Each year, India gets drenched in bright colours to welcome spring and to celebrate the victory of good over evil. Holi, the festival of colours is so popular that it is celebrated all over India and also across the globe.
Best Places to Celebrate Holi in India
The best places to celebrate Holi in India really depend on the kind of experience you want to have. From traditional temple rituals to bhang, from modern DJ parties to colours and water pools – Holi is celebrated differently in different parts of the country. The following are the most popular places to celebrate Holi. Figure out which of these places appeal to you the most.
1. Mathura and Vrindavan
The Holi celebration is magnificent in these two places. The reason is that Mathura is the birthplace of Krishna, and Vrindavan is where he spent his childhood years. Holi is a week-long festival here and each temple hosts separate events on different days. People travel from far and across to witness the festival of Holi here. Traditionally, the men playfully apply colours (gulal or gulal mixed with water) to the women. And the women reciprocate it by beating them with lathis. This event is called ‘Lathmar Holi,” which depicts the divine yet mischievous love between Radha and Krishna.
Events to attend in Mathura and Vrindavan during the Holi week
- Lathmar Holi in Barasana and Nand Gaon
- Range Bharni Ekadashi
- Phoolon Waali Holi
- Widow’s Holi
- Holika Dahan
- Dhulandi Holi
- Rang Panchami
Holi celebrations in Rajasthan is no less than in Mathura and Vrindavan. The way it is celebrated here draws a lot of attraction and excitement with the locals and tourists from India and across the world.
In Udaipur, the festival is celebrated in the most imperial and grand manner. The royal family, in its dazzling attire, actively participates with the locals in all functions and rituals. From Holika Dahan, spraying colors to fireworks, the Holi celebration in Udaipur is an enchanting experience.
If you have never been to Pushkar during the festival of colours than you are seriously missing out on something really amazing. One of the things that will amaze your eyeballs is the ‘kapda faad’ Holi. A bit wonky, isn’t it? But this is one of the traditions in Pushkar that draws the most tourists. Men are not allowed to keep their shirts on them. And the one who enters the party with the t-shirt on, gets to see his t-shirt ripped and thrown to the winds. Hundreds of torn t-shirts are seen hanging on a rope. However, nothing like this will happen to you if you are a woman. People are aware of their limitations and moreover, the security is tight.
Other places to check out during Holi in Rajasthan are:
- Braj Mahotsav
- Dhulandi Festival
- Mali Holi
- Gair at Godaji
- Dolchi Holi at Bikaner
Hampi, a village in the state of Karnataka, is famous for Virupaksha Temple. Here, the Holi celebration lasts for two days. An evening before Holi, people light a bonfire – Holika Dahan – to mark the beginning of the festival. The next day, people gather on streets to play with colours on the beats of the drum. After playing with colours the whole day, people take a dive in the river Tungabhadra to wash the colours and their sins away.
Goa is one of the best places to celebrate Holi in India. The Holi festival in Goa is called ‘Shigmo’ and is celebrated by all people, irrespective of their religion. In Panaji, the Shigmotsav Samiti organizes large processions, where there is a lot of dancing, singing, feasting and enactments of mythology. The temples all around the state organize Holi celebrations in their own unique ways, and the hotels also throw dazzling Holi parties. The best Holi celebrations in Goa are at the 4 major cities – Panaji, Margao, Vasco Da Gama, and Mapusa.
The Legends Behind Holi
Holi is celebrated in different parts of India for different reasons. Two of the legends that are relatively popular across the world and in India are:
The demon king Hiranyakashyap was blessed with superpowers that led him to believe that he was a God – and the only God that people should worship. But his son, prince Prahlad believed in a different God – Lord Vishnu. This angered the king so much that he decided to kill his own son. In an attempt to kill Prahlad, Holika, the king’s sister, sat in the burning fire with Prahlad in her lap, assuming that no fire could burn her. Prahlad’s devotion to Lord Vishnu saved him, but Holika was charred to death. Holi is this win of good over evil that is celebrated the morning after the bonfire.
2. Radha and Krishna’s Love Story
The love story of Radha and Krishna is another popular legend of the Holi festival. Once Krishna asked his mother, Yoshada, why Radha is fair and he is dark. Yoshada told Krishna not to be jealous and paint Radha’s face with whichever colour he wanted. Krishna took his mother’s advice and painted Radha’s face to look like his.
Significance of Holi in India
Essentially, Holi is a spiritual celebration, where on the eve of the festival, bonfires are lit to commemorate the triumph of good over evil. On the day of the festival, people throw colours and splash water at each other. But, Holi also marks the end of the cold season. The bright, cheerful colours emulate the flowers that would be born in the spring that followed.
Wonderfully different, yet immensely mesmerizing, there is nothing quite like Holi. And there is truly no better way to experience this festival then to be with the locals at the places mentioned above. So, what do you do when an opportunity to be a part of a memorable and rich experience beckons you? You grab it. And if money comes in the way of the experience, you get a personal loan for travel. Download MoneyTap – your easy access to money to experience the world’s most vibrant festival in India.