Holi, is the festival of colors and most popular festivals celebrated in India. Year on year, Holi arrives on the day of full moon (Poornima day) in the month of March. It starts with Holika Dahan or Chhoti Holi on the evening of the Purnima falling in the Vikram Samvat Hindu Calendar month of Phalguna. One of the most vibrant Hindu festivals, Holi is a festive day to meet loved ones, play with colors, enjoy a delicious feast and begin afresh. Come and celebrate with us, Holi - the festival of colors, and joy.
Dates of Holi Festival 2020: 9 March and ends on the evening of Thursday, 21 March, 2020
On the day of arrival at New Delhi airport, Alkof Holidays representative will welcome you and transfer to the hotel. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight stay at the hotel.
After breakfast at the hotel, leave for Vrindavan. Upon arrival at Vrindavan, check-in your hotel. Rest and relax at the hotel, later proceed towards Barsana to witness the most vibrant festival of Color - Holi. Thousands of people from around the world visit Mathura and Vrindavan, especially on this occasion. The festivities begin with Lathmar Holi played in Barsana, a small village in Mathura. Lathmar Holi usually begins a week before the main event of Holi. During the celebrations, women from Barsana village gather with wooden sticks in their hands to welcome men from Nandgaon, with lath (stick) and beat them. This is a part of the tradition, as Hindu Mythology says that Lord Krishna along with his friends visited Barsana, Radha’s village to tease her and other gopis (girls) by throwing colored water on them. In retaliation, Radha along with other gopi's chased Krishna and his friends to beat them up with sticks. Even today, people from Nandgoan and Barsana follow the same ritual. Men soaked in colored water arrive in Barsana and tease women by singing provocative songs. The women then beat them with sticks (lathis) and men use shields to protect themselves. Later evening drive back to your hotel for night stay.
After breakfast at the hotel, leave for Nandgaon as celebrations in Barsana is followed by similar celebrations in Nandgaon (Krishna’s village) on the very next day. It was at Nandgaon that Krishna spent his childhood. As the legend goes, Radha with her friends called gopis would come to Nandgaon on this day to take revenge on Krishna and his friends by splashing colour on them. Since the women do not go, men and trans-genders dressed as women representing women from Barsana go to Nandgaon to celebrate Holi with the men there. They are welcomed with water and color in the village. This is very unique as the menfolk play Holi with women in a way which is not sexual in its approach but it has the rustic element of wooing and teasing. The main celebrations are held in the courtyard of the temple at Nandgaon, as soon as the courtyard transforms itself into a visual delight of beautiful colour-explosion. People from both the villages sit across each other singing and dancing here. Overnight stay at the hotel.
After breakfast at the hotel, proceed to “Banke-Bihari Temple” to attend a week long celebrations during Holi here. During the festivities, Bihariji (Krishna’s popular name in Braj area) is dressed up in white clothes. Goswamis (priests in the temple) sprinkle colours on everyone. The whole atmosphere is made even more lively with music (bhajans) in the background and people dance to the tunes. But on this day of Ekadashi before Holi, there are special celebrations at famous Banke Bihari Temple at Vrindavan after the Temple gate opens at about 4 pm and Holi is celebrated with flowers not colors. That is why it is called Phoolon-Wali-Holi meaning Holi with flowers. Overnight stay at the hotel.
After breakfast at the hotel, proceed for a day trip to Agra, visit the Taj Mahal along with Mehtab Bagh, Agra Fort, Itmad-ud-Daulah's Tomb, Akbar's Tomb, Jama Masjid, Moti Masjid, Octagonal Tower, Jahangir's Palace, Chini ka Rauza, and the Sikandra Fort. Later in the evening drive back to the hotel in Vrindavan for night stay.
Today is the day to celebrate Holi festival with emotions as you will witness a special celebration with poor widows. Widows in India always had a difficult life. They were often banished from their homes and were compelled to live in far off ashrams in places like Varanasi and Vrindavan. They could wear only white clothes and never could use colors or play with colors. It is only couple of years ago that the widows of Pagal Baba Widow Ashram at Vrindavan, decided to stop this ritual and play with colors. It will be really very encouraging if you support this noble cause by playing holi with them and bring some cheer and color to their life. Overnight stay at the hotel.
After breakfast at the hotel, drive towards Bharatpur National Park to experience something different and get away from Holi for a day. Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary provides a totally unique experience as it is a host to many rare species of migratory birds. The park is a combination of marshland, scrubland and grassland. You will explore the park in a rickshaw or by walk and view some rarest species that have migrated from China, Tibet, Afghanistan, Siberia, Europe, and Central Asia. Later on, the way back to Vrindavan, visit Fatehpur Sikri which served as short-term capital city of the Mughal Empire under the supremacy of Akbar the Great. The city was a perfect presentation of Indo Islamic style. Overnight stay at the hotel in Vrindavan.
After breakfast at the hotel, proceed to Banke Bihari temple, as the temple opens its doors to all visitors to come and play Holi inside the premises of the temple. The priests throw colours and holy water on the pilgrims and the crowd chants madly in unison. It is an unbelievable experience to be a part of this event until the doors of the temple are shut at the lunchtime. In the afternoon, leave for Mathura to participate in the colorful Holi procession which starts at Vishram Ghat. In the procession, there are about ten vehicles which are decorated with flowers, and some even have kids dressed up as Radha-Krishna, participate in the event. Later in the evening, it is time for Holika-Dahan which means burning of the effigy of Holika, the devil. Enjoy the event, later drive back to the hotel in Vrindavan for night stay.
Today is the day of the main event - Holi, the biggest event takes place at the historical Dwarkadheesh Temple in Mathura. On this day, there is a tradition of making and drinking bhang, which is an edible preparation of cannabis. We shall come to Vishramghat to catch the process of making Bhang by the priests. You may also try a glass yourself. The temple opens at 10 in the morning and there is a big crowd outside the gates by then playing Holi and throwing color on anyone who comes there. The atmosphere inside the temple is really great. Priest play Dhols and everyone there starts singing and dancing. You can also join and enjoy the celebration by taking part. After enjoying the festival, drive back to the hotel in Vrindavan for night stay.
After breakfast at the hotel, our representative will transfer you to your hotel in New Delhi. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight stay at the hotel.
After breakfast at the hotel, Alkof Holidays representative will transfer you to the New Delhi airport to board the flight to your home or onward destination.
Important: The booking stands liable to be cancelled if 100% payment is not received 16 days prior to departure date and received amount will be fully forfeited.
You or any member of your party may cancel their travel arrangements at any time. Written notification or an e-mail to that effect from the person who made the booking must be received at our office. The cancellation charges per person applicable are as per the published cancellation policy below:
We do plan the arrangements in advance. It is unlikely that we will have to make any changes to your travel arrangements.
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