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Holi 2012

#1 Dec 27th, 2011, 11:40
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#1
I will be in India from Feb 10/12 to April 1/12 and will be there for the Holi Festival which I am truly excited for!!!

As a first time traveler to India I am not sure what to expect. I am wondering if anyone has advice on where to be for this festival. Since it will probably be a "once in a lifetime" for me, and my mom might be joining me, I would like to make sure we have the best time ever! (Me- a mature 24yr old, Mom- a very young at heart 54yr old)

Thanks for the advice and info!!

Bless.
#2 Dec 27th, 2011, 11:55
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Most welcome To IndiaMike and India!

First, I would suggest you to read few threads on Holi appearing on right side of these messages (under heading Similar threads) and my view would be:

Holi is celebrated all over India, especially in North India, but celebration in Vrindavan is unique! You would have wonderful experience of Holi in Banke Bihari temple at Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh. You reach in the temple in the early morning around 7 AM and remain there till at least 3 PM. Holi is played there with natural colors and it feels like God gifted! Believe me you would remember it whole life!! There is another place where you could enjoy Holi is Jaipur!

After being there till 10th or 11th of March, you may move to Indore in Madhya Pradesh. The Rang Panchami festival is a very big festival and most probably no where you would find people playing Holi on that day. It is celebrated there 5 days after Holi! It is best in the region.

A lot of people come out on the road and celebrate the festival! The color is played using canon and, again, it is a great scene to observe!!

P.S.: Elephant Festival is also organized in Jaipur one day prior to Holi!
Last edited by Prakaant; Dec 27th, 2011 at 13:49.. Reason: Addition of P.S.
#3 Dec 27th, 2011, 13:32
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I think you should visit this thread before planning your trip: A Word of Caution about Festivals (Holi). I hope that this and similar threads will not put you off, but in order for you to have a good time, I think it's important to be realistic and prepare for the worst as well as for the best . If you are planning to mix with the crowd rather than just watching, it is a good idea to wear old clothes that you will not need any more, and apply coconut oil to your skin / hair beforehand to make it easier to wash off the colours (also try to protect your eyes, maybe with sunglasses). You could also have an 'exit strategy' in case it gets too much and you want to take a break; for example, staying near your hotel (bearing in mind that shops / restaurants might be closed during the day so it might not be easy for you to find somewhere to sit inside, other than your hotel).
'Enlightenment is not a matter of having answers, but a matter of having no questions.' (I.D. Garuda)
#4 Dec 27th, 2011, 18:12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirjam2 View Post I think you should visit this thread before planning your trip: A Word of Caution about Festivals (Holi).
Thanks, Mirjam, don't think I knew that thread; that would be here: http://www.indiamike.com/india/scams...als-holi-t136/.

Some personal and general thoughts of mine at http://www.indiamike.com/india/india...3/?scrollTo=post1301263.
#5 Jan 11th, 2012, 19:14
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On the Banke Bihari website it says that the colourful 'celebrations' begin on March 4th and this continues until the 7th. Do you know which day in the three day period is best for Holi celebrations (powder throwing, paints) or will it continue in the same extreme for all three days?
#6 Jan 11th, 2012, 20:32
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Holi at Banke Bihari temple is played with the natural colors extracted from flower and other sources. No artificial color is used for the purpose! All days would be equally colorful

Main Holi festival is on 08-March-2012 though full scale holi celebrations start at Banke Bihari templefrom evening of Aanwla Ekadashi (Falgun Shukla Ekadashi) and continue till Holika Dahan day (Falgun Shukla Poornima) total for five days.

The official site may be visited for the details!
#7 Jan 11th, 2012, 21:29
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You can see a few Holi snaps here. There are quite a few of Banke Bihari Temple.
#8 Jan 11th, 2012, 21:37
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Thumbs up

Nice collection of pictures depicting study of faces and different moods!
#9 Jan 12th, 2012, 01:21
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Originally Posted by Prakaant View Post Holi at Banke Bihari temple is played with the natural colors extracted from flower and other sources. No artificial color is used for the purpose!
That may be, but outside the temple, people will use all sorts of colours / materials. If you want to be outside in Vrindavan during Holi, it is a good idea to apply plenty of coconut oil to your hair / skin and try to avoid the coloured powder getting into your eyes. I have light hair and had a serious problem some years ago when people threw pink paint on me that could not be removed from my hair at all afterwards. I heard that devotees inside the ISKCON temple play with flowers only and do not throw colours, if that's true, it might be an option to try to stay inside that temple.
#10 Jan 12th, 2012, 13:21
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@Mirjam2, Holi is played with different mediums on different days and flower is also one of them in Vrindavan!
#11 Jan 12th, 2012, 14:20
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Originally Posted by Prakaant View Post @Mirjam2, Holi is played with different mediums on different days and flower is also one of them in Vrindavan!
What I meant is, I was told that inside the ISKCON temple no colours are allowed at all during Holi (it would not be surprising, given that the whole thing is built of white marble!). I am not sure if this is true, but if it is, it might be a safe option for people, who, like me, do not want colours thrown on them. Of course, unless you live very near that temple, you still need to get to the temple and back to your accommodation, and will encounter people throwing stuff at you on the way.

(At the end of the day, if you are a female like me, worried about your skin / hair getting coloured and men harrasing you, you better do what I do, stock up on drinks and food for a week and stay safely inside your house. Holi is only enjoyable for people who are not worried about such things.)
#12 Jan 12th, 2012, 14:36
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Sorry, I'm still a little confused. I only have one day to spend in Vrindavan and was hoping to experience Holi (the colourful powders being thrown) at its best as I am a photographer. If you look here, you will see the official site states the colourful celebrations start on the 4th and end on the 7th, and that a festival called Dolotsav is held on the 8th. I would hate to get there late and completely miss it. Has anyone had the experience of Holi in Vrindavan? If so, what date/s in previous years did you celebrate in the five day festivities?
#13 Jan 12th, 2012, 15:15
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Jcol4208, I think you might be interested to read this: http://www.lesleybranagan.com/holi-f...-in-vrindavan; there is an e-mail address at the end, if I were you, I would e-mail Lesley as she will be the ideal person to give you more information, maybe even about practical things like how to protect your camera or how to find the best places to take photos from.

I did experience Holi in Vrindavan, but mainly behind closed doors, and even that was too much for me, and for my hair . A guy I just spoke to - who lives in Vrindavan and, unlike me, ventured out during Holi in previous years - told me that they throw colours every morning in the Banka Bihari temple (and of course, everywhere else) from the first day - this year, 4th March - until the last day (8th March this year); he said the last day morning was the most intense, and then it's all over by 1pm on that day.
#14 Jan 12th, 2012, 17:19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcol4208 View Post Sorry, I'm still a little confused. I only have one day to spend in Vrindavan and was hoping to experience Holi (the colourful powders being thrown) at its best as I am a photographer. If you look here, you will see the official site states the colourful celebrations start on the 4th and end on the 7th, and that a festival called Dolotsav is held on the 8th. I would hate to get there late and completely miss it. Has anyone had the experience of Holi in Vrindavan? If so, what date/s in previous years did you celebrate in the five day festivities?
If you know how to protect your camera from flowing liquid (i.e., colors) and colored powders (i.e., gulal), only then you should carry your camera(s) at the temple or on the street, or else it would be soaked completely. Gulal may spoil the mechanism of your camera even resulting scratches on the lenses.
#15 Jan 12th, 2012, 17:39
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The camera in question has been through swamps of Indonesia, fallen off chairlifts in slopes of Japan, suffered rain, dirt and being dropped several times on solid ground. It has never lived in a camera bag. I'm taking an old lens to use on the day, using a casing, filter and then wrapping it in SEVERAL snap seal bags/ plastic bags for extra. unless anyone else has ideas? Going to also take a cloth to wipe the lens every now and then so it can be seen out of.

In all honesty, both myself and the camera are ready to be battered in the name of photographing this incredible festival. If only the dates were more certain for planning :S

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