Jor Mela Gurdwara Kandh Sahib is celebrated at GurdwaraI Kandh Sahib, situated in the middle of Batala Town of Gurdaspur Distt. This Gurdwara is famous because the marriage of Guru Nanak Dev (founder of Sikh religion) took place at this location.
Guru Nanak Dev married Bibi Sulakhni, daughter of Mul Chand, a Chona Khatri, in 1487 at Batala. The ceremonies were planned in the form of a grand affair as Bibi Sulakhni was the daughter of a revenue official. Guru Nanak refused to be married according to the prevalent rites. As he was a reformer, he suggested a simpler wedding ceremony. The Brahmins resisted and Mul Chand Chauna, would be father in law of the Guru, refused to marry his daughter to Nanak according to any other rites. He even threatened to send the wedding party back. On the other hand Bhandari family of Batala offered to marry their daughter to the Guru if Mul Chand broke his daughter’s engagement to the bridegroom.
A discussion took place between the Brahmins and Guru Nanak. Guru Nanak was given a seat near a crooked decaying mud wall which was about to fall. The idea was to bury Nanak under the mud wall by giving it a little push.
However an old lady informed the plan to Guru Nanak. The Guru smiled and proclaimed that the wall would not fall for centuries. He further said that the wall would remain intact as a witness of his marriage Centuries have passed. The wall (Kandh) still stands intact, shielded in glass, within Gurudwara Kandh Sahib.
Ultimately, the Guru and Bibi Sulakhni took four rounds of the sacred fire instead of the seven prescribed.
Devotees from across the country visit the town and pay obeisance in the Gurdwaras related to Guru Nanak Dev. Devotees from Australia, Italy, Canada, England and Germany also come in large numbers to visit the Gurdwaras to pay obeisance. Around three lakh devotees come to the town to participate in the religious ceremonies of the Jor Mela.
The community kitchens remain active round the clock during these celebrations. People regardless of religious affiliations establish these community kitchens for the devotees. Langars (community kitchens) are established all over the town to offer traditional food and sweets to the devotees to mark the marriage anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, known as Babe Da Viah. People from all walks of life are seen distributing eatables and gifts to devotees.
The marriage party of Guru Nanak dev left Talwandi village (Nankana Sahib) now in Pakistan,for Sultanpur Lodhi in Kapurthala district of Punjab (India) and from this place it went to Batala. Bibi Nanaki (sister of Guru Nanak) and Jairam (brother in law) joined the marriage party at Sultanpur Lodhi. Nawab Daulat Khan Lodhi had sent his elephants and horses to add color to the marriage procession.
A three day gala festival is held every year to celebrate the anniversary of Guru Nanak’s marriage. On the first day, the baraat (marriage party) of Guru Nanak Dev is celebrated in the form of a nagar kirtan (religious procession). The procession starts from Gurdwara Ber Sahib of Sultanpur Lodhi.
People wait for the arrival of the baraat at Ammo Nangal village, near Batala to extend it a traditional welcome. Women sing marriage songs in a traditional manner to welcome the baraat (marriage party). The baraat is served traditional delicacies.
To welcome the baraat, a show of firework is presented at the time of arrival of the baraat.
The marriage party stays at Gurdwara Satkartaria Sahib on the first night.
On the second day, the baraat (marriage party) of Guru Nanak Dev starts in form of Nagar Kirtan from Gurdwara Dera Sahib, Situated at the back of Gurdwara Kandh Sahib. It passes through the markets and popular spots of the town.
The Nagar Kirtan led by palki (palanquin) and Panj Piaras (five beloved ones) halts at various gurdwaras of Batala.
The residents of the town showered flower petals on the procession from rooftops of their houses.
The devotees show Gatka (martial art) skill during the procession.
The residents also tie sehra (bridegroom’s veil) to the Palki (palanquin). The barat returns at Gurdwara Dera Sahib late night.
On the final day, the Ballad Singers and Gurbani kirtanias lend religious fervor to the ambience while the devotees pay obeisance at gurdwaras Kand Sahib, Dera Sahib and Satkartaria Sahib. All these Gurdwaras are associated with Guru Nanak Dev.
About 500 devotees are baptized evry year to mark the occasion of Babe Da Viah.