Dulla Bhatti Festival: Lohri is traditionally a special festival associated with the sowing and harvesting of crops. This time this festival will be celebrated on 14 January 2023. This is a major festival of North India, which is celebrated with great pomp, especially in Punjab and Haryana. On this day (Lohri 2023), people gather at a place in the evening and light a fire and roam around it. Apart from this, the story of Dulla Bhatti (Punjab Ke Nayak) is heard making a circle near the fire. On this day, listening to the story of Dulla Bhatti has special significance. But do you know why the story of Dulla Bhatti is heard on the day of Lohri and what is the significance behind it? If not, then let’s know about this story.
Dulla Bhatti – ‘Dacoit’ to ‘Robinhood’
Pindi Bhatti is the place where Rai Abdullah Khan was born in 1547 in the family of Laddi and Farid Khan, whom the world now calls Dulla Bhatti. He was a Muslim Rajput. Four months before his birth, Humayun killed his grandfather Sandal Bhatti and his father Farid Khan. The skins of both were stuffed with wheat hay and hanged outside the village of Bharwa in order to instill fear in hearts of rebels. The reason behind their killing was that they refused to pay the tax to Mughals. Continuing the glory of ancestors, Dullah Bhatti became the Robinhood of that era. Akbar considered him a dacoit. He with his partners used to loot goods from the Akbar’s zamindars and soldiers then distributing them among the poor.
Dulla Bhatti – Punjab Ke Nayak
The story of Dulla Bhatti is especially heard on the day of Lohri. It is said that during the time of Akbar in the Mughal era, a person named Dulla Bhatti lived in Punjab. Dulla Bhatti was born, as Rai Abdullah Khan Bhatti, in a Muslim Rajput family to mother Ladhi and father Rai Farid Khan Bhatti and grandson of Rai Sandal Khan Bhatti in the area of “Sandal Bar” in “SandalWal” modern day Pindi Bhattian now in Pakistan (Sandal Bar is also related to the legend of Mirza Sahiba). It is said that in Sandal Bar girls were being sold to rich merchants. Dulla Bhatti had protected the girls of Punjab at that time. Dulla Bhatti had freed the girls from rich merchants and got them married. Since then, Dulla Bhatti has been honored with the title of hero and every year at the festival of Lohri, his story is narrated in the memory of Dulla Bhatti.
Dulla Bhatti Lohri Story
Lohri is celebrated because of an ancient tradition of worshipping Indra via Agni and another legend is also related to Sati-Shiv. Also, Lohri got its name from Lohita Kalpa. Then how did Dulla Bhatti join Lohri? It also has an anecdote. Sunder das was a farmer, at a time when there was terror of Mughal chieftains at Sandal Bar. He had two daughters, Sundari and Mundari. The intention of the village Lambardar was not good on the girls. He threatens Sunder das to get daughters married to him who in reality wanted to sell them as the slaves in the Middle East Market. Sunder das spoke to Dulla Bhatti. Dulla Bhatti reached village of Lambardar. His fields were burnt. The girls were married where Sunder das wanted them. He gave sugar to them as his well wishes and that day was the day of Lohri and it is the day and today, we celebrate it by reminding the great warrior.
Dulla Bhatti: Relation with Akbar and Death
Akbar wanted to humiliate and kill Dulla Bhatti. It is said that Akbar’s army of 12 thousand could not catch Dulla Bhatti, so in 1599, he was caught treacherously during fight and then he was hanged. The end for Bhatti came in 1599 when he was hanged in Lahore. Akbar had hoped to make an example of him at the public execution, expecting that he would quake with fear, but Bhatti was steadfast in his resistance to the end. His grave is still in Miani Sahib cemetery where homage is being paid and on every lohri he is being reminded for his deeds.
Dulla Bhatti Lohri Songs
According to mythological beliefs, Happy Lohri is linked to the story of Dulla Bhatti. All the songs of Lohri are related to Dulla Bhatti and it can also be said that Dulla Bhatti is made the centerpiece of Lohri’s songs. This folk story is about Dulla Bhatti, who was a brave warrior during the time of the Mughals and who took action against the growing oppression of the Mughals. On the day of Lohri, there is a tradition of worshiping the new crop in Punjab and Haryana. In such a situation, on this day, people light a bonfire and put many types of grains and sweet things in it and circumambulate it and perform giddha (a popular folk dance of women in Punjab region of India and Pakistan).