in Jalandhar City. It is said that one day the mother of Baba Sodal went to nearby pond to wash clothes. Despite her repeatedly asking to him to go back, he followed her. The mother lost temper and shouted at him, " Have you come here to die? Go and drown yourself in the pound." It is said that Sodal asked her three times to repeater words which she did. Sodal then plunged into the water never to appear again. According to another version, he simply fell dead on the spot ; according to still another version he transformed himself into a snake and bored himself into the earth.
The main place of worship is the smadh of Baba Sodal. In side the smadh, there is a painted portrait of Baba Sodal kept decorated with garlands and rosaries and is looked after by a separate priest. There is a pucca tank called ‘Baba Sodal-Da-Sarowar’. The offering at the smadh are distributed among the pilgrims and sprinkle a few drops on their body. Some have a dip in the tank.
Pilgrims of all religions come to fair from different parts of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. Among the pilgrims, females preponderate who seek blessing for children and general well-being of their families.