If there’s anything India is most known for, it’s got to be the festival of colors. We curated a list of 11 best places to celebrate Holi in India just for you!
Holi celebration in India begins way before the actual big day and the hangover continues for a week! People from all walks of life get together and celebrate this festival like it’s the end of the world but we’re not complaining. We’re all up for the party too! So, while we discuss this beautiful celebration, why not throw some light on where you can find the best corners in our country to fill colors with? Find out where these places are and let’s get this party started!
#1 Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh
If you have a long weekend coming up, head to Vrindavan to witness one of India’s biggest Holi celebrations there will ever be. The Banke Bihari Temple in the town attracts people from all around the world. It’s a travel photographer’s paradise for capturing Holi in its purest forms. They celebrate the occasion for an entire week and sometimes even extend it further!
The strange thing about this particular place is that people play ‘phoolon wali holi’ (Holi with flowers) and they actually play with a lot of flowers. That’s absolutely crazy, right? Get there pretty early so you can get in position before the colors come out of hiding!
#2 Mathura, Uttar Pradesh
Along with Vrindavan, Mathura is another town where Holi celebration explodes like a volcano coupled with an earthquake! The magnitude of this festival is beyond anyone’s comprehension. So, if you think you can handle the madness that Mathura is, be our guest!
The history of Holi runs pretty deep in Mathura as its origin lies here. People from the nearby towns like Nandgaon, Barsana, and Kosi travel to Mathura just to play Holi and celebrate its importance in unison. Truly experience the raw celebration along the ghats as people come together to paint the entire town with colors you didn’t know existed!
#3 Shantiniketan, West Bengal
If you’re more towards the artistic side, Shantiniketan is the best place to celebrate Holi in India. West Bengal is known for its arts and culture – there are no second thoughts about this fact. So when Rabindranath Tagore first introduced the celebration of this festival, it became a part of the annual program at Vishva Bharati University.
This is, of course, followed by the ritual of playing with colors later in the day! People from all over the world visit this place to get a gist of a peaceful Holi before it explodes into what it is about in the other states of the country.
#4 Anandpur Sahib, Punjab
All hail the warriors of Punjab! Did you know they begin the festival of colors a little different than the rest of us? It has also reached the roots of Kiratpur Sahib and the foothills of Shivaliks. Expect to see a whole new type of Holi! Dubbed as Hola Mohalla, it’s a ritual established by Sri Guru Gobind Singh.
A simulated battle, say what? Watch this and many other processions, wrestling matches, and mock fights, all in good thoughts! It’s a three-day celebration with the grandest feasts you can ever imagine! If you are a part of this epic week, be sure to know that you are lucky! It’s great to know and understand our country’s history and culture, isn’t it?
#5 Jaipur, Rajasthan
If being the Pink City of India wasn’t enough, Jaipur hits it back again with the fact that it’s one of the best places to celebrate Holi in. The best part about celebrating Holi in this city is that you get to see both the cultural and hip Holi in different regions. So, you have to make a decision and head towards the party that you want to be a part of!
Earlier, there used to be celebrations with the mighty Indian elephants. But it’s a great deal that it got shut down since it is a form of animal cruelty. But, in case you wanted to see the elephants, you still can! Visit Elefantastic and get your minds blown away to another level! They have one-day packages and much more! Celebrate Holi in a different way, shall we?
#6 Bangalore, Karnataka
Bangalore is one of those cities that celebrates all kinds of festivals with greater pomp than the previous one! While one part of the city indulges in religious rituals, the other part begins the day with colours. With the number of options available for an individual in a city as large as Bangalore, you might be spoilt for choice!
Hotels like Royal Orchid, The Chancery Pavilion, and even Ezone organizes some of the best parties in the town! But their tickets run out really quickly, so be sure to book them all before time.
#7 Mumbai, Maharashtra
Holi in the city that never sleeps? Oh yeah! Mumbai has been long known for a people who know how to throw a good party! And, we’re not complaining! Head out on a road trip from a nearby city to Mumbai and witness one of the largest Holi celebrations in the country. Being a metropolitan city, each corner celebrates this festival in ways that can’t be listed! From cultural retreats to pool parties, get set for absolutely random party hopping plans in your group!
#8 Udaipur, Rajasthan
The Royals know how to celebrate this festival with a class you only see on a movie screen! While the Maharaja wears festive apparels and greets the crowd, you will be left in awe of such a sight. A huge ritual called the ‘Holika Dahan’, a bonfire, is set up in the grounds of the City Palace. It is then followed by a massive rally that’s lead by the Royal family. Now, this is a sight not to miss! The second day is usually saved for the colours so plan your trip accordingly!
The party is just beginning! Delhi is not only known for one of the country’s biggest Holi parties but also one of the wildest. There’s absolutely no shortage of the number of events being hosted in the city so just plan on landing here a few days before Holi because if you reach on the festival day, you will not be spared! Yes, the people in the city treat everyone the same and if they see someone on the street devoid of any colour patches, oh boy, are they in for a ride! Sometimes, the shopkeepers even hide until someone shows up and take them by surprise. Madness equals Delhi. Period.
#10 Hampi, Karnataka
While most of the places in South India don’t indulge in throwing colours and splashing coloured water, Hampi gets on the bandwagon and beats all stereotypes! If you’re in Bangalore, we suggest you travel to Hampi and experience something different. The playful mood stays alive almost the whole day but slowly fades out as the temple rituals commence. You can expect a lot of drumming and dancing throughout the day too!
If you’re one of those people who live on discovering new things, head to Manipur! The Yaosang festival that takes place for 5 days long ends with a ritual of splashing water on each other like the rest of the country. Each of the 5 days is scheduled for something different too. So, on the very first day, you would see Mei Thaba or Burning of the Straw Hut which is followed by children partaking in Nakatheng, a way of asking money from the elders. Reach out to the locals if you really want to witness this 5-day long celebration from a first-person perspective!