On the occasion of the Holi festival, India turns into a land of colours. Unquestionably it is one of the most happening festivals of all Hindu festivals; the occasion is marked by fun, frolic, food and festivities. Though Holi is celebrated across the country with equal mirth and vigour, some places take celebrations to a whole new level; where the tradition is so strong that you can't help but go with the flow.
You won't find any other place more colourful than India during Holi! You'll see people drenched in colours, and the streets resemble a kaleidoscope of trippy hues. And if you want to experience Holi 2021 at its best then head to Mathura or Vrindavan!
Here are a few places where Holi takes on a whole different dimension. If you love Holi, you would want to visit them all and enjoy this experience.
Mathura is the birthplace of Krishna, the Hindu god and is unsurprisingly the main destination for Holi celebrations. The Holi Gate, within the city, is the epicentre of all festivities. On an actual day, there is a long procession of colours and music from the temples, along the river to the gate, wherein people from across the country and even around the world gather.
Vrindavan is the place where Krishna grew up and is another hot spot when it comes to observing Holi. From the more sophisticated play at the ISKCON temple with dry colours and flowers to the more boisterous kind on the streets, there is something for people from all walks of life. Moreover, the week-long celebrations at the Banke Bihari temple are legendary.
The Lath-Mar Holi of Barsana is probably the most amazing way to celebrate the festival. Here, the men would sing provocative songs to catch the attention of women, who would, in turn, beat them with sticks. According to the legends, Krishna visited his beloved Radha on this day and playfully teased her and her friends. Taking offence, the women of Barsana chased him away. Ever since men from Krishna's village would come to Barsana to play Holi, and the same treatment would be meted to them. Barsana is also said to be the only town with a temple dedicated to Radha.
Known as Basanta Utsav, festivities at Santiniketan are more musical and lyrical. The day is marked by playing with 'aabeer' (dry vegetable colours), music and dance. Women dress up in the spring colours of yellow and orange, and usually, fragrant flower petals are mixed with the colours while playing with each other.
The festivities of Udaipur start with the ritual of Holika Dahan, which takes roots in the mythological story of Prahlad. Come here for a regal experience as you join in with the Mewar royal family and the huge bonfire that is symbolic of the burning of Holika. Usually, a magnificent procession that includes decorated horses, dancers, musicians and a royal band starts from the royal residence to Manek Chowk at the City Palace.
Hubli is one of the best places in Karnataka to enjoy a traditional version of Holi. The procession starts early in the morning. Locals offer prayers and rituals at temples and home. And many savouries and food items are distributed among neighbours! Following, they heave coloured water or powder at each other. Thus this beautiful city will be drenched entirely with colours during Holi.
Holi is known as 'Shigmo' in Goa; the celebrations include parades, music shows and night-time musical fares. People play drumbeats and greet each other with colours. It is one of the best places in India to observe the Holi celebration.