Jhanda Fair

India is a land of fairs, festivals, feasts and festivities. These fairs and festivities are religious, cultural, national, commercial and educational etc. They are of many kinds. Most of the fairs are based on religion. On special festivals, people get together in thousands and lakhs and sometimes in crores, of their own sweet will without any invitation. There is no corner of our country which is devoid of annual fairs. One of the famous fairs of the Northern India is the Jhanda Fair of Dehradun. This fair begins on the fifth day of Chaitra (fifth day from the Holi), the birthday of Shri Guru Ram Rai Ji. Besides being the birthday of Guru Maharaj, it is also considered as the day of his arrival at Doon. In Samvat 1733(1676 AD) on that very day, the great occasion was celebrated in his honour and since then the Jhanda Ji is hoisted on that day every year to commemorate his sacred memory.

Large groups of devotees of Shri Guru Ram Rai Ji Maharaj come from the Punjab, UP, Haryana, Delhi and other states of india and also from abroad-some on foot-to Dehradun a few days before the raising of the Jhanda Ji. These crowds consist of men, women and children of all age groups and are called the Sangat. On Ekadashi, the Shri Mahant of Shri Guru Ram Rai Darbar Sahib goes to the banks of river Yamuna at Raianwala (Haryana) which is 45 kilometres away from Dehradun to invite and welcome the Sangat. The flag mast is also sent from the Darbar Sahib. The Sangat is brought to Dehradun with great love and regards and the arrangement for their boarding and lodging is done by the Darbar Sahib. Devotees arrive in groups of thousands and lakhs from various states. They do not come only from the Punjab but also from other districts of various states. Besides Dehradun, the followers of traditional Hinduism (Sanatan Dharm) also come from Saharanpur, Roorkee, Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Bijnore, Moradabad, Bareilly etc. and from various places of Uttaranchal. In the year when the 'Kumbh' or the 'Ardh Kumbh' is held in Haridwar, the crowd in the fair swells and the number of hermits and saints also increases. Saints are also served with food by the Darbar Sahib. The Sadhus who sit near the lighted fire (Dhuni), are provided with firewood too. The arrangement for their stay is done at Laxman Park.