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Baba Sodal Mela, Jalandhar

Baba Sodal Mela is one of the most important fairs in Punjab. It is organized in Jalandhar City to pay homage to Baba Sodal, a great soul. Jalandhar is one of the most important cities of the north Indian state of Punjab. Each year, the fair is organized in the month of Bhadon (September). The fair particularly takes place on the 14th day of Shukal Paksh . This fair attracts thousands of pilgrims from all over the country, who come and pay tribute to the deity on this day. This fair is held for one day, during the early hours of the morning at the Samadhi of Baba Sodal, Jalandhar. It is a well-known religious fair, which is attended by the numerous pilgrims especially women. There is a holy tank nearby the Samadhi, which is called the 'Baba Sodal da Sarovar’. Pilgrims sprinkle the holy water from this tank on themselves.

History

Baba Sodal was a member of Chadha clan of Khatri caste born in the city of Jalandhar. There are various stories associated with him. One of the stories goes that when he was a small boy he always used to follow his mother to the pond where she did washing clothes. One day his mother was going to a nearby pond to wash clothes. Sodal started following his mother, despite the mother repeatedly asking him not to do so and asked him to go back, but he didn’t went back. His mother gets angry and shouted at him and he got scolding from her. His mother was such angry that she said to him Go and drown yourself in the pond. The boy asked her mother to repeat the same words three times and the mother did it. After this, he jumped into the pound and never reappeared.
By hearing hue and cry of mother people gathered. After Relentless search there was no sign of the boy.It is said that the child appeared in the form of holy snake and declared his farewell from this mortal world. The people started worshiping the child in a avatar of a snake. It is believed by the people of the city of Jalandhar that Sodal was blessed with divine powers and they celebrate his death anniversary with full dedication and excitement every year.

I am feeling lucky because this year i was also there with my friends to enjoy this fair. Though the main event was observed only for a day, devotees visited the city a week in advance to pay their obeisance to the child deity known to fulfill wishes of childless couples.  This mela had a special attraction for children as many amusement items such as different kinds of rides. The entire locality around the temple was immersed in lighting amid playing of religious hymns on loudspeakers for the last few days. Many individuals, social and religious organisations had put up stalls of free community kitchens for the devotees coming from far-off places and standing in long queues since morning. The “smaadh” of the child deity, which is the sanctum sanctorum, was embellished with garlands and rosaries. Prayers were offered here by the pilgrims who waded through the waters of Baba Sodal-da-Sarowar or the tank situated beside the “smaadh” and took a dip in the holy water to complete their pilgrimage.

Security

The district administration had made ample arrangements to control the sea of devotees visiting the shrine from the last few days. Adequate police, medical, civic and fire safety arrangements were put up in place to deal with any exigency during the fair. The police had deployed more than 1100 constables to ensure the fair is celebrated without any disturbance. A map plan of the traffic was also had been designed for the devotees for their access to the temple. People from all walks of life and religions come here with their families and take blessings from Baba Sodal.

How to Reach

This place is very near to the Devi Talab Mandir and is well connected with road and Train. The place is hardly 2 KM from Railway Station and 5 KM from Bus Stand.
India is a holy land of fairs and festivals. Thousands of such events are celebrated in form of sacred gatherings and with different rituals.