Are you bored of celebrating the usual Holi in your hometown with your family and friends? Well, you are in India, my friend. There are so many places that celebrate Holi in a way you never thought existed. From traditional Holi celebrations to modern ways of getting in the celebratory mood, Holi is celebrated with style in India. We bring you 10 places you must visit for a completely unforgettable Holi experience.
Mathura and Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh
When it comes to Holi celebrations, Mathura and Vrindavan top the list. The celebrations begin 40 days before Holi, i.e. on the day of Vasant Panchami. Lord Krishna’s birthplace, Mathura and Vrindavan, where he spent his childhood days are popular for celebrating the festival with pomp and show. The procession with music and colours on Holi is a major attraction.
Barsana, Uttar Pradesh
This small village in Uttar Pradesh near Mathura has a pretty unique way of celebrating Holi. Here, women take charge and hit men with sticks (lath). The festival is also called 'Lathmar Holi' and takes place a week before Holi.
Purulia, West Bengal
For those looking for a musical Holi, Purulia is the place you should visit. The Basanta Utsav Lok festival, which lasts up to three days, lets you experience the local music. You can also taste local food items. Who wouldn’t want to celebrate Holi amidst music, dance, and lip-smacking preparations!
Holi and elephants, sounds fun doesn’t it? Well, visit Jaipur and be a part of the colourful Elephant festival which usually begins on Holi eve. Elephant beauty contests, elephant parades, folk dances, and a tug-of-war between elephants, all come to the party. Go ahead, enjoy a colourful Holi full of elephants and firangs!
Anandpur Sahib, Punjab
Visit Anandpur Sahib in Punjab to celebrate Holi the Sikh way. An annual fair known as the Hola Mohalla where Sikhs showcase their physical agility including martial art skills, wrestling, and acrobatic military exercises. Go visit if you wish to celebrate a 'warrior' like Holi.
Delhi knows how to celebrate Holi in perhaps the most modern way. Organic colours, reinvented bhang thandais, DJs playing the top charts, who wouldn’t want to be a part of the celebration. Don’t be surprised if you come back home wet and dripping in colours. Visit Dilwalon ki Dilli for a truly fun filled Holi.
Udaipur knows how to celebrate the royal way. To experience a royal Holi be a part of the Udaipur Mewar royal family’s celebration, which starts on the eve of Holi, i.e. Holika Dahan. A palace procession will be held from the royal residence to Manek Chowk at the City Palace, along with bedecked horses and the royal band. Go visit!
Shantiniketan, West Bengal
Famous Bengali poet and Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore started the celebration of Holi in Shantiniketan. The festival is called Basanta Utsav. Students usually dress up in spring colors and organise a huge cultural program for visitors. The usual playing with colours soon follows the cultural suite. It attracts a large number of foreign tourists as well. These festivities take place a day before the given date for Holi.
Amidst countless temples and ghaats, Holi celebrations take place in full swing in Varanasi. Banarasi Holi is the talk of the town just like the sarees and the popular paan. Don’t be surprised if you hear children covered in colour screeching and yelling in the streets. And be sure you try the magical Thandai to complete your Holi celebrations.
Planning a visit to Bihar during Holi? Be prepared to be thrown into a pond of cow dung during the celebrations. People in the state believe in making the best of the festival without a care in the world. The phrase Bura Na Maano Holi Hai stands true here.
If you haven’t checked the calendar yet, Holi is on Thursday this year. So make use of the long weekend and pack your bags to visit one of these places to celebrate Holi with a pleasant twist. Happy Holi!