India is a land of diversity, here people of different caste, creed, religion, culture live together they speak different languages, it’s easy to see why India is known as “the land of festivals and fairs,” with so much variety within one community. These festivals are celebrated with a pomp and vigor not always seen in India, showing the strength of India culture even after it moves away from the subcontinent in places like Fiji, Mauritius, Trinidad, Jamaica, and Guyana.
One such festival is Holi , which is also called “festival of colors”, “festival of love”, and “festival of spring”. Holi fest lasts for a day and a night, day one is also called as “Holika Dahan” or “Chhoti Holi“. Color vibrancy is something that brings a lot of positivity into our lives, and Holi, as the festival of colors, is a day to celebrate. Holi is a well-known Hindu festival that is widely observed and celebrated in India.
Here are 5 best places to celebrate life through colors, sweets and music.
1. Pushkar – The holy town of Pushkar, on the banks of Lake Pichola, has long been a refuge for international and local backpackers looking to celebrate the Holi Festival, and thousands flock here when a large party is held in the main square. The seething mass of ‘gulal’-smothered participants, many of whose shirts end up strung from overhead cables, is accompanied by chest-thumping Techno music rather than Krishna ‘bhajans.‘ It’s an unrestrained affair, fueled by powerful ‘bhang lassis’ (a cocktail of cannabis, yoghurt and sugar traditional imbibed on Holi morning). Consider an Ibiza nightclub where the entire pulsating crowd is tossing paint bombs at one another.
2. Mathura – Lord Krishna, the Hindu God most associated with the Holi festival, is associated with the Braj area of India, which lies between Delhi and Agra. Matheran, the main town, is thought to be his birthplace, and local shrines host some of the country’s largest and most impressive gatherings, attracting thousands of revelers, many of whom ride in open-backed lorries from their villages. The Dwarkadheesh Temple, for example, attracts a horde of worshippers on Holi morning to sing, dance, and chant under a cloud of purple gulal.
3. Vrindavan – In this fervently Krishna-obsessed place, the Bankey Bihari Temple in Vrindavan is the epicenter of Holi celebrations. If you’ve seen photos of a crowded courtyard overflowing with people coated in purple, red, and pink powders from head to foot, this is most likely where they were taken.
4. Jaipur -The local tourism office hosts traditional Rajasthani folk music and dance performances, as well as civilized ‘gulal’ powder games, at the magnificent old Khasa Kothi Hotel, while a more religious, devotional atmosphere prevails across town at the Govind Dev-ji Temple in the heart of the City Palace, where the Krishna and Radha deities are heaped with marigold flowers and serenaded with joyous music. A glittering elephant procession used to rule Pink City, led by the Maharaja swaying atop a giant tusker in his gilded howdah, like a vision from Mughal times. However, due to concerns about animal welfare, the event has been banned since 2012. There are many organizers who organize Holi Events in Jaipur, with the majority of the participants being Jaipur’s youth. Holi celebrations in Jaipur are a riot of colors, music, drinks, and sweets.
5. Udaipur – On the eve of Holi, celebrated as ‘Holika Dahan,’ when the local Maharaja lights a ceremonial bonfire in the central courtyard to mark the start of the festivities, the royal palace in Udaipur is the best place to be. Following that, guests are asked to return for drinks and a lavish meal, which is accompanied by a firework show. The morning after, foreign tourists congregate all together in the ‘chowk’ below the nearby Jagdish temple to play with ‘gulal’ powders – the local tourism police keep order so you don’t see the kind of craziness that occurs in the local bazaars.