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Holi Tour of Braj

A burst of spring colours in the land of Krishna…

Date and Time

Sunday 13 March (10 am) – Monday 14 March (10 pm)

Starting & Ending Point

Dilli Haat, INA, New Delhi: Sunday 13 March, 10 am sharp.

Tour ends at Dilli Haat on Monday 14 March, 10 pm.

Description

In the magical playground of Krishna – the land of Braj, Holi is celebrated with a gusto that is unmatched anywhere else in India. Our special tour is designed to give you a flavour of some of the varied events of Holi in this dev-bhumi (land of the gods). Learn about the traditional ethos of the festival, and the philosophy centred around traditional celebrations. Revel in the ever-increasing accelerating madness of colour that begins in Braj much before we in Delhi start playing Holi…

Holi in Braj carries on for more than 10 days. The Holi celebrations are centred around the opposition, and change in power equations between the male as embodied in Krishna and the female, as embodied in Radha. Pushti-Margi temples, spread throughout North and Western States of India, celebrate the festival. The Deity, and the laity, are liberally sprinkled with perfumes, saffron water, kesudo, and covered in sandalwood as well as the white and pink powder, abir and gulal. Joyous celebration is accompanied by classical music, poetry and folk songs appropriate for the occasion.

Itinerary

Day One: Sunday 13 March – Vrindavan

10 am: Leave Delhi for Vrindavan, Halt for Tea en route

1 pm: Reach Vrindavan /Check-in to guest house / Lunch

3 pm – 9 pm: Visit some main temples in Vrindavan / other sites of interest

9 – 10 pm: Dinner

10 pm onwards: Midnight stroll at the Yamuna

We reach Vrindavan, the playground of Krishna, a day before the Holi celebrations officially begin in Braj. We spend a nice day exploring Vrindavan and its beautiful temples, in preparation for the Holi celebrations that start the next morning.

Day Two: Monday 14 March – Barsana / Lathmar Holi

Early-11am: Aarti in Vrindavan temples

12 noon: Check out from guest house / Lunch

1 pm: Leave for Barsana

2 pm – 7 pm: Lathmar Holi Celebrations in Barsana

7 pm: Leave for Delhi

10 pm: Reach Delhi (Dilli Haat)

The Holi celebrations in Braj begin at Barsana, Radha’s (Krishna’s consort) village, six days before Holi. Krishna arrives, with the men from Nandgaon. The people of Nandgaon and Barsana play Holi together. The men wear huge turbans decorated with leaves to protect themselves from the colour and beatings of the women of Barsana. Lathmar Holi (literally Stick Beatings Holi) is played at sunset, when women dressed in beautiful sarees hit the men with sticks. They unleash a shower of sticks on the naughty boys of Nandgaon to teach them a lesson for all the broken pots and for teasing the girls of Barsana.

Registration Details

Contribution for tour:

Rs. 7,500/- per person on twin sharing.

Rs. 8,000/- per person on single occupancy.

Discounted pricing for children below 10.

Includes: Accommodation, travel, local transportation and all meals.

Does not include other personal expenses.

Accommodation at Anand Krishna Van Guest House – A/c rooms.

See http://anandakrishnavan.com/ for details.

Please register before 1 March 2011 to ensure availability. Payable in advance.

To register contact Himanshu Verma / Himanshu@redearthindia.com / 011-41764054

Dress Code

Holi colours – white, yellow, orange, red, multi-colour

References for description: Goswami, Shrivatsa. Celebrating Krishna. Vrindavan: Shri Chaitanya Prem Sansthan, 2001.

Photographs by Priscila Patel (Click on images to enlarge)