Since the festival of colours, HOLI is around the corner and what makes it unique this year is the long weekend. So all the peeps get ready for some crazy experience this holi. Holi is witnessed as the craziest festivals of India which indulge everyone with paint and colours. Holi as a festival is not only gaining popularity among Indians but we have seen some drastic increase in foreign tourists as well. Many travelers are visiting India during Holi to witness this crazy war.
Holi is one of the major festivals of India and celebrated across the four corners of India. The festival is linked with this tradition of colours. And the stories which relate to Holi are Holika Dahan and Radha-Krishan. Holika Dahan is actually lighting of bonfires and the ritual is symbolic of victory of good over evil. What’s the Story of Radha and Krishan- Krishna, who had a dark complexion was jealous of his beloved Radha’s extremely fair skin and in a mischievous mood, he applied color on Radha’s face as an expression of love. Holi is famous as Basant Utsav in rural India and gulal, abeer, bhang (edible mixture made from the buds, leaves, and flowers of marijuana plant) and pichkaris are synonymous with the festival.
That being a little discussed about the history, where you can celebrate the best Holi this year. Well Holi is best witnessed in Banaras, Mathura and Vrindavan. In these cities Holi is witnessed with a huge mob all around the city, covered with colours. Even the streets get painted with the gulal. But with the increase in the number of people who are willing to witness this supercool festival, Pushkar and Rishikesh are coming more into the limelight. Guess why? Well it’s simple because of the hippie culture and more foreign tourists in these cities.
The festival here is different, the madness, the crowd, bhang and alcohol become the hype of the event. Although we won’t talk about the original cities where Holi is played from ancient times because you must have already witnessed it or probably read a lot and seen on television. What makes it interesting will be celebrating this year in Pushkar or Rishikesh. It will become your lifetime experience.
Plus you got a whole weekend and then the next two days so cheers to this 4 day holiday. It will be no bloody Monday anymore rather it will turn out to be the coolest Monday. Let’s get ready for something which you haven’t experienced yet.
HOLI IN PUSHKAR
Pushkar, the hippie capital of Rajasthan, is a small and very pious city in Ajmer. Every year more than a million tourists visit the city for its temples, peaceful ambience, ghats, amazing cafes, Pushkar Mela and last but not the least the grand festival Holi. If you already have been to Pushkar then I am sure you can understand why I am giving the city such praises but if you haven’t visited yet, then this is your chance and trust me it will turn out to be one of your best memories.
The festival party in Pushkar starts at 10 in the morning and continues till 5pm. The city gets transformed into some crazy badass club. Although alcohol is not served during this time (you can have your own, but keep to the amount where it can give you joy, I know it didn’t sound right with joy so let’s call it Suroor, better isn’t it?) Although you will find some crazy DJs playing trance and electro with hundreds of people dancing and painting each other gulaal. It will be like a Sunburn with colours. And imagine this crazy party going on and on for 7 hours, almost a complete shift in office.
Yeah some of you might have been saying if there is NO ALCOHOL then what is there. So to all the alcoholics there is a solution, Bhang which will give you a pip. You can also call it special lassi or thandai. It is sold openly during Holi with a Government approved shops. No need to do car-o-bar now.
What actually made celebrating Holi in Pushkar was Kapda Faad holi where the t-shirts of guys were torn apart and thrown to the winds. There is no exception to anyone, if you are a guy and entering the party then it is bound to happen. But this is only for men, WOMEN are safe and you will find several security guards and volunteers roaming to check on the event for women safety and alcohol or non-vegetarian consumption. Although a quick update, this event was banned by the government last year. So don’t get your hopes high because not sure if your t-shirt is getting torn this year and after which you can flaunt your masculine physique. Although there are some private parties too which you can certainly attend. Ofcourse, you will have to pay for those.
PS: It’s a long weekend so you have time to explore the city and the amazing cafes if you arrive early like on Saturday or Sunday. Also you can plan to visit Jaipur and make a halt for the weekend and move ahead for the grand event. Moreover, Ajmer dargah is also nearby where you can pay your visit.
HOLI IN RISHIKESH
Let’s move to Rishikesh, the yoga capital of India. Again there are no facts needed to show you all how many tourists visit Rishikesh, not only Indian tourists but foreigners too. So not only the tourist is driven just coz of some great cafes, or adventure sports but yoga is the biggest reason to draw foreign tourists to Rishikesh. The city is famous for river rafting, cafes, yoga retreats, camping, short hikes, waterfall, ashrams and much more to offer. Let’s talk about Holi now. So Rishikesh has been the trending city for Holi for the last few years and why not. It got so much to offer. Holi in Rishikesh starts from the night before Holi, the “Holika” is burnt at Laxman Jhula chowk, where people gather around the fire, and they sing and wish each other. And then on the next day, the same place is the venue for the Holi party. The chowk gets blasted with some crazy bollywood songs on loudspeakers and everyone is dancing and smearing others with colours. This makes the ambience fun and festive. Also you can look for some bhang or thandai but in Rishikesh it is not sold openly. You will definitely find it with ease but will have to approach in a little smarter way. The whole fun of being in Rishikesh is to experience the enthusiasm for this wonderful festival of colours, and the general camaraderie going around.
There are private parties which are hosted by many people wherein you can get some great experience.
PS – You can plan ahead and visit Rishikesh early as it has so much more to offer. You can go rafting, eat at some cozy cafe, witness the ganga aarti, get indulged in Yoga, roam around the city on a bike or scooter, go for some day hikes, I mean the list has a good number of activities which you can do. Camping under the stars is something which you can do. I know it has been so commercialized but definitely it has not lost its charm.
Here’s the fun part, I have got a friend of mine who is hosting this supercool “NATURE FEST” event in Rishikesh. Let me roll out the details:
The event is Rang de Rishikesh
Celebrate this Holi with Camp Kailasha with ORGANIC COLOURS and ORGANIC FOOD.
Experience the real madness in the foothills riverside middle of nature…a perfect setup for an exciting Holi experience.
|| Event inclusions ||
- DJ – Music in the daytime
- Holi special drinks and food
- Special bonfire
- Organic colours
- Organic food
- Water fountains
- Fun Games
- Riverside fun
All the activities in the camp include :-
- Riverside fun
- Misc other activities
Includes all meals (breakfast – lunch – evening snacks – dinner) + (All the inhouse activities)
The event link is shared – https://www.facebook.com/events/2410582949052450/
The facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/campkailasha/
Below are some of the pictures taken from last year’s fest.