Holi in India is celebrated with vigor and great pomp all over the country. However, there are certain places that see something special during this festival. Rajasthan and specifically Jaipur are among them.
Holi is called ‘The Festival of Colours.’ This festival comes on the full moon day of ‘phagun’ – a Hindu month. This festival brings new hope for all the people as it marks the end of chilled winter days and the beginning of the summer. People forget their enmity and throw away their worries. Every nook and corner presents a colourful sight.
Everywhere, people – young or old are drenched with different colours and water. There are balloons of coloured water bursting and long ‘pichkaris’ squirting coloured water. People in small groups are seen singing, dancing and throwing colours on each other.
Holi in Rajasthan:
As with the various festivals in India, there is a lot of history associated with the festival of Holi, especially in Rajasthan. Historically, Holi has enjoyed the kind of reverence perhaps only seen in Mathura. The night before the full moon, people gather and light huge bonfires. This symbolizes the victory of good over evil, of Prahlada over the demon Hiranyakashipu. Singing, dancing and the traditional beats of dhol add to the gaiety of the occasion. The day after the bonfire is celebrated as Holi where people drench others in water and colour.
Even the aristocratic Rajasthani Royals participate in the celebrations. Festivals such as Holi have been used by the royal courts to showcase many things. Rajput warriors of the Rajasthani courts used to show off their equestrian skills during the festival. Even today, Rajput men would ride their steeds through the white and pink clouds of colour, throwing colour powders on each other. Even the members of the royal families are not immune from being drenched by colour.
Mythology too has a part in this famous festival. The Braj Festival is held in honour of Lord Krishna some days before Holi. Villagers here, can be seen singing and performing the raslila depicting the immortal love-story of Radha and Krishna.
Traditions in Rajathan:
The ‘Mali’ community (The community of gardeners) celebrates Holi in a rather unique fashion. Men splash women with water and women retaliate by hitting the men with sticks or long pieces of cloth.
Bikaner sees a lot of Holi celebrations too, particularly from the ‘Harsh’ and ‘Vyas’ communities. These communities have been celebrating this festival for many centuries now. They use a specially designed vessel called ‘Dolchi’ which is made from camel skin to throw water with force. However, they only throw water on the back of the individual.
Even after Holi, men from over 12 villages collect at Godaji village near Ajmer in Rajasthan to play gair. Each village brings his own drummer and gair troupes. The picturesque location for it is a valley surrounded by hills on all sides. Thousands of onlookers and close to hundred players make a wonderful sight and a fond memory.
Sights and Sounds of Rajasthan:
Rajasthan is one of those places that take you back in time. The harmonious architectural splendor, the royal palaces of old, sand dunes, the colours, sights and sounds all add to the picturesque and serene vibe of one of India’s most popular tourist destinations. A treat for the eyes lies in the synergy between Rajput and European architecture. Rajasthan has to be experienced at least once, and visiting this abode full of culture, history and charm during Holi is an unforgettable experience.
Club Mahindra has four magnificent resorts in Rajasthan. You can know more about them here.