Holi is around the corner and people in India must have started planning their trips. But when it comes to the most unique ones, my first thought is celebrating Holi at Vrindavan and Mathura. Unlike Holi in the other parts of the country, the Holi celebrations of Mathura and Vrindavan are globally acclaimed, and travellers from different parts of the world come to celebrate the various aspects of this festival of colours!

What’s So Special About Holi At Vrindavan And Mathura?

Mentioned below are a few reasons why Holi at Vrindavan and Mathura are so remarkable!

  •         – Mathura is the birthplace of the Hindu deity, Lord Krishna.
  •         – Holi at Vrindavan and Mathura is celebrated traditionally, with lots of enthusiasm, like there is no tomorrow.
  •         – It is also very special here because it is said to have been the favorite festival of Lord Krishna.
  •         – And finally, it’s all because of the fun and madness, which no other place in India is like.

Main Holi Events To Look For When You Are At Vrindavan And Mathura

So, if you are planning to visit Mathura and Vrindavan, here are some quick pointers in advance, from the types of events that occur during Holi to the exact dates and venues of happenings. Also, learn about the prayers at the festival and what is so special about it all! For starters, if you are coming all the way to India to celebrate Holi in Vrindavan, we recommend that you come as early as possible to visit some of the big events before the main day.

Lathmar Holi Festival

Lathmar Holi is an interesting part of the Holi Festival where Men from the nearby village are beaten by the Woman of Barsana as a part of the Traditional Mythology of Hindu culture. The story comes from Indian mythology where once upon a time, Krishna complained to his mother about his dark complexion. He also asked her why Radha Rani (the head of the milkmaids) was so fair, and he was not.

Lathmar Holi is an interesting part of the Holi Festival.
Lathmar Holi

His mother told him to go and smear colors on Radha so that her good complexion is hidden behind the colors of Holi. Taking this advice Krishna starts from Nandagaon and goes to Barsana, where Radha stays with other Gopis (cowherds or milkmaids) and colors them all. After this, all the Gopis (including Radha) get angry at Krishna and retaliate. Since then, men from Krishna’s village of Nandgaon visit Barsana to throw colors on the women and in turn get beaten up and chased by the women here. It’s a massive event and attracts thousands of tourists to enjoy this festival.

When and Where?

  •         Dates: 24 March in Barsana, 25 March in Nandgaon
  •         This event takes place about seven days before Holi at Barsana and Nandagaon
  •         If you are in Delhi, you can quickly hire a cab, go to the event and come back in the evening. If not, you can first reach Delhi and then grab a cab. (Barsana is about 115 kilometers from Delhi).

Phoolon Wali Holi, Vrindavan

On the day of Ekadashi just before Holi, the Banke Bihari temple at Vrindavan witnesses a unique Holi which is celebrated with flowers; hence the name Phoolon wali Holi (Flower Holi).

Phoolon vali Holi OR The Flowers Holi.
Phoolon vali Holi OR The Flowers Holi.

When and Where?

  •         Dates: 20th March 2024
  •         The gates of the temple open by 4:00 pm and Flower Holi starts right after that.
  •         However, unlike other Holi festivities, this is an affair of just 15-20 minutes, during which flowers are thrown at the devotees by the priests of the temple.
  •         It happens at the Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan

Widow’s Holi, Vrindavan

Widows in early India were deprived of a lot of things and often faced isolation. They wore only colorless clothes and never played Holi. Now, a few years ago the widows of the Pagal Baba Widow Ashram, Vrindavan Holi broke this convention and celebrated the festival with colors.

Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India - Vrindavan in four-day Holi celebrations that began on February 24th.. Woman dancing on the tunes of Radhe Radhe during Holi celebrations in Vrindavan
Woman dancing on the tunes of Radhe Radhe during Holi celebrations in Vrindavan

When and Where?

  •         Dates: 23rd March, 2024
  •         The event takes place a few days before Holi in the Gopinath temple, Vrindavan around noon.

Holi At Banke Bihari Temple, Vrindavan

Revelers throw colored powder and spray at each other at Banke Bihari Temple in Vrindavan, northern India. Banke Bihari is famous for its extravagant multi-day Holi celebrations, attracting thousands of pilgrims and spectators from the rest of the country. The event starts just a day before the main Holi festival. The temple priests open up its doors to all the visitors and tourists to come and play Holi with the idol of Lord Krishna himself.

Revelers throw colored powder and spray each other with water at Banke Bihari Temple in Vrindavan.
Revelers throw colored powder at Banke Bihari Temple in Vrindavan

When and Where?

  •         Dates: 24th March, 2024
  •         Happens at Bake Bihari temple. The temple doors open by 9:00 am and shut down by 1.30 pm.

Holika Dahan In Mathura

There is a beautiful story behind this event. Once upon a time, there was a boy named Prahlad who was a devotee of Lord Vishnu (of whom Krishna is said to be an Avatar). But his father King Hiranyakashipu was against Vishnu. So he tried to kill his son multiple times and constantly failed. One day the King’s sister Holika said that she would wear a blanket and take the boy into the fire so that he would be killed while she was spared.

But as soon as Holika sat down in a fire with the boy, she was killed and with the grace of Lord Narasimha (another avatar of Vishnu), Prahlad was saved again. This event is depicted as the triumph of good over evil! Hence people burn the effigy of Holika on this day. The biggest such effigy is burnt at the Holi Gate and there are many cultural programs as well.

When and Where?

  •         Dates: 24th March, 2024
  •         Mathura, between 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Holi Festivities In Mathura

The big Holi festivities take place at the historical Dwarkadheesh Temple in Mathura. It is recommended to start your day at 7 am. Ensure that you reach the Vishram Ghats and catch the priests making bhang (an edible liquid preparation of cannabis). The gates of the temple open at 10:00 am. The atmosphere inside the temple grounds is usually vibrant and colorful. You can see many women playing Holi inside the temple itself. The scale of Holi is smaller than many other venues, and the place is much friendlier. The priests play the drums and you can even join the dancing.

When and Where?

  •         Dates: 17th to 26th March, 2024
  •         Dwarkadheesh Temple, from 10:00 pm to 1:30 pm

Is There Anything Else Post-Holi?

Surprisingly, yes! On the day after Holi, Huranga Holi is celebrated to mark the end of Holi. This place is located about 30 km from Mathura. Here there is a big holy pond where devotees come in search of meaning of life and to celebrate the end of Holi by dancing and playing with coloured water

When and Where?

  •         Dates: 26th March, 2024
  •         Daoji Temple, Baldeo

Book Now: Agra Mathura Vrindavan Tour Here

Some Basic Tips While Celebrating Holi At Vrindavan And Mathura

  •         – Holi can often get quite crazy, so be prepared to be drenched in colors, water etc.
  •         – Carry good protection for your camera and other electronic items.
  •         – Wear simple clothes and carry something to change into and relax after the celebrations.
  •         – Be prepared for some unexpected things like your clothes being pulled.
  •         – Women, please be extra careful during Holi here and be wary of mild harassment.
  •         – Wear a cap, to save your hair and apply oil on skin and scalp to save yourself from chemicals.
  •         – And finally, do celebrate, dance, and have a glass of bhang; don’t just be a cameraman.

Also Read: Protect Your Hair And Skin From Holi Colors With These Easy Tips!

Holi at Vrindavan and Mathura is best enjoyed by not just being a tourist. Forget everything, be at ease and mix with the various colors of culture, food and festivity. So now, if you think you are participating in this Holi adventure, do share your experience with us in the comment box below.

Is Holi at Vrindavan safe to attend?

Vrindavan is a holy place and considered as a safe place for all.

Is There Any Particular Theme For Lathmar Holi?

Lathmar Holi is a Hindu festival which means the “Holi of sticks”.

How many days Holi is celebrated in Vrindavan?

It is a nine days festival in the Braj area of Uttar Pradesh, while other parts of India celebrate it for two days.


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