Given the staggering geographical, cultural and ethnic diversity, there’s plenty that a traveller to India can experience. From north to south and east to west, one can encounter visuals, sounds and anecdotes bound to leave a lasting impression. However, if you are looking to hack your way into understanding the land and its people during your upcoming Golden Triangle Tour of India, we suggest you witness the Holi celebrations at some of the most vibrant places in the north India. Here are top places that you can consider:
If your tour starts at Delhi, the capital of India, prepare yourself for a vibrant and widely-prevalent festive atmosphere. The whole city comes to streets to throw colours to the tune of ‘Bura na mano, holi hai’ (please don’t mind as it is the festival of Holi today). You could spend time with a local family, allowing them to familiarise you with the essence of the festival and treating you to festival delicacies. Alternatively, you can attend the famous Holy Cow festival, the biggest in the city, seeing participation by a great line of music artists and music lovers. The other Holi events to consider include Holi India Color Festival, Balam Pitchkari and Rang Leela.
Barsana, Mathura, UP
Just four hours away from Delhi is a small village that is known across the country for its unique Holi tradition. This village in Mathura District of Uttar Pradesh is called Barsana and the famous tradition involves women of the village chasing away men with lathis (sticks), giving the festival its local name – ‘lathmar holi’. It’s quite a sight to see the giggling women dressed in traditional attires going after men who pretend-tease them. The legend has it that the tradition emulates itself after the myth of Hindu god Krishna and his beloved Radha.
Between Delhi and Agra, lies Vrindavan in the Mathura District of Uttar Pradesh, the birthplace of Lord Krishna. A version of the history of the festival believes that Lord Krishna, who was jealous of the fair complexion of his beloved Radha, used to throw colours on her face, hence shaping the form in which the festival is currently celebrated. Vrindavan’s Banke Bihari Temple attracts hordes of locals and tourists who gather here to paint each other’s faces and sing hymns in praise of Lord Krishna. The city really comes alive with vibrant colours, joyful dance, water and flowers fights playing out in all nooks and corners.
Rajasthan Tourism leaves no stone unturned to welcome the visitors to the state capital and make them feel involved in the festive spirit. A grand event is organised at the Khasa Kothi Hotel featuring Rajasthani folk dance, song performances, and a festive lunch. Besides, a range of other happening Holi parties keep the atmosphere buzzing. One of the most happening amongst these is The Ultimate Holi Fest 2019, where attendees are given a traditional welcome and introduced to the festival. Several entertaining activities such as puppet shows and bangle making are arranged and popular Bollywood tunes are played on the DJ for the entertainment of guests. The party also features traditional ceremony of Holika Dahan.