Anticipated and celebrated with great enthusiasm, Holi is a festival in India that paints the skin and hearts with colours of happiness. The best places to celebrate the Holi festival in India bathe you in unprecedented festive fervour. The selection of places to visit for Holi celebrations in India also depends on your expecting experience. Various activities and traditions of Holi are celebrated according to customs throughout the country, but the preparations and celebrations are different from each other. Here are some of the places to visit for Holi celebrations in India.
1) Mathura, Uttar Pradesh:
Holi in Mathura is highly glorified and all for obvious reasons. After all, why is no place famous for the festival that has its roots there? Known as the birthplace of Lord Krishna and the place where some evidence of his miracles is kept, Mathura is highly sought after by devotees, especially during Holi. The temples of Mathura hold elaborate events to celebrate the festival. Some of them are the most spectacular and majestic Holi celebrations in India. Being part of these celebrations is a once in a lifetime experience.
The colourful Holi procession starts late at noon from Vishram Ghat and ends near the Holi Gate. The main attraction for Holi celebrations is the Dwarkadheesh Temple, where many devotees gather on Holi morning. They relish the festive fervour with music and dance and sing in an atmosphere steeped in gluttony. In the week before Holi, there is a famous show at the Sri Krishna Janmasthan Temple. Visit Mathura to see the beauty of this Indian festival.
2) Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh:
Lord Krishna’s playland, Vrindavan, is highly revered by Hindus and visited throughout the year. Holi in Vrindavan is an opportunity that receives a massive influx of Vaishnavas. The epicentre of Holi celebrations in Vrindavan is the Banke Bihari Temple. The euphoria lasts for a week that begins with splashes of flowers or Phoolon ki Holi, progresses with Widows Holi and ends with an explosion of colours the day before Holi. In this city possessed by Krishna, you will find people of different colours.
Gopinath Temple is another main attraction here, witness to the unique play of colours of the widows. An incredible amount of marigold flowers with gulaal clouds make the scene beautifully unreal, a bit like a live image! Krishna devotional songs add to the charm of Vrindavan Holi. Don’t miss out on this beautiful sight and visit Vrindavan for a fantastic Holi party! This will be your best trip to Vrindavan.
3) Barsana, Uttar Pradesh:
Barsana is one of the best places for Holi celebrations in India. Holi celebrations in Barsana are also known as Lathmar Holi and fascinate people. This is the Holi festival with a twist where the men must protect themselves from the playful blows of the women. The women of Barasana and Nandgaon, the two suburbs of Mathura, beat the men with sticks. The men must protect themselves from the blows under the shields. Lathmar Holi takes place one week before the first day of Holi.
These suburbs of Mathura bear witness to the love story of Krishna and Radha. According to the legends, Krishna was jealous of Radha’s fair complexion because he was dark. So he painted her face with paint to pretend there was no difference in skin colour. He visited Barsana from Nandgaon with her friends to paint Radha and her friends. In the playful play, women beat men with sticks. This became a tradition now known as Lathmar Holi. Besides Lathmar Holi in Barsana, he also participated in the sweet celebration: Laddoo Holi at Shriji temple.
4) Agra, Uttar Pradesh:
The Holi festival in Agra puts the city at the height of festive fervour. This Indian festival is celebrated with much zeal and enthusiasm in this city and offers colourful opportunities to enjoy. When people swallow bhang and love to play with colours, you know solemnity is at the forefront. Celebrating, dancing, tasting sweets and other foods and being happy has no limits. Colourful parades with folk songs mark the climax of the Holi celebrations in Agra.
Like many other travel destinations in India, the celebrations begin with a bonfire on the night of the full moon. The street corners are lit with traditional fires, symbolizing protection against evil spirits and bad omens. This means the burning of Holika. The next day, people enjoy the colours, and in the evening, people greet each other on Holi mela or when they visit each other’s houses.
5) Jaipur, Rajasthan:
Holi in Jaipur turns the Pink City into a rainbow. The highlight of the celebrations in Jaipur Holi is the gala celebrations in the palace. The royal family organizes it to support local charities. The former Khasa Kothi Hotel organizes events with the support of the local tourist office. Programs here include traditional Rajasthani music and dancing, along with a decent game of gulal. A sacred atmosphere is created in the Govind Dev Ji Temple in the City Palace, where marigold flowers are offered to the idols of Krishna and Radha. The bhajans or hymns resound around and give the atmosphere a moving effect.
Other aspects that make Jaipur Holi unique are the “Gulaal Drops” or “water cannon projectiles”. They are respectful of the environment since they are manufactured by melting paint. Bollywood-themed parties are also organized in various luxury hotels and resorts, as well as in posh venues.
6) Hampi, Karnataka:
It is common knowledge that Holi celebrations are limited to North India only. However, the Holi celebrations in Hampi are notable exceptions. Here temples and other places echo Holi celebrations. Due to this festival, Hampi is one of the best places for Holi celebrations in South India. Beginning with the Holika Dahan bonfire, the festivities include songs and dances around her. The next day, people are enveloped in tremendous and colourful joy. The drumbeats echo throughout and add dynamism to the festive fervour.
After enjoying the colourful game, people dive into the Tungabhadra River. This cleans the coloured bodies. This practice is supported by the belief that bathing in this river will wash away your sins. The festival’s highlight is when people gather around the ruins of the great Vijayanagar Empire for celebrations. Visit Hampi for their exclusive Holi celebrations.
Holi in Delhi is an exciting affair that turns the metropolis into a throbbing rally. Colourful balloons filled with water are launched everywhere, Pichkaris spray colours and gulal clouds colour the city in a bright scene. If you are wondering where to go in Delhi for Holi celebrations, the Holi Moo Festival (formerly the acclaimed Holi Cow Festival), among others, welcomes you. Here you can enjoy good Holi celebrations with performances by various Indian and international artists. Frenzy Adventure, Garden of Five Senses, Janmashtmi Park, Maharana Pratap ISBT, Gamesforest and Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, are some of the places where Holi parties take place.
Organic/non-toxic paints, bhang drinks, treats and sprayers ensure a safe and comfortable environment during Delhi holi events and parties. Enjoy DJ music, live performances, rain dancing, and more during Delhi Holi celebrations.
8) Mumbai, Maharashtra:
Mumbai Holi celebrations in 2022 are worth attending. The city’s top-rated resorts, clubs and grounds are gearing up to host vibrant Holi parties in Mumbai. Every corner of this city is full of Holi joy. With various unique Holi events in Mumbai, people have many options to choose where to go for Holi celebrations. Every year the Holi celebrations in Mumbai are more lively than before, offering tourists the best trip for the festival celebrations. That way, you can be sure that you have festive memories.
Have a fantastic festival of colours, music and lots of fun at Mumbai Holi parties and events. Enjoy the sounds of the loud rhythms in the luxury hotels, participate in the dance of the rain and enjoy the happiness around you. Holi events are also held in water parks, where the expressive spray of paint will undoubtedly transport you back to childhood. Enjoy a greener celebration at nature camps if you have planned to travel to Mumbai for Holi.
9) Anandpur Sahib, Punjab:
Holi has different shades: gulal and wet colours are the only means this festival of colours is celebrated. Love, luck and courage are among the different shades of the festival. Among these, Anandpur Sahib celebrates Holi with the colour of courage. The event is called Hola Mohalla and is more like the colourful pomp of the Sikhs. The celebrations include the demonstration of Sikh martial arts in a three-day event. They celebrate the establishment of the Khalsa (Sikh Brotherhood) through this event after Holi.
Nihangas lead a procession in which they dress in traditional costumes and show mock battles. Wrestling and sword fighting are other activities during the parade. The horse show is the highlight of this event, where incredible stunts are performed. Weapons display, poetry reading followed by kirtan, singing, dancing, and community service such as langar (voluntary community cooking) are other unique features of this event.
10) Holi in Shantiniketan, Kolkata:
This famous place in Bolpur near Kolkata, West Bengal, celebrates Holi as Basanta Utsav. Also known as the Spring Festival, this Utsav was presented by the famous Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore. The magic of Holi is modelled and celebrated uniquely. The entire university participates in this joyous hustle and bustle, stained with various colours, among which yellow predominates. People are dressed in yellow robes, which makes the festivities even more beautiful.
A cultural program is organized in which students perform according to their talents. With melodious songs and magic dances, you get an unforgettable experience. The festival welcomes everyone to celebrate the charm of the season and a beautiful welcome to spring. All of this includes Shantiniketan, one of the best places to celebrate Holi in India. Teachers and students apply Gulal to each other to fully enjoy the joyous nature of the festival.