New Delhi, March 1: Holi, the festival of colours is celebrated across the country in different ways. Every state has its own set of beliefs that govern the festival. If you wish to see the diversification of the festival on this long Holi weekend, you must visit the following places that are not very far from the national capital.
Lathmar Holi, Barsana, Uttar Pradesh
The village, 150 kms from Delhi, practices some unconventional ways to celebrate the festival. A week prior to Holi, women take charge and unleash whips on the men of Nandgaon Village. It is then followed by Laddoo holi wherein instead of colours, people celebrate with sweets. They distribute sweets in the neighbourhood and dance and sing to the tunes of Lord Krishna and Radha's songs. Thus, celebrating the notion of brotherhood.
Rang Holi, Mathura, Uttar Pradesh
Approximately 183 kms from Delhi, Mathura, along with Vrindavan is the epicentre of the celebration of holi. Mathura is the birth place of Lord Krishna. Hence, the celebrations in the city commence 16 days prior to the festival. Its amazing to see how the entire city breaks into the mode of festivity. They walk from Vishram Ghat to the Holi gate while singing, dancing and colouring the streets of the holy city with love and togetherness. It is followed by a puja in the evening at the Dwarkadheesh Temple in Mathura.
Bhang Holi, Vrindavan , Uttar Pradesh
Although it falls under the district of Mathura, It holds a significant place in the celebration of Holi. 181 kms away from Delhi, Vrindavan is the place where Lord Krishna spent his childhood. The whole notion of Holi is believed to have originated from this place. Hence, the arrangements made to celebrate the festival are spectacular. The main celebration takes place at the Banke Bihari Temple which is filled with devotees from all around the globe. The priests are seen preparing bhang while the devotees enjoy the taste it offers.
Elephant Holi, Jaipur, Rajasthan
The Pink city, which is 268 kms away from Delhi, celebrates Holi with a pinch of rajasthani flavour. They add a lining of royalty to the radiance of the festival. Jaipur welcomes the festival with a parade of the elephants. It is believed that elephants played a significant role in the wars fought by the province of Jaipur. Thus, they consider it to be a symbol of royalty and hence, commemorate every occasion with the participation of the same. Hence their celebration includes a beauty contest of the elephants, a tug of war between them and a display of the rich folk culture of Rajasthan.
Hola Mohalla, Punjab
The residents of Punjab have their own style of celebrating the festival. While majority of the city is seen playing Holi with colours and water, Anandpur Sahib of Punjab brings in the festival with a demonstration of their physical strength. They participate in activities like martial arts, archery, sword fencing and wrestling. Its astonishing to see how the Nihang's Sikh have revolutionized the whole concept of Holi. Its something different and a drive of 311 kms to the place from Delhi is completely worth it.
News 24 Bureau