10 Best Places to Celebrate Holi in India in 2020
Holi is the festival of color and joy. The festival is associated with Lord Vishnu. The entire country celebrates Holi but, the cream of celebration is enjoyed only in specific destinations of the country.
Here are the top 10 places to visit in India during Holi festival.
1. Mathura and Vrindavan
These are the places to enjoy the traditional version of Holi. Locals perform rituals at temples and home. Later, they plunge each other with colored water or powder. Mathura is the place where Lord Krishna was born. The holy towns of Mathura and Vrindavan will be drenched with colors. The best of all celebrations is found in Banke Bihari temple, where the celebrations start the day before Holi. During the eve of Holi, people throw flowers at each other. A procession starts early in the morning before Holi from Banke Bihari Temple and leads to Mathura. On Holi day, the festival of colors takes place in Dwarkadheesh Temple of Mathura. Bhang, a marijuana spiked drink is served at Vishram Ghat.
2. Barsana, Uttar Pradesh
Closer to Mathura, the villages of Nandgaon and Barsana celebrates Holi is quite a different way. The women folk try to beat the men with large sticks, while the male counterpart tries to dodge with shields. This is called the Lathmar Holi. This festival takes place a week before the Holi festival. A few days before Lathmar Holi, people throw sweets at each other and it is called Laddoo Holi. After the celebrations in Barsana, the locals reach Nandgaon Village to continue the celebrations.
3. Shantiniketan, West Bengal
West Bengal celebrates Holi as the end of winter season. The festival is called Basantha Utsav (the festival of spring). Rabindranath Tagore introduced the culture of cultural Holi at his Vishva Bharati University. Students of the university dress up in colorful attire and take part in several cultural activities. At the end of the celebration, students throw color powders at each other. The cultural programs are open for tourists to enjoy too.
4. Purulia, West Bengal
This is a three day long Basanta Utsav festival celebrated with folk arts. The festival starts two days prior to the day of Holi. At Purulia district, the locals celebrate Holi with Darbari Jhumur, Chau dance, Baul music, Natua dance, and others. People stay in small tents in the celebration grounds to enjoy the activities.
Punjab celebrates a masculine version of Holi. Since the beginning of 18th century, Hola Mohalla fair is conducted. During this celebration, people demonstrate physical ability with martial art performances, mock war, competitions, military exercise performance, sword fight, and others. Many poems and discussions about the courage of men and women during war are conducted during this festival. The best place to enjoy Holi in Punjab is Anandpur Sahib.
6. Udaipur, Rajasthan
Udaipur celebrates Holi as the day of death of Holika. The demon aunt of Prahalad set herself on fire with the kid Prahalad on her lap. However, Holika who was immune to fire end up dead while Prahalad walked out of the pyre without a scratch. This day is celebrated as the day of victory of Good over Evil. To celebrate this occasion, people create large bonfire to ward away evil. This is the Holika Dahan ritual. This ritual is conducted by the royal family inside City Palace. The royals enter the site of ritual with a procession and a royal band. At the end of the celebration, a large effigy of Holika is burnt.
Dharavi slum region is one of the colorful destinations to enjoy Holi. During the festival, the tourists can enjoy along with the local kids for a fee. Major part of the fee is directed to the welfare of the children and the community. Those who wish to enjoy Holi with a cause choose to enjoy Holi with Dharavi kids. The community celebrates the festival with colors, dance, and music.
Delhi is a livelier place to celebrate Holi with everyone, including strangers. If you walk down the street, every single person would spray colors at you. If you wish to enjoy cultural activities, take part in Holi Moo Festival. This festival is organized with more than 40 different performers from around the world. The festival includes food, color, dance, and music.
Destinations covered by Palace on Wheels
Jaipur used to be one of the most exciting places to celebrate Holi. It was called as elephant festival. It was celebrated with sprinkling colors on elephant, tug-of-war, folk dance and music, elephant beauty contest, and so on. However, since 2012, the festival was banned to stop animal cruelty. However, Jaipur still celebrates Holi with dance, music, and of course, colors. If you are planning o celebrate Holi in Jaipur than take the Palace on Wheels Rajasthan. On Day 2, luxury train reach the destination.
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10. Hampi, Karnataka
All the destinations above are of Northern part of India. Holi is indeed, a festival that is more celebrated in north rather than south. However, if you are in southern India and still wish to celebrate Holi, the best place to visit is Hampi of Karnataka. This festival is celebrated as a spiritual day. Many rituals and interesting activities take place in the ancient temples of Hampi. You can find many cultural activities too. By the end of the celebration, people drench each other with color powder. It is a tradition to wash those colors off the body by taking a dip in the river.
Apart from these, many destinations and communities conduct several activities during Holi. The exact date of Holi changes every year. Thus, surf about the festival dates and celebration venues before planning your vacation.