HOLI in Vrindavan – Mathura. HOLI 2017

First things first. I had read and heard a lot about HOLI festivities in Krishna’s playground, Vrindavan and Mathura. But there were so many versions happening and I was desperately looking out for some guidance. I always like to go on my own and be able to spend as much time I WANT. That’s why I am allergic to conducted tours and their rigid agenda.

 And then, I came across this treasure house – an extremely user-friendly blog by Siddharth Mukherjee  http://www.sid-thewanderer.com/2016/01/how-to-plan-and-celebrate-holi-2016-in.html I can easily rename this as ‘HOLI IN MATHURA FOR DUMMIES’. He’s taken care of every aspect of travel. All I did was follow his guidelines faithfully.

 I missed three offbeat Holi celebrations – Laathmaar HOLI, Phoolan HOLI and Widows of Vrindavan Holi. I landed on 12 March,just a day before HOLI and managed to watch only part of the excitement. Yet it was an enriching experience. Since bloggers like Sid have left nothing for others to write about, I will stick to my thematic photographs.

 Part1 Day 1. Holi in Vrindavan
 Part 2. Day 1. FACES in Vrindavan !
 Part 3. Day 2. Doors and Windows of Mathura
 Part 4. Day 2. Holi procession in Mathura.
 Part 5. Day 2. FACES! Mathura
 Part 6. Day 3. Vishram Ghat and Gokul  
 Here is a pictorial account of Day 1.

 Had booked in a hotel on the Delhi- Mathura highway which was equidistant from Mathura, Vrindavan and Gokul. Set off at 6AM towards Vrindavan in an autorickahaw. It was biting cold and I was well prepared, thanks to Sid’s directions. The aim was to reach BANKE BIHARI temple where the main festivities would begin by 8.30AM. So,I first went to a mandir of Radha ma which opens at 6 AM. ‘RADHE RADHE’ is the traditional greeting here.

Vrindavan – Radha ma mandir. Location where Ras Leela was performed

 

Vrindavan- Radha Ma mandir
Vrindavan- Radha Ma mandir

You need to be very careful with what you carry. A horde of monkeys swinging around will pounce on you and grab anything that appears like a food packet.  I started walking towards Banke Bihari temple and found some street art.

Street Art – Vrindavan
Street Art – Vrindavan
Street Art – Vrindavan
Street Art – Vrindavan
Street Art – Vrindavan

Throughout the walk I saw cosy little joints offering piping hot adrak chai ( ginger tea) and kachori, a puff like snack. Moving on to the scene of action, BANKE BIHARI temple

Banke Bihari temple, Vrindavan

 

Banke Bihari temple, Vrindavan

Holi revelry begins as hordes of devotees enter Vrindavan in various hues and one cannot escape spurts of colours coming at you from different corners. Since all this is expected, everyone takes part with glee.

A ‘colourful’ vendor !
Holi in Vrindavan
Holi in Vrindavan
Holi in Vrindavan
Holi in Vrindavan
Holi in Vrindavan

In the next part, we will look at FACES! In Vrindavan !

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