Chhinj - A Himachali Fair to promote local trade and sports like Kushti or Kabaddi

I have spent my childhood in Himachal and Chhinj used to be a common fair which happens at different places. I clearly remember some of the popular Chhinj Fairs around Hamirpur. It's been more than 10 years that I visited any Chhinj. Recently Ajay shared these photographs, so we thought of sharing about Chhinj with rest of the world.

I have spent my childhood in Himachal and Chhinj used to be a common fair which happens at different places. I clearly remember some of the popular Chhinj Fairs around Hamirpur. It's been more than 10 years that I visited any Chhinj. Recently Ajay shared these photographs, so we thought of sharing about Chhinj with rest of the world. 

I don't know the exact details but there is religious aspect associated with these Chhinj Fair. The day starts with everyone meeting at central place and walk through the village before reaching Akhara ground. Usually a group of dholis(people with drums) lead this walk. These Drummers are very important. They play Chhinj tunes in Akhara ground, which happens throughout the day.   After puja, the events start. People from different parts of Himachal come to these Chhinj grounds to see kushti (fights) of accomplished fighters (called मल्ल or पहलवान )  locally. Each participant gets some money and winner gets a little more. Winner of the day is given good prize money and one गदा (usually silver or golden plated).   There are various interesting facts about these Chhinj Fair. These fighters come from different parts of Himachal , Punjab and Haryana. They find a house in villages for night stay. Villagers feel proud about hosting these folks and at the same time make jokes like - 'We need special beds because their sizes are are not normal'.   Recently Chiinj is also hosting other sports like Kabaddi.

I don't know the exact details but there is religious aspect associated with these Chhinj Fair. The day starts with everyone meeting at central place and walk through the village before reaching Akhara ground. Usually a group of dholis(people with drums) lead this walk. These Drummers are very important. They play Chhinj tunes in Akhara ground, which happens throughout the day. 

After puja, the events start. People from different parts of Himachal come to these Chhinj grounds to see kushti (fights) of accomplished fighters (called मल्ल or पहलवान )  locally. Each participant gets some money and winner gets a little more. Winner of the day is given good prize money and one गदा (usually silver or golden plated). 

There are various interesting facts about these Chhinj Fair. These fighters come from different parts of Himachal , Punjab and Haryana. They find a house in villages for night stay. Villagers feel proud about hosting these folks and at the same time make jokes like - 'We need special beds because their sizes are are not normal'. 

Recently Chiinj is also hosting other sports like Kabaddi. 

For Kids, it's a great opportunity to go out with friends and buy toys. Jalebi, Pakoras are must eat in these Chhinj Fairs. Most of the families take home these fresh made Jalebis & Pakoras. Apart from that one can enjoy incecream, aloo-chhole, Samosas, tikki etc. There are various rides to enjoy and games to play.   Some of the viewers of fights play bet on different fighters. It's usually for fun and very less money involved. The winner पहलवान  usually walks around the hills and some of the folks give them more money as prize. Such a lovely tradition it is. I remember some of the moments, when I lost money in bets to my friends :) (2-5 Rs).   While I am writing this, I feel like visiting one of the Chhinj Fair again and see how things have changed in last 10 years. Here I invite all Himachali Friends to comment on this post about their experiences or more facts about Chhinj in your areas.

For Kids, it's a great opportunity to go out with friends and buy toys. Jalebi, Pakoras are must eat in these Chhinj Fairs. Most of the families take home these fresh made Jalebis & Pakoras. Apart from that one can enjoy incecream, aloo-chhole, Samosas, tikki etc. There are various rides to enjoy and games to play. 

Some of the viewers of fights play bet on different fighters. It's usually for fun and very less money involved. The winner पहलवान  usually walks around the hills and some of the folks give them more money as prize. Such a lovely tradition it is. I remember some of the moments, when I lost money in bets to my friends :) (2-5 Rs).

 While I am writing this, I feel like visiting one of the Chhinj Fair again and see how things have changed in last 10 years. Here I invite all Himachali Friends to comment on this post about their experiences or more facts about Chhinj in your areas. 

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