Holi Festival Tour – Best Way to Experience the Festival of Colours at Braj
Holi Festival Tour in Braj that covers the city of Mathura, Vrindavan, Gokul, Jalesar, Agra, Hathras, Aligarh, Etah, Auraiya and Farrukhabad districts in the northern state of India called Uttar Pradesh. Locals here are called Brijwasi and as per Hindu religion, is a revered land because this is where Lord Krishna was born and is supposed to have spent his childhood and youth. The heart of Braj is Vrindavan and the place attracts hundreds of disciples and pilgrims through the year as part of festivals tour of India, especially during the festival of colours – Holi.
Indian festival tours are the best way to get exposure about intricate details of different festivals of the country and what better way than to start your festival tour holi in Braj covering different parts of Braj and revel in the celebrations of the festival of colours. Planning to see and experience the authentic and conventional form of Holi celebrations? The following should surely be part of your India Holi tour.
Lathmar Holi in Barsana
The festivities start with the Lathmar Holi in Barsana, a place close to Mathura – the village where Radha used to stay. The festival is celebrated about a week prior to the actual date. As per legends Krishna and his group of friends would travel to Barsana every year before Holi to celebrate it with Radha and her friends.
The unique aspect about the celebration is that men belonging to Nandgaon dress up as Krishna and put colours on the women in Barsana. In response, women dressed up as Radha beat the men with sticks or Lath playfully and in sporting spirit. The Radha-Rani temple is a popular venue here and the festivities around here just cannot be missed.
Celebrations the next day at Nandgaon. A similar kind of fun and celebrations is organized at Nandgaon, Krishna’s village where women from Radha’s village Barsana come over to apply colour to the men here.
Holi in Vrindavan
The Banke-Bihari Temple at Vrindavan is another place that needs to feature on your itenary of Holi festival tour. The festivities start here well in advance. Following traditions, the idol of Lord Krishna is dressed up in a white colour dress followed by the shower of gulaal (colours) and flowers with traditional pichkaris and water guns on followers.
Priests called Goswamis also follow suit and spray colours on all devotees. The unique point about the celebrations here is that it is done using organic materials like flowers. With bhajans and religious music filling up the background and devotes chanting the name of Krishna and other sacred texts, the place is filled with joyousness and bliss amidst devotees dancing and enjoying the moment.
Holi In Mathura
Celebrations at the Dauji Temple which get a little belligerent called Huranga, it is a customary celebration where women beat up men gleefully in the temple premises. This age-old celebration is restricted to the family that built the temple which has about 3000 living members now – women from the family beat up the men and even tear open their dresses before everyone else joins in celebrating Holi the traditional way.
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Another worth visit a place is the Gulal Kund located near the Govardhan Mountain. Two things about the festivities here are – the Raas-Leela performance where native people dress up to enact Holi related scenes from Radha-Krishna tales and then the phoolon Ki Holi – where flowers are showered over everyone gathered.
The Dwarkadheesh Temple at Mathura is another venue where the Holi celebrations get maddening. The temple is opened for the general public in the wee hours of the morning on the actual date of Holi and as the crowd swell up they play Holi with each other using organic colours, water balloons and distribute sweets and mithais.
The victory of righteousness over evil, celebrated in Phalen, Nandgaon and Barsana with the burning of the holy bonfire on full moon night. The pyre is lit to enact and replay the Prahlad-Holika burning episode from Hindu mythology. The high point of the festivity is to watch religious priests walk through the fire without getting burnt.
The pious Holi procession in Mathura. Once the festivities get over in Vrindavan there is a procession that starts at the Vishram Ghat and moves through the galis and streets of Mathura to end at the Holi Gate. The highlight of the procession is the chariot decked up with flowers that carries young people dressed up as Radha and Krishna. At the Holi Gate, the Holika Dahan is done to mark the end of the procession.
Another notable feature about this particular India Holi tour is watching the widows of the town take active part in the celebrations. Barred from all kinds of social activities, this is one event where they participate with full involvement spraying colours on each other and having the traditional mithai. The distribution of bhang amongst devotees and visitors is also another highlight of the Holi celebrations in Brij.
Holi Festival Date : ( 4th – 10th March 2020 )
Suggested Tour: Holi in Braj Festival Tour – 7 Nights/8 days