Holi, the festival of colours, is celebrated across India with great fervour. The festival marks the advent of pleasant spring after the cold winters.
There are many places across India known for its unique Holi celebrations but the Holi celebrations in Mathura and Vrindavan are special. It is believed that Lord Krishna was born in Mathura and he spent his childhood in Vrindavan.
According to legends, young Krishna went up to his mother, Yashoda, and cribbed about Radha being fair while he was dark complexioned. Yashoda advised him apply to colour on Radha. So, Lord Krishna and his friends went to Radha’s village, Barsana, to apply colour on Radha and the other Gopis. The Gopis used to beat them with sticks in a playful manner. The tradition continued over the years and is still celebrated as the Lathmar Holi.
Here are the details that might be useful for you if you plan to celebrate the festival of colours in Mathura and Vrindavan:
Lathmar Holi at Barsana and Nandgaon
Lathmar Holi is celebrated in Barsana and Nandgaon. Men from Nandgaon go to Barsana to tease the women. They in turn beat the men with sticks. These men protect themselves with shields.
The celebrations take place seven days before the actual Holi. This year it will be 5th to 8th March.
How to reach Barsana?
Barsana is 115 kms from the national capital and around 50 kms from Mathura. You can hire a cab to reach Barsana and even come back the same day in the evening.
Phoolon wali Holi, Vrindavan
The Banke Bihari temple at Vrindavan celebrates Phoolon wali Holi on the ekadashi before Holi. As the name suggests, this Holi is celebrated with flowers unlike the traditional colours. The temple gates are opened around 4 pm and the priests throw flowers at the devotees. Ekadashi before Holi falls on 8th March this year.
Widow’s Holi, Vrindavan
For years the widows in India lived a life devoid of worldly pleasures. They were banished and forced to live in Ashrams in Varanasi and Vrindavan. These women weren’t allowed to participate in celebrations until a few years ago when they broke the tradition and started celebrating the festival of colours. The Holi celebrations by the widows of Vridavan has since then gained popularity.
Holi at Banke Bihari Temple, Vrindavan
Banke Bihari is the hub of Holi festivities and the celebrations here takes place a day before the main Holi. The temple opens its gates for the public to play Holi with the Lord. The priests throw colours and holy water at the crowd. It will be celebrated on 12th March this year.
How to reach Vrindavan?
Vrindavan is 160kms from Delhi. You can easily reach by road.
Holi festivities at Dwarkadheesh TempleHow to reach Dwarkadheesh Temple?
If you are staying in Mathura, you can just walk till the temple. You can hire a cab if you are travelling from Delhi and leave in the afternoon after the Holi celebrations.
So, pack your bags and don’t miss the fun and the opportunity to celebrate the festival of colours in a different way this time.