SIALKOT

The celebrations of annual Urs of Baba Chaambliyaanwala Sarkar continued on the second day here at far-off bordering Charwah Sector of Sialkot Working Boundary on Friday.

Senior officials of the Chenab Rangers and Indian Border Security Forces (BSF) exchanged gifts with each other, during a ceremony held there. On Friday, thousands of people belonging to entire Sialkot region thronged to the far-off bordering village Syedaanwali-Charwah along Sialkot Working Boundary’s Charwah Sector, some 43 km away from here to participate in the annual Mela celebrations of Baba Chaambliyaanwala Sarkar, amid hot and humid weather.

People including women, children, youths and elderly reached there after travelling along on motorcycles, cars, buses, Tongas, auto rickshaws, tractor-trolleys and even by foot. Great hustle bustle was witnessed along the Sialkot Working Boundary.

Thousands of devotees each year on either sides of the Indo-Pak International Border participate in the separate fairs held every year in Pakistan and India.

A ‘sea of humanity’ with the hope of peace along borders was witnessed, which thronged the Indo-Pak border for the annual ‘Chamliyal Mela’ and collect the holy ‘Sharbat’ (sweet water) and ‘Shakkar’ (soil) from the Dargah of the famous saint. The people on both sides of the working boundary participated with great enthusiasm in the annual fair which begins on fourth Thursday of June every year. Administration on both sides gets involved in making arrangements for the Mela.

Indian Border Security Forces (BSF) and the Chenab Rangers of Pakistan mainly manage the annual fair and facilitate people on either side to receive the holy ‘Shakkar’ and ‘Sharbat’, which are believed to have medicinal properties against various skin ailments.

Every year in Charwah-Syedaanwali village on Pakistan side of the Zero Line Sialkot, people organise a three-day fair and wait for ‘Shakkar’ and ‘Sharbat’ of Baba Chamliyal’s Dargah.

Over 320-year-old ‘Chamliyal Mela’, celebrated on both sides in Pakistan and India of the Sialkot Working Boundary, has become very popular since November, 2003, after the guns became silent on the border following ceasefire and parallel peace initiatives by both India and Pakistan. The three-day long Chamliyal Mela (Fair) is being celebrated with full fervour and joyfulness by people of both sides in Ramgarh-India and Sialkot-Pakistan.

The locals were of the view that this fair is a living testimony for the Hindu-Muslim ties along the Sialkot Working Boundary here that survived the scars of the partition. They added that the love and blessings of Baba replaced bullets and intermittent bangs of mortars with rhythmic beats of drums and devotional songs along the Sialkot Working Boundary.

Meanwhile, it is believed that the soil and water near the Baba shrine cures skin diseases of all types and Pakistani devotees are gifted this soil and water by the Indian Border Security Forces (BSF)after the function is over. The soil given to them is called (Shakkar) means sugar and the water as Sharbat means Juice.

Baba Chamliyal lived about 300 years ago and came to be revered by people because of his saintly qualities and spiritual powers.

It is said that Baba sacrificed his life when he was beheaded by those who did not like his growing influence at village. But the legend says his head, through Baba’s spiritual power came to Chamliyal village where his disciples built a tomb in his memory.