6 Popular Holi celebration destinations

6 Popular Holi celebration destinations

India’s Holi Celebration Destinations

The unusually warm winter is melting into summer and falling, as usual, in the cusp of this yearly weather transition is Holi, a heady festival of colour and laughter.

If you love the sights, sound and colors of Holi, then travel to some of the most spectacular places in India where it is still celebrated in deeply traditional manner.

Here’s a list of six such places where Holi celebrations are still full of verve and vigor.

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Lath Mar Holi, Barsana, Uttar Pradesh

Holi Celebration Destination: Lath Mar Holi, Barsana, Uttar Pradesh

It’s one place on earth where people from all corners want to be in during the festival. No wonder – Govardhan, Barsana and Nandgaon — are the most visited places. The festival is popular here because of the way it is celebrated.

The women of Barsana village near Mathura in Uttar Pradesh beat up men from neighboring Nandgaon village with sticks, in what’s known as Lathmar (stick-beating) celebrations.

Lathmar Holi takes place around a week before the main day of Holi. It’s worth going to Barsana a couple of days in advance so that you can also experience the Laddoo Holi festivities there. Sweets are thrown around and spiritual songs related to Radha and Krishna are sung.


Holi Celebration Destination: Basant Utsav, Purulia, West Bengal

This is a three-day folk festival where you’ll get to sing and play Holi with the locals, as well as enjoy a wide variety of folk art. This includes the remarkable chau dance, darbari jhumur, natua dance, and songs of West Bengal’s wandering Baul musicians. What makes the festival special is that it’s organised by villagers as a way of helping sustain themselves. The location is around five to six hours by train from Kolkata.

Hola Mohalla, Anandpur Sahib, Punjab

Hola Mohalla, Anandpur Sahib, Punjab

The best way to experience Holi the Sikh way is at Anandpur Sahib. During the festival of Hola Mohalla, it is enthralling to see Nihangs (Sikh warriors) in action on the banks of the Charan Ganga.

Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib is one of the five temporal seats of the Sikh religion where lakhs of devotees visit during the three-day festival to seek the blessings of the Almighty. It is an extremely colorful festival where Nihangs dressed in their blue / saffron clothes engage in mock battles with their weapons before an extremely receptive crowds. This is a boon for photographers and for those who loves to experience an Indian religious cultural mela.

Traditional Holi at Mathura and Vrindavan

Holi Celebration Destinations: Traditional Holi at Mathura and Vrindavan

One must experience the festival in Mathura and Vrindavan and also pay a visit to the famous Banke-Bihari Temple. The crowd’s enthusiasm for their beloved Lord Krishna needs to be seen to be believed. In Vrindavan, the festival is celebrated for a week.

Basantotsava, Santiniketan

Holi Celebration Destinations: Basantotsava, Santiniketan

This is one place that should be visited during the Spring Festival that falls during the Holi festivities. Students dress up in spring colors and stage a huge cultural program for visitors, including dancing to Rabindranath Tagore‘s songs. This is followed by the usual exchange of colors. Basantotsava has become a cherished part of Bengali history and culture and attracts numerous tourists.

Royal Holi, Udaipur

Holi Celebration Destinations: Royal Holi, Udaipur

The experience in this majestic place is of course royal. A day before Holi, which is celebrated as Holika Dahan, hundreds of pyres are lit all over the city. But the one at the Jagdish Temple is the biggest. The Holi experience here is grand.

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So this Holi (Holi 2020 in Delhi will begin in the evening of Monday, 9 March and ends in the evening of Tuesday, 10 March), which also happens to be a long weekend, celebrate with more vigor and, of course, safe colors.

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