Gugga ji and Gugga-Jatra in Mandi Community
Posted on 11-12-2023 03:57 PM

Gugga ji and Gugga-Jatra in Mandi Community

Gugga ji and Gugga-Jatra is an interesting cult tradition in Mandi community. The tradition has faded away over time but do have signs of its existence that are still in practice. Surely, mandials will like to know why our ancestors may have adored guggaji and adopted the tradition of so called Gugga-jatra.

Gugga Ji Maharaja was a popular Rajputana King in Rajasthan and his followers are all over north India. Gugga ji also called as Gugga Vir or Gugga rana or Gugga jaharpir was a great warrior and healer of several life threatening ailments. It is believed that Gugga ji, Nar Singh, Bhajnoo, Ratnoo and Nila Ghora were born on the same day with the blessings of Guru Gorakhnath in royal house of Chauhan kings in around 12th century A.D. All of them are regarded as the manifestation of Guru Gorakhnath with inborn divine powers bestowed on them and are revered as the Panch Vir i.e. the brave pentad. (Read more:

by O.C. Handa).

Most of the folklores in north India eloquently believed that Panch Vir could bless with a son in family, eliminate all diseases, and cure from snake bite. Worshipping Panch Vir or merely touching by their insignia (chhari-an iron rod, sangarh-an iron chain, mor pankh-a peacock feather or offering of a rot-type of big sweet bread) could fulfill the wish and lead to miraculous results. As such folklore established Panch Vir idols or their insignia shrines called “Guggamedi” to worship and pay their homage to Lord Gugga ji.

The cult of Gugga ji was introduced in the hills from Rajputana around the beginning of 17th century, when many Khatri families too are believed, have migrated to Mandi town under the hostile conditions in their homeland. While the community was settling in a new place, they faced several health problems especially related to child birth/survival and their cows/horses. In view of the scarce health facilities, the cult of Gugga ji offered best solution to these problems and overall health benefits.

Over time, once their wish was rewarded, the obligatory homage and group visits by family members to Guggamedi on child birth or marriage in the family and other important occasions turned into celebratory processions, later so called as “Gugga Jatra”. The tradition became a permanent ritual in Mandi community and has been continuing till this day.

Also, as per oral history Gugga ji’s birth date was celebrated as “vir panji” which falls on nawami tithi of bhadon month post festival of raksha bandhan. During the interim period people used to sing devotional ballads/folksongs and roam about seeking offerings to conclude on nawmi tithi of bhadon and celebrate Gugga fair for next three days. People also opened their rakhis on this day and offered to Lord Gugga ji as an assurance of protection from any harm and take his blessings. The festival is hardly in practice at present.

Several Mandi chowki homes have guggamedi abodes in the form of Panch Vir idols or their associated insignia of chhari or sangarh to offer their prayers and seek eternal happiness for the family. Related topic to read-

Research & Compilation: Dr. Pawan Vaidya & Mr. Vinod Behl, Mandipedia-7/2023

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Reviews Add your Review / Suggestion

25-12-2023 09:29 AM
Such an interesting facet of the golden days in mandi. This may seem superstition to some but this was the way of life during those days.
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