Celebrate Holi in India: Top 13 Locations for a Joyful Festival of Colors

Holi, often referred to as the ‘Festival of Colors’, is a vibrant holiday celebrated with great enthusiasm and joy in India. This festive carnival, marked by the riotous play of colors, is the epitome of unrestrained happiness and offers a cultural exploration for tourists from across the globe. Here, we present the top 13 locations in India that offer extraordinary Holi celebrations.

1. Holi in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh

Historical Significance

Mathura, renowned as the birthplace of Lord Krishna, offers an unparalleled festive fervor during Holi. The city hosts elaborate events celebrating this festival, making Holi in Mathura a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Celebration Methodology

The colorful Holi procession in Mathura begins in the late afternoon from the Vishram Ghat and culminates near the Holi Gate. The Dwarkadheesh Temple takes center stage during the celebrations, teeming with devotees in the morning of Holi.

2. Holi in Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh

Historical Significance

Vrindavan, the playground of Lord Krishna, is another location that offers enthusiastic Holi celebrations.

Celebration Methodology

The main attraction for Holi celebrations in Vrindavan is the Banke Bihari Temple. The festivities here continue for a week, commencing with Phoolon ki Holi (Holi with flowers) and concluding with a riot of colors a day before Holi.

3. Holi in Barsana, Uttar Pradesh

Historical Significance

Barsana, a suburb of Mathura, offers a unique style of Holi celebration named Lathmar Holi. This festival sees women from Barsana and Nandgaon beating men with sticks in a friendly competition, drawing tourists from around the world.

Celebration Methodology

Lathmar Holi takes place a week before the primary Holi day. Barsana is famous for its vibrant Holi celebrations, where men from neighboring villages participate in playful “beating” with sticks.

4. Holi in Agra, Uttar Pradesh

Historical Significance

Agra, the city of Taj Mahal, also celebrates Holi with much enthusiasm. The famous Taj Mahotsav, a ten-day-long festival, culminates with the colorful celebration of Holi.

Celebration Methodology

Agra hosts numerous Holi events, with the Rang Panchami procession being the primary attraction. This procession includes elephants, camels, and drummers, providing a unique Holi experience for tourists.

5. Holi in Udaipur, Rajasthan

Historical Significance

Udaipur, known for its royal history, celebrates Holi in a grand manner. The celebrations here are marked by the participation of the royal family, making it an extraordinary event for tourists to witness.

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Celebration Methodology

The Holi celebrations in Udaipur begin with Holika Dahan, where the local Maharaj lights the ceremonial bonfire in the royal palace’s courtyard. It is followed by a grand royal procession that starts from Shambhu Niwas Palace and concludes at Manek Chowk.

6. Holi in Jaipur, Rajasthan

Historical Significance

Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan, is famous for its Holi celebrations. The city hosts a grand Holi celebration in the palace, participated by the royal family.

Celebration Methodology

The Elephant Festival, held on the day before Holi, is the major attraction of Holi celebrations in Jaipur. The festival includes a parade of elephants, horse riders, and camels, making it a must-see event for tourists.

7. Holi in Hampi, Karnataka

Historical Significance

Hampi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Karnataka, offers unique Holi celebrations. Here, the festivities take place around the ruins of the grand Vijayanagar Empire, providing a historical backdrop to the colorful festival.

Celebration Methodology

The Holi celebrations in Hampi involve singing, dancing, and playing with colors. After enjoying the colorful play, people head to the River Tungabhadra for a bath, a ritual believed to wash away sins.

8. Holi at Shantiniketan, West Bengal

Historical Significance

Shantiniketan in West Bengal celebrates Holi as Basanta Utsav or Spring Festival. This unique celebration was introduced by the famous Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore.

Celebration Methodology

During Basanta Utsav, students perform traditional dances and songs around a bonfire. The festival concludes with the throwing of colors, making Shantiniketan a unique place to experience Holi.

9. Holi in Pushkar, Rajasthan

Historical Significance

Pushkar, a holy city in Rajasthan, is known for its vibrant Holi celebrations. The city’s main square hosts a grand party, attracting tourists from across the globe.

Celebration Methodology

The Holi celebrations in Pushkar begin with the traditional Holi bonfire on the eve of Holi. The next morning, people indulge in joyful color play, dancing to folk music, and enjoying bhang thandai, a traditional Holi drink.

10. Holi in Delhi

Historical Significance

Delhi, the capital of India, is famous for its grand Holi celebrations. The city hosts several Holi events, including the well-known Holi Cow Festival.

Celebration Methodology

Holi in Delhi is celebrated with water guns, colored powders, and traditional sweets. The city’s parks and public spaces turn into a riot of colors, providing a unique Holi experience for tourists.

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11. Holi in Mumbai, Maharashtra

Historical Significance

Mumbai, the city of dreams, celebrates Holi with much fanfare. The city hosts several Holi events, making it a popular destination for tourists during this festive season.

Celebration Methodology

Holi in Mumbai is celebrated with DJ music, live performances, and rain dances. From luxurious hotels to street corners, the entire city is dipped in colors, offering a unique Holi experience for tourists.

12. Holi in Purulia, West Bengal

Historical Significance

Purulia, a district in West Bengal, celebrates Holi as Basanta Utsav or Spring Festival. This unique celebration involves traditional folk dances and songs, making it a popular destination for tourists during Holi.

Celebration Methodology

The Holi celebrations in Purulia include Chau dance, Natua dance, Darbari Jhumur, and songs of Baul musicians. These cultural performances add a unique color to the Holi festivities, making Purulia a must-visit destination during Holi.

13. Holi at Anandpur Sahib, Punjab

Historical Significance

Anandpur Sahib, a city in Punjab, celebrates Holi as Hola Mohalla. This event showcases the martial arts skills of the Sikhs, making it a unique Holi celebration in India.

Celebration Methodology

The Hola Mohalla celebrations involve a procession led by Nihangs, who are clad in traditional costumes and display mock battles. Other activities during the procession include wrestling and sword fights, offering a unique Holi experience for tourists.


In conclusion, India offers a plethora of locations to celebrate Holi, each with its unique cultural significance and celebration methodology. From the traditional Lathmar Holi in Barsana to the royal Holi celebrations in Udaipur and Jaipur, there is a vibrant Holi experience waiting for every traveler in India. So, pack your bags, embrace the colors, and enjoy the unforgettable Holi celebrations in India!

Paarth

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