Bharatpur, March 12, 2022.
“Braj Holi Mahotsav 2022”,a three day carnival celebrating the vibrant hues of the traditional Indian festival Holi, began with fanfare in Bharatpur. The event hosted by Rajasthan Tourism Department and District Administration of Bharatpur in the Braj region of Bharatpur, Deeg and Kaman is one of the important celebrations in the cultural calendar of the state to promote cultural tourism.
Known for its distinctive culture, the Braj region spreads from east of Rajasthan to the neighboring state of Uttar Pradesh. Immersed in and inspired by the devotion for Lord Krishna who is the icon of divine love and pure joy, the festival of Holi is celebrated in a unique way by the people of the Bharatpur region.
“Bharatpur is part of the Braj region; a sacred land where Lord Krishna had spent many years of his boyhood. This region soaked in delightful stories of Krishna is of great importance in Hindu mythology. This region has also been home to Bhakti saints who have made valuable contributions to Indian society. Braj Holi Mahotsav is a celebration of the rich traditions and our rich Indian mythology”, said Shri Ashok Gahlot, Chief Minister of Rajasthan about the festival.
“Our endeavour is to promote Bharatpur as a distinct place where culture and religion are so beautifully interwoven. It has the potential to attract devotees & tourists to not only ‘Govardhan Parikrama’ but also Jal Mahal of Deeg with unique colourful fountains. With its proximity to Delhi Agra Vrindavan, Bharatpur has the potential to be part of the tourism circuit. The Holi Mahotsav will give an opportunity to tourists to witness the colourful festival and other attractions that the district has to offer”, said Vishvendra Singh, Tourism Minister of Rajasthan.
The inaugural day of the celebrations began at Bharatpur with an array of popular local sports competitions like kabaddi, kho-kho and tug of war . This was followed by a Mehendi competition, a form of body art reflecting the rich Indian traditions. The Rangoli making competition saw beautiful and colorful expressions of Indian folk art at the Government Museum in Bharatpur. Turban tying and moustache competition were fun filled activities that entertained both the participants and the audiences.The Mega Cultural Evening was graced by Delhi based renowned Indian vocalist Vidya Shah who mesmerized the audiences with her soulful renditions on Krishna and other devotional songs. The crowd sang and danced as Vidya’s mellifluous voice reverberated in the air.
The second day of the festival will continue at Deeg with sports activities like tug of war, kabaddi during the day time encouraging participation from the local populace. The tourists also will get to experience a visually appealing color fountain show.
Noted Indian classical dancer-choreographer Manjari Chaturvedi will grace the stage on the second Mega Cultural Evening. Other local Rajasthani folk artists are also entertain the audiences with their performances.
On the closing day of the Mahotsav temples of the Kaman region will host various forms of Holi celebrations. Some popular forms include Lathmar Holi in which women hold bamboo or wooden sticks to beat the men who guard themselves using shields. It is believed that this tradition has been in practice since the times of Shri Krishna and his beloved Radha. A splash of colors in the form of Gulal Holi will bring joy and fun into the air of the Braj region. Other popular forms of Holi consist of celebrations with flowers known as Phoolon ki Holi, with milk and curd known as Doodh-Dahi Holi and with sweets known as Ladoo Holi.
This will be followed by Shobhayatra, a procession of Rajasthani folk artists from Gopinath Temple to Vallabh Ji Temple. A spectacular Aarti will be performed at the Vimal Kund to invoke the divine. The festival will culminate with Krishna Bhajan Gayan and Braj Rasiya Gayan, songs that celebrate the essence and playfulness of Krishna.