Holi is a unique festival, the likes of which are probably not found anywhere else in the world. A boisterous yet colourful celebration of the many myths, legends and deities associated with it. Holi is marked as much by religious fever and devotion as it is by loud music, traditional dances and of course the forceful scrubbing of bright gulal and abeer on friends and relatives. Interestingly, in India, different cities and states have their unique traditions and ways of observing this day. We bring you the top five destinations where Holi is not just a riot of colours, but a meaningful amalgamation of traditions and devotion. These are must-visit places during Holi, if you want a real feel of this vibrant festival.
Krishna Leela at Mathura and Vrindavan
Holi has a special significance in the cities of Mathura, the birth place of Lord Krishna and Vrindavan, the place where he was raised. Here, unlike the rest of the country, Holi is associated with this supreme deity and his many legends. People in these cities believe that the festival was initiated by Lord Krishna and consequently the various temples dedicated to this deity celebrate the festival, each on a different day. The well-known Krishna Leela or Raas Leela, the dramatization of Krishna courting the beautiful Radha, his paramour, are played out and people throw buckets full of flowers and dry colours on one another amidst loud chants of Radhe Radhe.
Lath Maar Holi in Barsane
Barsane is a small town about 50 kilometres north of Mathura and also associated with Lord Krishna. Here, the festival of Holi is celebrated in a very unique fashion. Referred to as the lath maar Holi, for the use of a lath or bamboo stick by the women, the act of colouring one another takes on a very coquettish form here with men rushing towards women to drench them in coloured water and women staving their efforts with the use of these handy laths. The festivities here are as much fun to watch as they are to partake in.