Monday, 05 March 2018 | PNS | Dehradun-
Devotees from different States and abroad have started arriving here for the historical Jhanda Mela set to start on Tuesday. According to the organisers of the historical fair, as on Sunday evening a large number of devotees were arriving here from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and other parts of the country. This year, it is estimated that about 10 lakh devotees will arrive in Dehradun for the Jhanda Mela, according to the Jhanda Sahib Mela committee. The pole of the main flag this time is about 90 feet tall.
On Sunday, the Durbar Sahib mahant Devendra Dass greeted the crowds of devotees who have arrived for the occasion. He also issued necessary directions to the devotees and organising committee for successful organisation of the ceremonies and fair. The Mela organising committee manager KC Juyal said that special arrangements have been made for the meals, lodging and health services for the visiting devotees. Arrangements have also been made for them at the Sri Guru Ram Rai (SGRR) schools at Bindal, Bombaybagh, Matawalabagh, Raja Road and various dharmshalas in the town.
The task of stitching the cover for the Jhanda Sahib flag pole picked up pace on Sunday. Three layers of covers are draped over the flag pole including 41 plain covers in the innermost section, 21 covers over the bottom layer and one main (Darshani) cover on top. Adequate security arrangments have also been made for the occasion. A temporary police post has also been set up in the area. The police in charge Ashok Singh Rathore and CO city, Chandramohan Negi inspected the Mela area on Sunday. The temporary police post will start functioning here from Monday and will have one inspector, four sub inspectors and 30 to 40 police personnel according to the requirement. Five vehicles of the fire service will also be deployed in the Mela area. The fair’s organising committee has installed about 40 closed circuit television cameras in the area to keep an eye on the activities and help prevent unwanted activities. Further, five metal detector entries and ive hand-held metal detectors have also been arranged for. In addition to this, a team of doctors and support staff from the Mahant Indiresh hospital will also be present at the Mela site from Monday in order to provide necessary medical services to the devotees.
It is pertinent to mention here that the Jhanda Mela is also believed to be connected to the foundations of the present day Dehradun town. The mela is linked to the history of the city. It was in the month of March, on the fifth day after Holi, in the year 1676 that Ram Rai and his followers reached the area where the city is now located. The day of arrival was also Ram Rai’s birthday. Son of the seventh Sikh Guru Har Rai, Ram Rai fell from grace when he performed miracles in Aurangzeb’s court and deliberately misinterpreted lines from the Adi Granth supposedly to please the Mughal emperor.
Pleased by Ram Rai’s performance, Aurungzeb had become his patron and one of the emperor’s friends, the then king of Garhwal- Fateh Shah had allotted some land in the Doon valley to Ram Rai. Removed from the line of Sikh Gurus, Ram Rai decided to establish his “dera” or camp here- hence the name of the town that grew up around the camp- and soon began to expand with the large number of devotees of Ram Rai who began arriving in large numbers from Punjab.
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