Celebrate Holi 2017 In Mathura And Vrindavan - Planning & Execution

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Hey Guys are you Planning to celebrate the Holi in India and specially in Mathura and Vrindavan coming this year in 2017, and looking for some solution on how to execute this? This is exactly what happened to many guys & girls when they wanted to plan a trip and struggled to find a detailed guidance that they can follow to execute that plan in real. 
That's why I decided to write this guide so that it can be helpful for anyone who is planning a trip to celebrate Holi in Mathura & Vrindavan this Year. This Guide will work for both Indian as well as foreign tourists, However, if you have still a doubt after reading this post, feel free to post a question in the comments section below - I shall do my best to help you out :)

Celebrate Holi 2017 In Mathura And Vrindavan - Planning & Execution
Celebrate Holi 2017 In Mathura And Vrindavan - Planning & Execution

Now coming back to the Holi Celebration guide,  Holi is one of the main Indian festivals and is also the one which is full of fun. Like other Festivals Prayers are also there, but the festival continue on the streets as well being the most colourful festival.
According to some Indian mythological stories this festivities actually starts at the time of Makar Sankranti and goes on continue even after the Holi. If you are coming from outside India to celebrate Holi, I highly recommend you to come early from the Holi Festival as well as Stay for some time also after the main Holi Festival Day.

I am including some of the biggest events which we celebrates in this festival, which are in the below list-

Event 1st: Lathmar Holi at Barsana and Nandgaon

The first is a very old style of Holi celebrations where Men chases Women and women beat them up with Lathis (sticks), and it’s named as Lathmar Holi. There are two areas which celebrate this festival as Lathmar Holi and these are Barsana and Nandgaon.

Lathmar Holi at Barsana and Nandgaon
Lathmar Holi at Barsana and Nandgaon

Wanna know the story behind this Lathmar Holi? Here it is-
Lord Krishna once visited Barsana from Nandgaon to meet his love Radha for Holi celebrations. He teased her and her friends a lot. They got a little angry and decided to teach a lesson to Lord Krishna and they started beating him with sticks. So today also all men from Krishna’s village Nandgaon visit Barsana on Holi and get beaten up by the women as they Lord Krishna and Goddess Radha does at that time. 

It is a big event which attracts hundreds of participants as well as foreign tourists to enjoy this fun filled beatings.

When you should go?
This event takes place around 7 days before the actual Holi Day. Please Confirm the dates before planning a trip, as this festival is also celebrated on different dates every year as like other Hindu Festivals.

Where to go?
Barsana and Nandgaon

How you should go?
If you are from Delhi, you can simply hire a cab like Uber or Ola , visit the event and can come back home till the evening. Barsana is about 115 km away from Delhi. Similarly, if you are near or in Mathura you can hire a cab and reach there. Distance between Mathura and Barsana is about 50 km which is not too far. Reach as early as you can in the morning as the Temple becomes very crowded.
If you want to click photographs , you have to reach at the top balcony which is the only place from where you can click pictures.

Event Dates:-
2017 - 12th March - 13th March

Event 2nd: Phoolon wali Holi (Holi with Flowers), Vrindavan

It is celebrated othe Ekadashi before Holi at the Banke Bihari temple in Vridnavan. It is a unique method of celebrating Holi which is not playing with conventional dry or wet colors, but with flower petalsand hence it is called Phoolon wali holi (Flowers' Holi). This event inot as popular as like other events, but is really filled with fun.

Phool wali holi- Mathura and Vrindavan Holi
Phool wali holi- Mathura and Vrindavan Holi

The Temple gates will open around 4pm in the evening and then the Flower's Holi starts. However, unlike other Holi festive activities this is a short activity of just around 15-20 minutes during which flower petals are thrown at the devotees by the priests of the temple. If you don't reach there on time, then you gonna miss it it surely. In case you are planning to capture it in your camera, please reach the gate early before it opens.

On which day you have to go?
Ekadashi before Holi.- 8th March 2017

Where to visit?
Banke Bihari temple, Vrindavan

Event 3rd: Widow's Holi, Vrindavan

As you know Widows in India have always led to a very difficult life. They were often dispersed form their homes and were forced to live in ashrams. They only wore white clothes and forced to leave every item which belongs to any colour.
But few years back, widows of Pagal Baba Widow Ashram from Vrindavan decided to break this convention and started playing with colors on the Holi Festival.

Widow's Holi, Vrindavan
Widow's Holi, Vrindavan

Though this was started only two years back, but it's already become a great event during Holi celebrations to have a look uponIf you reach early in India and have some extra time, please make a visit and join them. I am not sure of playing with them, but if possible, do play with them as well... as it is always good to spread love on festivals :)

When you should visit?
This event takes place a few days before Holi.

Pagal Baba Widow Ashram, Vrindavan

2017 - 10th March (tentative)

Event 4th: Holi at Banke Bihari Temple, Vrindavan

Banke Bihari temple is the hub of all Holi festive activities in Vrindavan as it is believed to be the birthplace of Lord Krishna. The main event here takes place just a day before the Holi festival. The temple opens its doors to all devotees and visitors who has come to celebrate and play Holi. Firstly the priest throw colors and holy water on the crowd. Its will be a unbelievable experience for you to be a part of this celebration.

holi at banke bihari temple vrindavan
holi at banke bihari temple vrindavan

Unlike Lathmar Holi, more males participates in this event, there are some women but not so much as the crowd some times get rowdy and I guess that’s was the reason for the most local women to avoid it. Festival is celebrated inside as well as outside the temple premises and it will be impossible for you to escape from the colors :)

Special Note- Doors of temple open at 9 am in morning and will be closed by 1.30 pm.

When to visit?
Just A day before Holi - 9 am to 1.30 pm

Where to Visit?

How you should go?
Vridnavan is around 160km from New Delhi, you can travel there in the morning by yourself or cab and can come back in the evening. However, I recommend you to take a hotel room in Mathura and stay overnight there.

Date:12th March 2017

Event 5th: Holi procession in Mathura

After the Holi festive activities in Vrindavan in the Event 4th which get over around 2 pm, you should head out to Mathura to participate in the colourful Holi porcession. This starts at Vishram Ghat and get over a little after the Holi Gate. It will be best if you catch it in the street which is connecting these two landmarks i.e Mathura and Vrindavan.

You will see around 10-12 vehicles which are decorated with flowers with some kids who dressed up like Lord Krishna and Radha, participate in this travelling known as "Jhaaki". 
3 pm will be a good time to reach there and be a part of this, however it may be different on the day itself according to real situations.

Holika Dahan in Evening: After the street procession now it is the time for Holika dehan-burning of the sculpture of Holika. The biggest model is burnt at the Holi Gate there and celebrates many cultural programs as well. On the other side you can skip this and have a look at small intimate function where women from all around gathers and pray. These prayers are very quick and if you are not around there then you can easily miss it surely. 

When to visit there?
Just a day before Holi- 2 pm to 6 pm

Where to go?

How to reach there?
If you are in or around Vrindavan, you can take an auto-rickshaw or cab from the town to reach there easily. It also makes little sense to come from New Delhi or any other town just to attend this event.

Date:12th March 2017

Event 6th: Holi festivities in Mathura

On the great Holi day, the biggest and greatest festival takes place at the historical Dwarkadheesh Temple in Mathura. Start the colourful day at Vishram Ghat at 7 am and catch the making of Bhang-Lassi by the priests. If you can, take a glass of Bhaang-Lassi yourself as well , but beware don't consume too much.

The gates of the temple will open at around 10 am but the celebration outside the temple has already being started before that time. Big crowd has already started coloring anyone who dares to cross the roads and streets. Most of the fun is in this - coloring everyone out there no matter you know them or not just color them and spread happiness and joy among all. 

The environment inside the temple will be really nice, the scale of playiing Holi is smaller than of Vrindavan but this place is much friendlier than that. Priest of temple plays Dhol and you should join the dance.

Food tip: During the Holi Celebrations it's practically impossible for you to find any food after the festival or during the festival, and after the festival you are going to be hungry. I would suggest you to buy some food in advance and keep them safe with you in the bag or in the hotel room. 
Brijwasi sweets at Holi gate will open at around 4pm and then you will gesomething hygienic to eat there. 

When to visit?
The Holi day -10 am to 1.30 pm

Where to visit?
Dwarkadheesh Temple, Mathura

How to reach?
You should be in Mathura at that time. However, You can also come from New Delhi or Vrindavan in a cab and can leave the same afternoon.

Date: - 13th March 2017

Event 7thHuranga at Dauji Temple

On the day after Holi Celebrations, Dauji Temple, which is located around 30 km outside Mathura, comes alive when men from there not get just beaten up but also they get stripped by the women :)

Yes, you read that right .This tradition is from back around more than 500 years, the time when the Lord Krishna temple was established. All Women from the family which established that temple, strips the men and beat them with their own clothes, in the temple courtyard. Its now a huge family with around 3000 members now and they all gather there from across the world for the festival. 

After this ceremony gets over, there is more Holi played in the courtyard of the temple and everyone is welcome to join.

When to visit?
Day after Holi- 12:30 pm to 4.00 pm. 
This is a popular event and if you wanna take good pictures reach by 9 am and block your seat on the roof to get a good view.

Where to visit?
Daoji Temple, Baldeo, 30 km from Mathura

How to visit?
If you are in Mathura, take a cab or an auto-rickshaw to the village. You can also come from Delhi in a cab and leave the same afternoon.

Date: - 14th March 2017

General tips-

  • Holi can get pretty crazy some times, so be prepared to splashed with colors, water and even other things like mud etc.
  • There will be water and colors almost all the time around you, so protection is must for your camera - must have a waterproof plastic covers.
  • The clothes you are going to wear for the day will not be useable anymore after Holi celebrations, so wear something not so useful.
  • This is highly possible that your clothes might get torn off on the streets during the celebrations, so be prepared for that.
  • Women need to extremely careful during Holi. I am not going to warn you for playing holi or enjoying the festival, but be careful from young local guys who wanna just to touch you during coloration as many may not like it.
  • Wearing a cap, potentially save your hair from some chemical colors as people usually do not take off your head-gear
  • Don't forget to Carry a small dry-bag or polythene Bag to keep your money, phone and other essentials things.
  • And finally, have at least one glass of Bhang-lassi and please don’t just be a photographer as Holi is best enjoyed by participating in it. However, I again remind you not to consume too much of Bhang-Lassi.
Hope you like the article and guide. Please share it for helping other also.
If you have any query please write at the comments section.


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