A long weekend of Holi in Vrindavan and Braj region
While a large chunk of India waits for the long weekend during Holi ,I took to field and made a short trip to Vrindavan from Delhi for the Holi celebrations . The annual ritual of visiting to Vrindavan during Holi continues . Vrindavan itself forms a part of Braj region the birthplace of Lord Krishna . Holi starts here a week before the big Holi day ( 24th March 2016) and lingers on till a few days afterwards. Barsana, Nandgaon, Vrindavan and Mathura are famed for their temples as well as Holi.
Inside Bankey Bihari temple
Visitors in a state of trance
In fact Lathmar Holi has become quite renowned and is preferred in equal number by tourists as well as shutterbugs . What one finds besides the gamut of colors are women of community adorning themselves as Radha thereby reenacting scenes from the past on the streets trying to beat men with their long bamboo sticks. Specifically this is called the Lathmar Holi and is one of the highlight of the week long festival .
Women of Nandgaon
Lathmar Holi in action
On the other hand, the Holi reaches to its crescendo at Bankey Bihari Temple in Vrindavan. The temple has four gates (three for entry and one for exit) was built in 19th century and is dedicated to Lord Krishna . The season for Holi in Banke Bihari starts off with Phoolon ki Holi and ends with the main festival where colour and gulal are thrown .
Phoolon ki Holi, Bankey Bihari
Besides Bankey Bikahri temple there’s Prem Mandir, Pagal Baba Mandir, and Iskcon temple .
While visiting the streets of Braj area, the team also took a detour and went around the ghats of Vrindavan . In particular was Kesi Ghat where we witnessed the aarti in evening . One of the interesting ways to visit the ghat is through taking a boat ride which would cost around two hundred rupees .
Old and New, Kesi Ghat, Vrindavan
While Holi can be extremely enriching and once in a lifetime experience, capturing it through lens requires a lot of tact and patience . One has to watch the water ,make a mental note of schedule, stand in queue for entry to temple and also respect the space despite managing through the throng of people that come for the festival.
Few add ons
Vrindavan area is a pure veg zone.
Take proper precaution with equipment while playing Holi .
Do try the local Pedas ( Brijwasi ke Pedas is good)
Pedas of Vrindavan
We made Vridavan our base and went around the region .
One can take a bus to Vrindavan or train to Mathura from Delhi.