45th annual Khalanga Mela celebrated with much fervour in Dehradun
The fair is organised every year in remembrance of Gorkha warriors who fought bravely against British
DEHRADUN: The 45th edition of annual Khalanga Mela was held with great enthusiasm at the Khalanga War Memorial at Sahastradhara Road on Sunday. The fair is organised every year in remembrance of the Gorkha warriors who fought bravely against the British in the battle of Nalapani on the outskirts of Dehradun in 1814.
Cultural events like Kukhri dance, parade, and band show by Gorkhas and community’s cuisine, including Bhutva, Sel roti, Fini and Gorkha sauce, were the highlights of the event. Kiosks selling momos and needles were thronged by youths and kids during the fair. Rides on giant wheel and other swings also remained a popular attraction.
Besides hundreds of locals and Nepali residents, the fair was also attended by Colonel DS Khadka, Balbhadra Khalanga Vikas Samiti president. Col Khadka and other dignitaries spoke at length on the war between Gorkhas and Britishers and its everlasting impact.
“This event celebrates the valour of the community whose courage impressed the British so much that they erected a memorial for them. Even though the Gorkhas lost, a unique memorial was built in the remembrance of the martyrs,” said Prabha Shah, media in-charge of the Balbhadra Khalanga Vikas Samiti, organisers of the fair.
The battle in which the British 3rd Infantry division comprising 3,500 soldiers with heavy artillery under the command of Major General Robert Gillespie faced stiff resistance from Gorkha general Balbhadra Singh Thapa and his band of 600 soldiers who defended the Khalanga fort for over six weeks without food or water was an important landmark in Gorkha history which the community celebrates through the mela.