For the first time since Independence, the famous Chamliyal Mela has been cancelled by the administration.
The 198-km-long International Border has always been tense, but the recent sniping incident by Pakistan Rangers at Chamliyal post has led to cancellation of the 320-year-old congregation at the dargah of Baba Dalip Singh Manhas, known as Baba Chamliyal.
A day after an almost hour-and-a-half-long flag meeting between BSF and Rangers at octroi post in Suchetgarh sector, the Samba district administration cancelled the annual mela scheduled to be held on June 28, 2018.
Deputy Commissioner Rajinder Singh said, “We cannot trust Pakistan this time and put the lives of lakhs of people at risk. So, it was decided that no fair will be organised this year.”
Four BSF men were killed in cross-border firing by the Rangers at Chamliyal post on June 12, 2018. The BSF and Pakistan’s Chenab Rangers handle the fair and help people receive the “sharbat” (holy water) and “shakkar” (holy soil), considered to have healing properties.
Baba Chamliyal Mela
The district administration keeps in consideration the constant increasing rush of the devotees and has made detailed preparations for the Mela which includes medical facilities, traffic regulation, drinking water facility, additional buses and security arrangements to control the rush of devotees. The district administration also arranges an exhibition which highlights the programmes and schemes being executed by different departments.
At this juncture, sweets are also distributed to start the annual festivity of the Mela of Baba Chamliyal. Thousands of pilgrims stand on either sides of the border to see a glimpse of the ceremony of offering of a Chaddar to the officers of BSF by the rangers of Pakistan to lay this Chaddar on the Dargah of the Baba Chamliyal. The administration and officers of BSF distribute the sharbat and shakkar to the thousands of pilgrims who eagerly waits for these things on the either side of the border.
Description of the Baba Chamliyal Mela in Jammu
This divine Baba Chamliyal Mela is being celebrated since last 320 years on either sides of the International boundary. The BSF for India and its anti-type Pakistan’s Chenab Rangers mainly handle the yearly fair and helps people on both side of the border to receive the sacred ‘Sharbat’ and ‘Shakkar’, which are considered to have healing properties against different skin ailments. Each year in the village of Saidanwali on the Zero line of the Pakistan side, people arranges a 3 days Mela and wait for sacred ‘Sharbat’ and ‘Shakkar’ of the Dargah of Baba Chamliyal.
As pilgrims from Pakistan are not permitted to cross the border of India and Pakistan, every year they assemble at the Saidanwali village, situated on the international boundary. Before the war between India and Pakistan in the year 1971, Pakistanis were permitted to visit India’s side of the boundary, but now the border police called Pakistani Rangers are permitted to take part in the fair and they offers Chaddar on behalf of the Pakistani populace.
It was reported that Mela Chamliyal is organized to commemorate Baba Dalip Singh Manhas each year in the month of June in the Chamliyal village on the border of Indo – Pak which is nearly 42 kms away from Jammu. The exceptional feature of this fair is that Baba Chamliyal is honored by people on both the sides of the international boundary. People of all religious conviction come to the shrine as a large crowd during the celebrations. A gathering of the BSF and the Ranger of Pakistan is organized on this day at the international Border. The Rangers of Pakistan presents chaddar for the Dargah of the Baba. Populace from other states such as Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan come in a large number to pay respect at the shrine.
Time for the celebration of the Baba Chamliyal Mela
The Mela called Baba Chamliyal Mela is usually celebrated on the fourth Thursday of June every year. People from different state of India like Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan etc. come to the Holy Dargah of Baba Chamliyal to show their gratitude at the Shrine and also to enjoy the Baba Chamliyal Mela. Different stalls of Agriculture, handlooms, Horticulture, Animal husbandry, handicrafts, and the stalls of social welfare and employment departments are installed there at the Mela compound to make people alert about the plans which are put into practice by the various departments.
Baba Chamliyal Dargah and Mela
The holy Dargah of Baba Chamliyal is nearly 320 years old. It is located at the Village known as Chamliyal on the Indian side of the border which is nearly 42 kms away from Jammu. A Mela is organized every year on this Dargah which is popularly called Baba Chamliyal Mela. People from either side of the border take part in this Mela. This Mela is organized for three days.
How to Reach
The state of Jammu is well connected with the rest of the country by air, rail and road
Airport of Jammu is well linked with all the major airports of the country, such as, Delhi, Srinagar and Leh. Various airways companies provide regular flights to all the major cities from Jammu. Flights from Amritsar to Delhi link all the main three terrains of the state – Ladakh, the Kashmir Valley, and the Jammu terrain. Cabs and Taxis are easily obtainable outside the airport to reach the Chamliyal village which is 42 kms away.
Jammu is well linked by bus services. It is associated to all the neighboring cities via private buses which include Manali (Rs 1,500), Amritsar (Rs 900), Shimla (Rs 1,500), Ludhiana (Rs 1,200) and Delhi. The distance from Delhi to Jammu is nearly 684 kms and tourist buses charge nearly Rs 2,000. By road one can easily get to the Chamliyal village where the Mela is organized.
The main railway station in the state of Jammu is the Jammu Tawi. It is associated to all main cities of India like Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Chennai and also to the southern most railway station of Trivandrum. Cabs and Taxis are easily obtainable outside the railway station to reach the Chamliyal village which is 42 kms away.