Holi is not only a harvest festival but it also has a lot of mythological references. It’s so eye-warming to see children throw brightly coloured powder on each other. When a festival in India is so meaningful to people, why not celebrate it at the place where it is celebrated in the most unique manner.
With lip-smacking food, water balloons, abeer and gulaal, family and friends - Holi becomes the best, isn’t it? Just add a perfect place to this box of happiness and your Holi celebration will complete.
Understandably, people like staying home for festivals but how about giving this custom a break this year and travel somewhere?
Here are 5 places that you should visit once in a lifetime to witness the best of Holi:
Nandgaon and Barsana, Uttar Pradesh
The Village of Barsana is situated very close to Mathura and the way they celebrate Holi is very unique. Nowhere in India will you witness such celebration. The Holi in Barsana is known as the ‘Lathmar Festival’. ‘Lath’ means ‘stick’ and ‘Maar’ means ‘to beat’ which means celebrating holi by beating with sticks. The festival is exclusively celebrated in the village of Nandgaon which is the birthplace of Radha and Krishna. The festival is a four-day celebration and women start preparing for it one month in advance. On the first day, people gather at the temple and perform rituals. Women then coat men with colourful colors and spare no one. People dance to classical songs and make the festival even more enjoyable. On the second day, ‘Gops’ from Nandgaon visit Barsana and play Holi with ‘Gopis’ and it is a grand celebration with colors. On the third day, ‘Gops’ from Barsana visit Nandgaon to play Holi with ‘gopis’. The men visit Radha Rani temple which was made to honor Radha. The men then tease the women by singing songs and they attract women. Women in return beat the men with Bamboo sticks and send them away from the temple. They throw colors at each other and as a punishment of teasing women; men are made to dance in women’s cloth and dance in public. People chant the names of Radha and Krishna during this whole celebration. On the fourth day, women of both the villages gather and play Holi. Men on the other side annoy women and splash colors on them
Lathmaar Festival is one of the most unique ways Holi is celebrated in India.
Pushkar is one the best places to visit in India at any time of year but if you plan your trip during Holi festival it will be a little more fun and enjoy full. Pushkar is a tiny town temple near the city of Ajmer and during the time of Holi it transforms into a Royal City. When you visit Pushkar during Holi you will experience a huge crowd in the main areas and loud music on speakers. Boisterous, livened up by music Holi with ‘thandai’ and ‘bhaang’ is what should experience once in a lifetime. Bright colours are all over the place and on the faces of people. Pushkar is a tourist destination in India and people come from every part of the world to witness the renowned place. So being an Indian you should take the pleasure of the beautiful place. During Holi, you will also see people sitting around the bonfire at many places. Go and get yourself coloured up in the love of Pushkar’s Holi.
One of the most unique spectacles in Karnataka is the South Indian Holi known as Hampi. The place may not be the first one to come in minds of people when it comes to Holi celebration but it is worth a visit. With a sport of tones and shades, Hampi rejoices Holi for 2 days. Free-flowing colours, vibrant environment, music and, dance bring a wave that attracts people from all over the world. When Holi is celebrated, the tourists and local people come together and enjoy the spirit of the colourful festival. People will also be seen frisking over the stream of the famous Tungabhadra River. You will experience a frenzied Holi at Hampi. Holi in all these tiny towns are flabbergasting and one should make travel plans to these places. They look no less beautiful than Switzerland and Singapore.
Indore is a livelier festival to celebrate Holi with everyone even if they are strangers. If you walk down the streets, you will notice how differently they celebrate Holi with everyone. The festival is celebrated in the form of ‘Rangpanchami’, a few days before Dhulendi. This is a very old tradition kept alive from the times of kings and people these days also follow it. At Rajwada, the largest crowd gathers to take enjoy Holi. With great zest and enthusiasm, they dance to the latest Bollywood tunes and it is the most vibrant of all. The colours are splashed in the streets on the fifth day as a part of tradition so all the roads look colourful. Mouth-watering food and an awesome party experience will act as an add-on to the celebration. You shouldn’t miss the Holi celebration in Indore and make your travel plan this year as soon as possible.
Anandpur Sahab, Punjanb
Anandpur Sahab is a state in Punjab and if you want to see Holi in a different way, head to Punjab. The festival is known is ‘Hola Mohalla’ and it is a completely unique way to celebrate Holi. This has been a part of their celebration since the days of Guru Govind Singh. Sword-fighting competitions, horse-riding contests, music and poetry competitions are all part of this massive celebration. People are vibrantly dressed and they throw colours on each other with joy. As a part of Sikh Tradition, people volunteer to prepare Langar for everyone. The Holla Mohalla is a place where you will get to experience colourful Holi and beauty of Sikh Tradition at the same time. One must visit the lavish portrayal.
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