Best Place To Celebrate Holi Festival In India
The festival of colours is celebrated with utmost pomp, pleasure, and high spirits (sometimes, literally) all over the country. Right from the alleyways of neighbourhoods to open parks, beautiful colours are adorning the streets, and people are dressed up in their oldest cloth (mostly white) to bring out the contrast of all those colours.
Holi festival in India is a celebration at a different level. While you can enjoy all of it in any neighbourhood with food, natural colours, music and your friends and family, there are places where Holi celebration in Indiais taken seriously. From bhaang, an assortment of flowers, to unique and bizarre traditions, these are the best places to celebrate Holiin India.
What constitutes the best Holi in India? Apart from the delicious snacks , aroma of fried gujiyas, that lip-smacking sourness of Dahi Bhalla or the sheer thrill of ensuring that all your close family and friends are covered in the brightest of colour. (Tip: If you are planning to go grocery shopping, make sure you use your debit card from digibank by DBS as there are tons of offers currently.) There is also the heady concoction of thandai that is downed like water while you dance your way on the grooviest of Bollywood Holi songs. All of this is a part of how Holi is celebrated all over the world.
But the essence of it lies in traditions. The fact that the most famous Holi places in Indiaare all about different customs, and yet united by the will to give up hatred and encourage brotherhood on this auspicious day. And if you want to experience the best holi celebration in India,you have to visit at least a few of these places and play Holi their way.
1. Uttar Pradesh
The traditional Holi celebration can be best experienced in Mathura and Vrindavan – both towns associated with Lord Krishna, a Hindu god, related to this festival. Since Mathura also happens to be his birthplace, you can witness a spectacle that Holi becomes at the Dwarkadheesh Temple in the town. Flowers, brightest colours, and people playing this grand festival with all their zest are how Holi should be celebrated everywhere.
Other temples where the festival is celebrated feverishly are the Bankey Bihari and Gopinath Temple in Vrindavan, another town about Lord Krishna and his tales.
Once you have witnessed the grand traditions and conventional way of celebrating Holi, you head to Barsana and Nandgaon, two towns located close to Mathura famous for celebrating Lathmar Holi. A day before the actual Holi, women beat men (who try to protect themselves with shields) with a lath, a wooden stick. All of this is done playfully and commemorates the traditions of Holi. You can witness this unique Holi celebration at the Radharani Temple, the only temple dedicated to Goddess Radha when it comes to Holi in India.
While Holi is primarily a festival celebrated in North India, there is one town in the South that makes an exception and brings out the festivities. If you want to play Holi in South India, there is no place like Karnataka. They start in the morning with colours, drums and exuberant energy. Once everyone has played to their heart’s content, they move to the river to wash off all the colours from them and relish the memories made on this auspicious day.
If you want to play a modern-day rendition of this beautiful festival, there is no better place than the Capital City. Plenty of music festivals take place where you can find a stage with DJs and a vast arena. Go with your tribe, enjoy delicacies of the festival and play with safe and non-toxic colours, all of which are provided at the spot of the festival. Oh, and did we mention there will be plenty of groovy tunes to shake a leg on. From Bollywood to EDM and pop songs, the Holi celebration in Delhi is spectacular and funky.
There is only one state you need to be in for people who are in the mood for a royal version of the Festivals of colours. Start your journey from Jaipur, the official Pink City of India. You can witness a big gala thrown by the royal families for various charities. Make sure you book your tickets in advance. And also, visit the Govind-ji temple in the City Palace. The city of Jaipur comes alive with traditional folk music, lively dances and various rituals honouring the reasons why we celebrate this beautiful festival.
However, if you are in the mood for a more techno-funk kind of Holi, head to Pushkar. It is a sacred town that comes alive in an Ibiza-ish fashion, with the city’s main square seeing an inflow of tourists and locals alike. You can groove to chest-thumping music far removed from the traditional or even Bollywood music you would come across in other parts of the country. What’s more? There is plenty of bhaang-infused thandai to be gulped down.
Few people think of Amritsar in Punjab when it comes to Holi celebrations in India. And that is the beauty of this place! Before Holi, a second Golden Temple sits on a rectangular shrine in the middle of a lake. This one is dedicated to Goddess Durga and can be reached by a narrow causeway to offer your prayers. Once you have done this, go to the main square and play gulaal with the locals. As is customary of any festival in Punjab, you won’t find any unpleasant scenarios as everyone is treated with respect. There is a sense of safety that comes when you play Holi in such an environment.
Precautions to take during Holi due to COVID-19
If you have already started making plans for celebrating Holi in one of these places, make sure you take all the precautions necessary before you embark on your trip. First and foremost, check the status of COVID-19 in the places you are about to visit. Map out all the restrictions and cancellations that the state and city might be imposing.
Don’t forget your masks, and resort to playing Holi with natural and dry colours . Even better are flowers. And if you can entirely skip the colour aspect, go for social distancing, and eat all the sweets and savouries that make up this festival.
Be safe, mind all the precautions and if necessary, avoid crowded spaces and play Holi in your way because this year we are still reeling from the virus, and you get to decide however you want to play the festival of colours. Happy Holi!