Holi, a festival of colours is a famous festival of Hindus. It has cultural significance; also, the day signifies the end of errors & conflicts between each other. The day celebrates to forget and forgive the enemies. Holi marks the start of spring, and for many others, it symbolizes the start of New year. Besides these, it has many other purposes, mainly the festival that celebrated agriculture commemorated good spring harvests and the fertile land. It is believed that after demon king Hiranyakashipu’s several attempts to kill his son Prahalada for worshipping Lord Vishnu failed, his sister Holika decided to take matters into her hands and burn Prahalada alive. Hindus celebrate this festival as religious purpose as Holi. The night before Holi bonfires are lit, people gather near fire, sings & dances. The next day the Holi is celebrated. Children & youth spray coloured water to each other while elders play with coloured powder or abeer on each others’ face. Visitors to homes are teased with colours and served with sweets and thandai drinks. Holi is celebrated all over India, and mostly celebrated in Mathura, the birthplace of Lord Krishna. It is celebrated at the end of the winter season on the last full moon of the lunar month called Phalguni Purnima as per regional calendar falls in March, sometimes in late February.
Why To Go
It is best to hire a cab in Delhi and keep it with you for the duration of your trip. Make Vrindavan your base as it has a few decent hotels and is an hour away from Nandgaon and Barsana and 30 minutes from Mathura. It is essential to stay vigilant while in Braj. Protect your cameras and mobile phones by covering them with polythene or other such material. While walking towards the temples, many people throw colour and water at everyone. Play with organic and natural dry colours or abeers. Find out the date of the festivities in advance from locals – cab drivers and hotel staff. It is better to go to the venues in the morning and stick around for the rest of the day; there is always something or the other happening. To avoid colours on eyes, try to wear goggles. Children should play with natural colours.
Things To Do
In Braj (Vrindavan and Mathura), during Holi, there is never a shortage of things to do. The festivities at different villages and temples were left tired and gasping for breath. Additionally, cannabis is readily available. On the first day, Laddu Holi is celebrated in Barsana. The event is more of a preparatory one, to kick start the festivities. Pujas are performed at the Radha Rani temple to set the atmosphere for Lathmaar Holi, which is played on the following day. On the day of Lathmaar Holi in Barsana, the temple is decorated, and people visit in the morning to seek blessings from the deities. The people play Holi in the temple premises itself. The constant beats of dhols (drums) set the mood for the ensuring merrymaking. The temple shuts briefly for lunch and reopens in the evening when the women of Barsana barge in with their lathis to beat up the men of Nandgaon. The men, in turn, come equipped with shields to ave themselves. However, many come unarmed and willingly enjoy a beating or two. The scene is quite euphoric to witness – a bunch of women beating up a few men with lathis amidst constant hooting from the people watching them and shutterbugs running around to capture the frenzy. Adding the right hue to the frame is the gulaal that seems to be floating in the air. In Mathura, a massive cultural program is organized at the Krishna Janmabhoomi complex. Various artists stage plays on Lord Krishna and his life, the story of Holi, etc. In Vrindavan, people play Holi at Banke Bihari temple and move from temple to temple in a large procession.
There are buses connecting cities running from NH28 &29. Several travel by own conveyance like bicycle, cars, and other auto, rickshaws etc.
How To Reach
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Vrindavan is 8km from Mathura on well-maintained NH2. Buses from Delhi to Mathura leave from Sarai Kale Khan Bus terminus to Agra; get off at Chhatikara crossing where autos are available for Vrindavan. The Yamuna Expressway from Greater Noida is also a convenient route to get here.