Like all other celebrations in the country, Holi is not limited to being just a festival of colours, sweets and bhang, but has emotions attached with the phrase ‘Holi hai’. While the festival is celebrated in different ways around the country — from the Benarasi latth-maar Holi to the traditional Holi of Vrindavan — our state too, isn’t far behind when it’s comes to unique celebrations. We list down the places in Rajasthan, where Holi is celebrated in a different style.
Kapda Faad Holi—Pushkar
In the past few years, Pushkar has emerged as top tourist destination to celebrate Holi in India. The ‘Kapda-phaad Holi’ is pretty popular among the firangs, especially with the Israelis who travel all the way to the holy land Pushkar to celebrate this Holi. During Holi, the dopey narrow lanes of Pushkar get bustled with people drenched in colours and dancing.
Dolchi Holi— Bikaner
Bikaner witnesses a weird yet interesting Holi called Dolchi Holi. This Holi is played every year in the old city area of Bikaner. Three days before Holi, two communities — Harsh and Vyas — throw water on each other through a leather vessel called Dolchi for some time. At the end, they throw gulal at each other. While, on Dhulandi, two other Brahmin communities play a game with rope. While one ties the rope, the other one tries to cut it. The entire area is flooded with visitors enjoying their game amid hooting and music.
Braj Holi— Bharatpur
Celebrated primarily in Braj region in Bharatpur, Braj Holi is a big Holi celebration that precedes the festival. The grandeur and opulence of this festival celebrated in March is noteworthy. Lord Krishna is worshipped during the festival and various dance and stage shows are organized. The Raslila dance by men and women dressed as Krishna and Gopis is the highlight of the festival. There is an atmosphere of glee and spirit of the festival can be felt everywhere around.
Amidst the shower of gulaal, Rajasthan gears up to celebrate Gair Holi, which is celebrated in the adjoining places near Ajmer. Men from nearby villages, as many as 12 villages, come together and celebrate Holi accompanied by drums, musical instruments and excitement everywhere around. The influence of Bhang and Thandai and other sweet delicacies only propel the celebration of the glorious festival in full throttle. Drummers and troupes gather in Godaji Village near Ajmer. As music and beats of drum mark the celebration, the ecstatic face and glee can be felt in everywhere around.
Badshah Mela— Beawar
The Badshah Mela has been taking place the day after Dhulandi (Holi) since 1851 in Beawar, a town in Ajmer district. The mela has one person from the Agarwal community posing as Badshah, while other one plays Birbal, who is mostly from the Brahmin community. Badshah rides the rath from the centre of the town to the Sub-division office. While Birbal dances all the way in front of the rath, Badshah throws gulal on him. The fair witnesses tons of gulal being used by locals, which they splash on each other. Every year, lakhs of people coming from nearby places visit Beawar to witness the mela.