The festival of joy and colours that signifies the beginning of spring, Holi is just around the corner. We are pretty sure that you are all aware that it is a long weekend, which means you have ample time to visit one of the iconic destinations for Holi celebrations in the country. Here are five of the best places in India to celebrate Holi.
In Hampi, Holi is celebrated on the full moon day in the month of Phalguna. Holi celebrations in Hampi last for two days. Everyone gathered in Hampi for the celebrations indulge in colour splashing and dance to native drum beats. They later take a dip in the river. This heritage site turns into a hall of colour and happiness every Holi and as Hampi is one of Karnataka’s front faces when it comes to tourism, many indigenous and foreign tourists join in for the Holi celebrations, making it a well-known destination to celebrate Holi.
Shigmostav is the festive equivalent of Holi in Goa. The locals offer prayers to their native gods and goddesses to mark the beginning of the celebrations. Shigmostav lasts for a fortnight and parades with performances of troupes and cultural dramas happen during the last five days. The fifth day or the last day of the parade is when everyone in the state gets colourful by using gulal. The locals and travellers take to all of Goa’s inhabited beaches to play with colours which make a great way to spend your Holi as you are covered in colour and watch the sun go down sitting on the colourful sands.
Holi is known as the Basanta Utsav or Spring Festival in Shantiniketan, West Bengal. This festival was started as an annual event by the famous Bengali poet and writer Rabindranath Tagore in his Vishva Bharati University at Shantiniketan. The students of the university observe the festival started by their patron in a unique way. They dress up in yellow clothing and perform cultural folk dances followed by throwing and playing with colours. The Basanta Utsav is considered an integral part of the Bengali culture and heritage and holds a special place in the heart of every person from West Bengal. Every year numerous tourists from around the globe flock to Shantiniketan to observe the culture inculcated by Rabindranath Tagore himself and take part in the festival of colours with the students of Vishva Bharati University.
Mathura and Vrindavan
Mathura and Vrindavan are famous for their Holi celebration throughout the country and attracts tourists and pilgrims from all over the world. Mathura is the birthplace of Lord Krishna and Vrindavan is the place where he spent his childhood. According to legends, the tradition of playing colours on Holi originated from the romance of Radha and Krishna. So, Mathura holds a renowned show, the week before Holi. A colourful and musical procession takes place from the temples to the river and then to the Holi Gate, marking the beginning of the festival. On Holi, the best place to catch the throwing of colours in Mathura is Dwarkadheesh Temple. Similarly, The Banke Bihari Temple in Vrindavan hosts a week-long Holi celebration and opens its doors to visitors from all around the globe.