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7 Kickass Places to Celebrate the Holi Festival in India

7 Kickass Places to Celebrate the Holi Festival in India

By Janhavi Raut

10 Mar, 2024

It’s that time of the year when chants of ‘Bura na mano Holi hai’ ring around the streets. Yes, you heard it right. The craziest and most awesome festival of the year, Holi is coming up. With the splashes of color, the sweetness of gujiya, the excitement of Bhaang, and the kick-ass party vibe, the Holi festival is about to take your world by storm. Sounds way too exciting, doesn't it?

As Holi approaches in just 14 days, it's time to plan your celebration and make it truly spectacular! Don't fret about how to make your Holi experience unforgettable – we've got you covered. Here are some exciting ideas for you and your squad to add vibrant hues to your Holi festival. With a long weekend approaching, now is the perfect time to plan a Holi getaway. So scroll down, pick one of these fantastic destinations, and get ready to immerse yourself in the joyous spirit of Holi!

Kapda Faad Holi, Pushkar

Kapda Faad Holi, Pushkar

1. Pushkar

Looking for a Holi that is more parts crazy and fewer parts subtle? Then Pushkar is the place to be my friend. The name "Kapda Faad" literally translates to "tearing clothes," and this lively event lives up to its name as participants joyfully engage in tearing each other's clothes during the festivities. The unique twist adds an element of playful mischief to the already colorful and spirited atmosphere of Holi.

The origins of Kapda Faad Holi in Pushkar are rooted in local folklore and legends, with the tearing of clothes symbolizing the shedding of inhibitions and worldly attachments.

Where to go: You can enjoy Kapda Faad Holi near the Holika Chowk

Date: 25 Mar, 2024

Must try: Try stealing one of the torn t-shirts from the array.

Elephant Festival, Jaipur

Elephant Festival, Jaipur

2. Jaipur

Holi in Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, is a celebration that creates a happy marriage of traditions and the city's modern energy and enthusiasm. Jaipur hosts elaborate festivities, including massive Holika pyres, extravagant feasts, color-throwing parties, and spectacular fireworks displays.

The royal families actively participate in a grand rally, showcasing their cultural heritage. In the evening people gather around to enjoy food, folk songs, and traditional music. One of the best places where you can enjoy the Holi festival royally.

Where to go: Govind Dev Ji Temple and Sisodia Rani Garden

Must try: Watch the ‘Gair’ dance - a traditional dance done around the bonfire.

Phoolon Wali Holi Vrindavan

Phoolon wali Holi at Banke Bihari Temple

3. Vrindavan

We’ve all played Holi with colors and water guns - but what about playing with flower petals? In Vrindavan, the tradition is a bit different from the rest where instead of big dry splashes of colors, the air is filled with the delicate fragrance of flower petals. In Vrindavan, the ‘Phoolon Wali Holi’ is not just a celebration; it's a sensory masterpiece.

In Vrindavan, the Holi excitement reaches its peak during Holika Dahan on Ekadashi day (just a fancy way of saying it's a special Holi day). Around 4.00 pm, they swing open the doors of the famous Banke Bihari Temple to let in a swarm of people, who enjoy a variety of flowers being thrown at them by priests, for 20–25 minutes.

Known as ‘Phoolon Wali Holi’ this ritual involves practically being bathed in thousands and thousands of flower petals. While the sheer abundance of petals might lead to some playful pushing and shoving, the experience is well worth the lively commotion.

Where to go: Banke Bihari Temple in Vrindavan around 4 pm

Must try: Don’t forget to serve yourself a glass of Bhang prepared by the priests.

Holi Procession in Mathura

Holi Procession in Mathura

4. Mathura

Historically, Holi in Mathura has deep roots in Hindu mythology, particularly the legends surrounding Lord Krishna. The tradition of playing with colors is believed to have originated from the playful antics of young Krishna, who would smear colors on Radha and his friends.

The fun begins with a lively procession starting at Vishram Ghat and moving towards Holi Gate. Kids dressed as Radha and Krishna ride chariots, making it a festive sight, especially around 3.00 pm.

As the sun sets, it's time for Holika Dahan. Picture big piles of wood and branches set ablaze at the right moment, following a special schedule. The real Holi fun at Dwarkadhish Temple starts at 10.00 am on Dhulendi, with gulal and colorful celebrations.

But the party doesn't stop there! The day after Holi, head to Dauji Temple for more excitement. Here, women playfully grab men's clothes, adding a funny twist to the celebrations. It might sound a bit crazy, but it's all in good spirits and tons of fun!

Where to go: Vishram Ghat and Dwarkadhish Temple

Must try: Mathura ke Pede at Shankar Mithai Wala

Lathmaar Holi of Barsana

Women hitting with laathis as a part of Lathmaar Holi tradition

5. Barsana

Now this one is a doozy! Welcome to the land of the Lathmar Holi festival. Intrigued by the name? You will lose your mind when you find out the rituals here. Lathmar Holi festival is celebrated in Uttar Pradesh and is one of the most offbeat ones we have ever come across.

Barsana is associated with the divine love of Radha and Krishna, and the Lathmar Holi is a unique celebration linked to this folklore.

On this day women of Barsana dress up and get ready to beat the men of their town with sticks. Yup, that is right! They hurl sticks at them and it is the men’s job to escape them. This happens amidst chants, festivities, and folk songs. Sounds wild, doesn’t it? Might be but it is something a traveler shouldn’t wanna miss.

Where to go: Rangili Gali of Barsana.

Must Try: Mawa Gujiya of Barsana are to die for.

Goa Parties on Holi

Holi party at Tito's in Goa

6. Goa

If the party enthusiast in you is ready to break free, consider directing your Holi celebrations to Goa. The entire city transforms into a lively hub of drink bars, electronic dance parties, and an influx of travelers from around the globe, all amid a riot of colors. In Goa, the spirit of Holi transcends age, gender, and religion, fostering an inclusive and warm atmosphere.

Explore various fairs offering local cuisines, organic colors, and handmade jewelry, adding a unique charm to the festivities. One thing is certain—celebrating Holi in Goa guarantees unforgettable memories. As for event details, it's advisable to check whether these lively gatherings are ticketed to ensure a seamless experience.

Where to go:

1. Calangute, Goa: Known as the Tandav Holi Celebrations- Different packages start at INR 400 per head and include food and drinks for INR 4000.

2. Small Vagator: 4pm onwards- Entry is free for all

3. Anjuna, Goa: Popularly Known as Colorland- INR 500 and INR 1000 per pass (admits two) for entry.

Must try: Dive into a colored pool.

Sangla Holi

People smearing colors in Batseri village

7. Sangla

Sangla Holi in Himachal Pradesh is a fusion of local traditions and joyous festivities. Legend has it that gods celebrated in Sangla and a whole parade is organized wherein Ramayana skits are performed, and as a part of this procession, a special wine called Phasur is distributed freely. Residents also prepare a special meal that includes a local bread called Chilta.

The Baspa River becomes a colorful gathering spot for a community feast, and the Holika Dahan ceremony adds a spiritual touch. Kamru Fort offers panoramic views, and Batseri Village hosts playful activities, including a humorous clothes-snatching tradition. Sangla Holi is a harmonious blend of ancient lore and lively celebrations, with must-try local delicacies like Sidu and Babru.

Where to go: Batseri village and Kamru Fort

Must Try: Wine called Phasur and a local bread called Chilta

Now that we've compiled these fantastic options for you, time is of the essence! Don't let this opportunity to make Holi 2024 unforgettable slip away. With only a limited number of days left to book, seize the moment and plan a vacation with your near and dear ones. Ensure that this Holi becomes an indelible chapter in the book of your life. The clock is ticking—what are you waiting for?


1: What is the significance of the Holi Festival in India?

Holi is a vibrant celebration in India marking the triumph of good over evil with colorful festivities and a spirit of joy and togetherness.

2: How can I make my Holi experience unforgettable?

Plan a getaway to kickass destinations mentioned in the blog, join unique celebrations, and immerse yourself in the joyous spirit of the festival.

3: What is Kapda Faad Holi in Pushkar?

It's a lively event where people joyfully tear each other's clothes during Holi, symbolizing shedding inhibitions and worldly attachments.

4: What is Phoolon Wali Holi, and where can I experience it?

Phoolon Wali Holi at Banke Bihari Temple in Vrindavan involves being bathed in flower petals instead of dry colors, creating a sensory masterpiece.

5: What are the historical roots of Holi in Mathura?

Holi in Mathura has deep roots in Hindu mythology, particularly legends surrounding Lord Krishna, with lively celebrations at Vishram Ghat and Dwarkadhish Temple.

6: What is Lathmar Holi in Barsana?

It's a unique celebration in Uttar Pradesh where women beat men with sticks, symbolizing the divine love of Radha and Krishna, amidst chants and festivities.

7: Why is Holi in Jaipur special?

Jaipur's Holi combines traditions and modern energy with elaborate festivities, Holika pyres, and cultural showcases at places like Govind Dev Ji Temple and Sisodia Rani Garden.

8: How is Holi celebrated in Goa?

Goa transforms into a lively hub with drink bars, dance parties, and a riot of colors. Recommended places include Calangute, Small Vagator, and Anjuna.

9: How is Holi celebrated in Sangla, Himachal Pradesh?

It's a fusion of local traditions and joyous festivities with Ramayana skits, special wine (Phasur), and community feasts in places like Batseri Village and Kamru Fort.

10: Any must-try activities and delicacies during Sangla Holi?

Witness Ramayana skits, try Phasur wine, enjoy a special meal with Chilta bread, and participate in the Holika Dahan ceremony.

What to do now?

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