Lathmaar Holi : Endless sonnet of Love & Spirituality

10:50 am

After the months long winter season, spring brings lot of happiness and relief in the life of everyone. Everything in the nature become active and feels new life on the earth. The colorful flowers again started attracting butterflies. The whole environment looks like enliven & colorful. People started playing with colors and much awaited festival of Indians Holi started.

A festival of joy and happiness which spread real color and pleasure in the life. People sprinkle real colors or colored powder (Gulal) to each other and break all the barriers of discrimination between them. Children come out of their homes in the early morning with colors and Pitchkari to enjoy with friends. 

But the people of Brajbhoomi- Land of Radha & Krishna, celebrates this festival of colors - Holi with traditional gaiety and fervor, a week ahead of the rest of the country in totally different way. From all around the world travelers come here to witness and frame the phenomenal style of  their Holi known as Lathmaar Holi, which is played in the village of Barsana & Nandgaon, near Mathura in the state of Uttar Paradesh.

Legend has it that one day Lord Krishna of Nandgaon was playfully teasing Radha and her friends gopis of Barsana. The women of Barsana took offence and chased Lord Krishna and his friends away by running after them with lathis. Since then, the tradition is being followed in Barsana where men come from the neighboring village of Nandgaon to apply color to women of Barsana and are chased away.

On the first day of Lathmaar Holi,  gops from Nandgaon come to play Holi with the gopis of Barsana. The festival begins with a ceremony at the sprawling campus of the Radha-Rani or Ladli temple, which is said to be the only temple in the country that is dedicated to Radha.  After this ceremony gops than march out of the temple on the Rangeeli gali where they stop to play lathmaar holi with the gopis, who stand in groups along the street.

The next day men from Barsana go to Nandgaon to drench the women of Nandgaon with kesudo (orange color flower) water and palaash.

The Nand Baba temple looks like bathed in orange/red by kesudo or palaash flowers. The transgender dancing in full swing under the devotion of Lord Krishna. The people reading the Samaaj Doha inside the temple. The festivities unfurl in full swing with colors and water being thrown around. These all scenes were so alluring that one can’t forget it in his/her lifetime.

The air itself becomes colored and songs lauding Lord Krishna and Radha can be heard at every corner of the village. Revelers sang folk songs and danced in groups as part of the Rasleela celebrations, recalling the romance of Lord Krishna and Radha, his consort.

It was really an awesome show of love & spirituality, the whole Barsana & Nandgaon bouncing aound chanting Radhe- Krishna.  The complete environment became pure and it is believed that even the gods descend to witness.

Happy Travelling !!!!

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