7 Amazing Places to Celebrate Holi in India

Holi, the festival of colours, is one of the biggest festivals in India.It is a festival to mark love, unity and triumph of good over evil. The Celebrate Holi in India is one of oldest continuous rituals in India and have deep links with ancient mythologies of India.Though it is a Hindu festival, it welcomes every people irrespective of their race, skin colour or spiritual beliefs.

Though nowadays it is celebrated around the world, you have to be in India to get the original experience.The colours, the people, the traditions; these are nowhere to be found but in India.Holi is celebrated all around India and every other place offers a slightly different tint of the same festival.So, if you are yet to add attending Holi at one of best places mentioned below to your bucket list, hurry up because you are missing out something insanely awesome.

Vrindavan

The Celebration

Vrindavan, the place where according to legends, Lord Krishna spent most of his childhood, offers one of the most traditional experiences of Holi.The century-old streets, ancient temples and devotion of the local people reflect the cultures and traditions of India.Along with regular coloured powders and watercolours, here, Holi is celebrated with gulal, which are organic colours made of flower petals and kesar.

The Venue

The most famous and iconic destination for Holi in Vrindavan is the Banke Bihari temple.On the day of Holi, it is celebrated in its massive square courtyard and is open to all.Thousands of people chanting lord Krishnas name or dancing to devotional songs and throwing colours at each other, somehow makes it look like a huge party! Be sure to be here long before the gate opens to get a glimpse of the idol dressed in white to celebrate Holi with the devotees.

When to go

Celebrations of Holi begin almost 7 days prior to the date of Holi.So, be sure to check in few days prior to it to completely experience it.Also, don’t forget to book your hotels well in advance as they are in high demand in that period.For great deals on hotels, significant offers & deals can be availed to regenerate savings.

Why it is a must

The unique traditional and spiritual side of Holi in Vrindavan makes it unique.Apart from that presence of ancient temples and huge gatherings makes it ideal for photographers.

How to reach?

The nearest airport is located in Delhi at a distance of 150 km.There are a few buses available between Delhi and Vrindaban but it is advisable to take a bus to Mathura which has a more frequent bus service and take a cab to Vrindaban.The nearest long-distance railhead is also located in Mathura.

Barsana

The Celebration

At Barsana, the mythical birthplace of Radha Rani, Holi is something totally different.To honour a mythological event, on the day before Holi women of Barsana hit men of Nandgaon(Lord Krishna’s birthplace) with sticks and men defend themselves with shields after which they play holy together.On the next day, Men from Barsana visit Nandgaon and the women of Nandgaon hit them with sticks and the customs are replicated.This gives it its unique identity as ‘Lath mar Holi’.

The Venue

This event takes place in two neighbouring villages, Barsana and Nandgaon.The event begins at Radha Rani temple complex at Barsana and ends at Nandgaon.

When to go

The event takes place a day before holy, so plan accordingly.Many hotels are available in the nearby town of Mathura on which great discounts can be availed using different coupons and offers made specially for the purpose of customer satisfaction.

Why it is a must

No matter how bizarre it may sound, witnessing the Lath mar Holi where rituals are being followed for ages is an experience of a lifetime.Also, add the friendly people and local cultural festivals, it is impossible to miss.

How to reach

Barsana and Nandgaon both can be reached via a cab or auto-rickshaw from Mathura.Mathura is well connected with the rest of India via rail and road.

Santi Niketan

The Celebration

At Santiniketan, Holi is celebrated to welcome spring, giving it the name of Basanta(Spring) Utsav.Originally Started by Rabindranath Tagore, the great Bengali poet, at Visva-Bharati, the occasion is still celebrated with the same vigour.Students dress in yellow and perform various cultural programs to mark the beginning of the programme and later in the afternoon it is celebrated by applying coloured powder on each other where everyone is welcome to join.

The venue

Basanta Utsav is celebrated at the campus of Visva Bharati University where everyone is allowed entry during this festival.

When to go

The Basanta Utsav takes place on the day of Holi only, but getting in there a few days early lets you explore Santiniketan and surrounding areas.There are plenty of Hotels in Santiniketan but still, a scarcity of it is not rare during festivals. Try to book the hotel online in order to avoid the upscale festival prices even at ordinary hotels. For online discount, view the ongoing makemytrip hotel coupons& offers where upto 80% off is available on 4-star hotels which can help you secure a nice place at a decent value for all the users.

Why it is a must

Basanta Utsav brings out the best of Bengali culture which is closely tied with Tagore and his creations.You can experience the best performers of their respective departments expressing their art.Everyone wearing yellow traditional dresses and lots of colours makes it great for photographers also.

How to reach

Santiniketan is well connected with Kolkata, which has an international airport and excellent connectivity with the rest of India via rail and road.A number of buses and trains ply regularly between Kolkata and Santiniketan.

Anandpur Sahib

The celebration

Anandpur Sahib offers a pretty unique celebration of Holi.Known as the ‘Hola Mohalla’, this festival is an occasion where Sikh warriors show their bravery and display various battle skills.Gathka, a Sikh martial art can be seen at its best here.Also, plenty of colourful parades and cultural events are held at this time.You can also enjoy tasty local delicacies here that are being served to everybody for free.

The venue

Though it is celebrated in many gurdwaras around the world, the experience at Anandpur Sahib is something special.

When to go?

Hola Mohalla takes place a day after Holi but celebrations and cultural events start way before that.Get there early to experience it to the fullest and use Travel offers to get crazy discounts.

Why it is a must

At Anandpur Sahib, one can experience the unique Sikh warrior culture.Also, the colourful parades and the display of great martial skills is a feast for the eyes and mind.

How to reach

The nearest airport is located at Chandigarh, about 81 km from Anandpur Sahib.The nearest railhead is Ambala, which is well connected with the rest of India.Buses also regularly ply from Chandigarh and Delhi to Anandpur.

Jaipur

The celebration

Jaipur offers yet another variant of Holi festivity in India.Not long ago, a huge display of beautifully decorated elephants used to mark the celebrations of Holi at Jaipur.Due to animal rights violations, this parade is no longer celebrated.But one can experience a glimpse of the majestic animals at the privately organized eleholi fest or can take part in the special event organized by Rajasthan tourism which displays local arts and culture.

The Venue

At Jaipur, you don’t need to be somewhere special to enjoy Holi, just walk down the road and you’ll find tons of strangers who’ll happily include you in their celebrations.To attend the Rajasthan tourism event, visit the Khasa Kothi hotel where you don’t have to be a guest of the hotel to take part in.

When to go

Holi is celebrated on the scheduled day only at Jaipur but it is probably not a bad idea to come a few days early and explore the pink city.

Why is it a must?

It’s not every day that we get a chance to see elephants from up close or experience famous Rajasthani folk culture in its native land.The warmth and hospitality of the people also add up to the experience.

How to reach?

Jaipur has an excellent communication system.A web of rail tracks and roads connects it with other parts of the country and the Jaipur airport serves both the international and domestic visitors.

Hampi

The Celebration

South India is not especially famous for Holi as it is mostly a north Indian festival.But Hampi is different thanks to a huge presence of foreigners in the region.The beating of drums, the music and the dance is something not so special but yet special in a simplistic way.

The venue

Holi is celebrated mainly at the archaeological site of Vijayanagar empire at Hampi as most of the tourists gather around this place.

When to go?

Holi is celebrated at Hampi mainly for 2 days but a visitor should include a few more days to visit the ancient architectural marvels at Hampi.

Why is it a must?

Many places offer different many different ways to celebrate Holi, but none can offer the simplicity Hampi offers.You can blend in with thousands of local people in a minute with the common goal of celebrating the festival of colours which is extremely rare in today’s society and it certainly is an experience to be cherished.

How to reach?

The nearest airport is located at Hubli at a distance of 160km which does not enjoy great connectivity.It is advisable to take a flight to Bengaluru and then to take a train from there to Hospet.Hospet is the nearest major railway station that enjoys a decent connection with all major cities of India.Some bus services also operate from Bengaluru and nearby major cities to Hampi.

Udaipur

The celebration

Holi at Udaipur is blended with the colours and glitters of royalty.The most exciting rituals of Holi here are ushered by the Maharana of Udaipur, who is the ceremonial figurehead of the region.On the eve of Holi, a bonfire is arranged which symbolizes the burning of Holika, the evil demon.Different kinds of folk arts are performed around the bonfire. And on the next day colour is sprayed upon each other to announce the win of good against evil.

The Venue

The magnificent city palace of Udaipur hosts the grand bonfire and Holi festival each year.Also, the friendly and cheerful people of Udaipur make it no less interesting if you decide to spend the day at local streets.

When to go?

The celebrations take place on the eve and on the day of Holi.But since Udaipur and Rajasthan have a lot more to offer, be sure to add a few more days to your itinerary.

Why it is a must

Ancient rituals, royal traditions, a glimpse of folk arts and lovely people, do I really need to add anything more?

How to reach

Udaipur is nicely connected with the rest of India and world.The extensive network of rail and road makes it easily accessible while the international airport connects it with different parts of the world.

Conclusion

Though Holi is an Indian festival it has gained its fair share of popularity across the globe.Nowadays it is even celebrated in various locations outside India.It is certainly great that the festival has managed to merge different cultures but these cultures have also somehow influenced Holi.The general tradition of celebrating Holi with everyone in your locality is shifting towards a more western approach of clubs, parties and events.Still, a very few places in India have managed to sustain the age of traditions and rituals and the main motto of Holi which is to spread love to anyone without discrimination.So, pack your bags and set out on this wonderful journey to experience the authenticity of these unique Holi celebrations before time and globalization swallow these too.

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