Advice for safe Holi 2016?

#1 May 28th, 2015, 00:45
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  • GeorgieS is offline
#1
Hi Everyone

My husband and I are hoping to visit India next year for Holi Festival. I have been looking for information online and it seems the general advice is to steer clear as it can be very dangerous especially for females as there can be lots of drinking and anti social behaviour etc.

So I was wondering if there is a place where we can get the spectacular views but not be right in the middle of the chaos? I want to witness it but not necessarily join in. Is that possible?

I was originally thinking of Varanasi as I've been before but I read that Mathura is the best place to be during Holi. Do you agree?
#2 May 28th, 2015, 11:25
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  • Prakaant is offline
#2
To be precise, Vrindavan would be even better place.
#3 Jul 31st, 2015, 08:18
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#3
My 3 young daughters and I did Holi in Delhi in 2010, as much as everyone worried about how we'd be groped or whatever, we had no problems at all. The hotel and driver didn't want us to leave the hotel or the car, but we explained to them we came for Holi. We went to the Jantar Mantar, and Lodhi garden, and evn out on the main street by our hotel into a crowd of locals playing Holi, and had a lovely time.

We even went to Mathura, to Krishna's birthplace temple the day before Holi, and agian had no problems though it was a wild crowd for sure.

I think people either over estimate the 'dangers' or underestimate the tourists...maybe both.

I am going back for Holi in March, with my 16 year old son, looking forward to it. We will be in Jodhpur for that week.

Blessings,
Ginger
#4 Jul 31st, 2015, 10:18
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#4
Hello! I was in Mumbai this past holi and had an amazing experience! We were 2 ladies traveling alone and had no issues. In fact, everyone was very friendly and invited us to their Holi parties. I would not worry too much, everyone was hyping up the 'danger' to us as well, but we didn't experience any danger during our whole trip. Try not to travel alone and you should be ok.
#5 Jul 31st, 2015, 16:56
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  • old india hand is offline
#5
Holi is a disruptive time .. the drinking & etc starts a few days before and why anyone would actually plan their trip for Holi is a mystery to me .. now two weeks earlier is Shivaratri altogether much nicer, festivals are happening and cooler in season.
#6 Nov 21st, 2015, 04:51
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  • jamiemackie is offline
#6
If you are in Vrindavan we could meet up? I'm travelling with my girlfriend and will be in Vrindavan for Holi, we are both into photography so will be spectators as much as celebrators!
#7 Mar 3rd, 2016, 01:50
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  • Nisha J is offline
#7
Even I am looking for some expert advice on attending Holi in Mathura. I am told that women are not spared and touched inappropriately.
As GeorgieS mentioned, is there any place where we can watch it without being troubled?

Thanks in advance.
Nisha

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#8 Mar 3rd, 2016, 05:44
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  • EmpressGinger is offline
#8

Holi---not a problem for women

My three young daughters (2 then teens and an 8 year old) and I celebrated Holi in 2010, in Mathura and New Delhi. We were at several sites, as well as on the streets in front of our hotel, a park...playing holi all day, and not one of us was harassed, touched, or otherwise bothered in any way, though we also heard the warnings and horror stories when people discouraged us from leave the hotel on Holi.

We had a lovely time.

I am sure some woman some where some time had some problem, but it seems to be a grand overstatement when people warn women to not go out for Holi.

I am going to be in India for Holi again in a couple weeks...I will have my teen son with me and we will go out all day and enjoy the celebrations...I expect no problems. Sometimes when you look for problems that is what you find, and if you look for a lovely trouble-free day, that is what you will find.

Blessings,
Ginger
#9 Mar 3rd, 2016, 07:37
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#9
Hmmmmm. ... one experience does not establish a rule.

I have played Holi twice (both times in Kolkata) but without going onto the street. First time was inside a private house on the terrace in North Kolkata where we were invited by friends of friends of an acquaintance, and also had a private Puja in a temple on the premises. Leaving, we were almost accosted by drugged youth in a frenzy of dancing after drinking bhang. We also had drunk bhang and needed 24 hours of sleep to recover. The second time was the following year with the same crowd of people in a flat in South Kolkata and outside in their private garden. Children of the entire compound of apartments were running riot with colours, but the sort that wash out easily.

OK, I do not think that my limited fun on Holi means everyone can step right out on the street in major metropolises without harassment.

If you can somehow get invited to a private party it is a whole different story.
"Only the guy who isn't rowing has time to row the boat."
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#10 Mar 5th, 2016, 21:05
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  • BackPackMak is offline
#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamiemackie View Post If you are in Vrindavan we could meet up? I'm travelling with my girlfriend and will be in Vrindavan for Holi, we are both into photography so will be spectators as much as celebrators!
Hello! I shall be in Mathura-Vrindavan from 21-24 March 2016 for Holi celebrations. I am a solo traveller. It would be nice catching up with you!
Reagrds!
#11 Mar 6th, 2016, 18:48
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  • atala is offline
#11
The safest way of enjoying Holi is within a temple compound. It is actually connected to a religious ceremony in places like Vrindavan. The ceremonies normally start around 9 or 10 a.m. and culminate at noon, with ecstatic chanting and dancing. From the temple compounds the festivities then pour into the streets.

So best is you select a temple you like a few days before, then be there in time, best wearing clothes you can discard after everything is over. For women it is best if you have a scarf over your head, because lots of color dust can be smeared into your hair.

(In Vrindavan beware of the monkeys. It is best to carry a stick. you can buy one in the market there, for instance in Loi Bazar in the center of town. The monkeys snatch glasses from people's faces without their noticing. Or will steal your camera. Monkeys are sneak thieves...)
#12 Mar 21st, 2016, 23:26
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  • Street Lane is offline
#12

Wife and I just arrived in Mathura

Hello. We are travelers from the USA looking for other foreign tourists in Mathura to share a safe Holi with on the 23rd. We have not seen any tourists in Mathura so far and would really rather be in a group if possible rather than just the two of us.

Hope to meet some new people soon.

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