12 Best Holi Celebrations in India: A Kaleidoscope of Colors

holi celebration in india

As the chilly winter fades and the spring spreads its scent and beautiful colors all around, everyone in India prepares for the most anticipated and colorful festival — Holi

Imagine vibrant colors all around, drums playing, people dancing on the streets, and nothing but laughing faces and happiness to absorb! Sounds like a dream, ain’t it? This one-day festival is exactly that! 

This article will highlight the places offering the best Holi celebrations in India to give you the experience of a lifetime! 


Holi in Mathura

Mathura is one of the most popular destinations when it comes to the best places to visit in Holi. Since this is the birthplace of Lord Krishna and the festival itself, it is celebrated for a whole week in Braj (the region combining the towns Barsana, Mathura, and Vrindavan). 

A day before the festival, Mathura witnesses a grand procession with children dressed as Radha and Krishna riding chariots to the Holi Gate. The main festival is organized at the Dwarkadhish Temple where people collect and play with colors while enjoying the music. 

Reach the temple on time, before the festival starts so you don’t miss anything! The festival of Holi starts at 10 am and goes on till 2 pm. 

Where to play — Sri Krishna Janmabhoomi Temple, Dwarkadhish Temple, Holi Gate, Chhata Bazar, and Vikram Ghat.


Holi in Vrindavan

The Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan hosts a week-long celebration of Holi. The idol of Lord Krishna is dressed in pure white clothes and the devotees are allowed to play with him. 

This festival at Banke Bihari temple is celebrated with powdered colors, flowers, and colored water. The powder colors are made from natural ingredients that are thrown at people by the Goswamis using buckets. 

The whole atmosphere is colorful and vibrant, with Bhajans playing in the background. The temple opens at 8:45 AM, which marks the start of the festival, and goes till 8 PM. 

Where to play — Banke Bihari temple.

Barsana and Nandgaon

Holi in Barsana

The celebration in Barsana and Nandgaon is not for beginners, since this Holi is not just celebrated with colors but with sticks. This is popularly known as Lath mar Holi, where women beat men with sticks (playfully) and men protect themselves with shields. 

The celebration takes place in the Radha Rani temple, Barsana and the children of Nandgaon move to Barsana on this day to enjoy the festival. 

According to legends, Lord Krishna, who was friendly with all the ‘Gopis’ colored only Radha’s face, the Gopis, in turn, took offense and drove Krishna out of Barsana with bamboo sticks. Thus, Lathmar Holi is celebrated in tune with this tale. 

Indulge yourself in the beauty of this distinct celebration with a spray of colors, excitement, music, and delicious food! 

Where to play — Radha Rani temple, Rangoli Gali Barsana, Shriji Temple.


Holi in Pushkar

When we talk about the places with famous Holi in Rajasthan, Pushkar tops the list. This is another place where the festival is celebrated differently, Pushkar’s Holi is known as Kapdafad Holi. The word Kapdafad translates to tearing clothes

Pushkar is generally a quiet and serene town, but this place comes alive every year on this day with vibrant colors, loud music, and appetizing food. The celebration in Pushkar often starts a few days before the main festival day in the form of several events organized by many different communities and temples. 

Where to play — Mela Ground, Lake, streets. 


Holi celebration in Udaipur

Udaipur, also known as the City of Lakes, and one of the most romantic cities in India, celebrates this festival in an imperial and royal manner. The celebration begins right before the main day with a bonfire in the evening known as Holika Dahan.

The royal family also participates in the festival and the bonfire on the first day takes place in the City Palace, graced by the ruling king of Mewar and his family. This marks the start of this crazy festival of colors, Udaipur welcomes everyone on their grounds with vibrant Gulal, smiling faces, and delicious food. 

Where to play — City Palace, Manek Chowk narrow lanes, and the local market of Udaipur. 


Holi in Hampi

Holi in Hampi is an exhilarating and culturally rich experience. Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is renowned for its ancient ruins and historical significance. This offers a unique setting for the festivals of colors with the hues of cultural and festive spirit. 

The streets of Hampi come alive again on this day with an array of colors, water guns, and loud music, against the backdrop of the beautiful ruins of Hampi. 

Where to play — On and around the banks of the Tungabhadra River.


Holi in Shantiniketan

Holi in Shantiniketan is also known as Dol and is an important part of Bengali culture. This romantic Holi in Shantiniketan will make you fall in love with this festival. 

This Basanta Utsav is not just a festival of colors but also a celebration of the arrival of spring through dance, music, colors, and poetry. People dressed in beautiful traditional yellow and white clothes kick off the festival with mesmerizing performances of Rabindra Sangeet, the songs composed by Rabindranath Tagore. 

The celebration mostly takes place on the Visva-Bharati campus, with the students and teachers actively participating. 

Where to play — Visva-Bharati campus.


Holi celebration in Jaipur

Jaipur is one of the most exotic places that you can travel to in India. This culturally rich city in Rajasthan celebrates Holi like there’s no tomorrow. The majestic forts and the breathtaking architecture of the historical sites just add an extra layer of excitement to the festival. 

Playing with colors on this day brings together people from all walks of life and nationalities in a single joyful environment. Just like in Udaipur, the royal family celebrates the first day of the festival on the grounds of the City Palace, and tourists are allowed to watch. Indeed, you’ll see one of the most famous Holi in Rajasthan in Jaipur. 

Where to play — Rambagh Palace, Govind Dev Ji Temple, Khasa Kothi Hotel lawn, Amber Fort, Hawa Mahal, etc. 


Holi in Rishikesh

Rishikesh is not just a famous historical place in India and the “Yoga Capital of the World”, but it’s much more than that. Rishikesh is a Hindu pilgrimage site and a hotspot for adventure junkies and party animals. 

During Holi, this place comes alive with vibrant colors and joy like you’ve never seen before. Smear each other’s faces with Gulal and play in the holy water of Ganga. Many camps organize parties on the day of the festival, which you can take part in.

Where to play — Many camps celebrate this festival like Camp Brook.


Holi in Haridwar

Haridwar is another Holy place of Hindus where people visit to get blessings. This is one of the top Holi places as distinct people of all ages from across India come together to celebrate.

One of the unique aspects of celebrating this festival in Haridwar is the presence of various ashrams and spiritual centers. Many devotees and pilgrims gather in these ashrams to celebrate in a more serene and spiritual atmosphere, often incorporating rituals, prayers, and bhajans (devotional songs) into the festivities.

Where to play — Ganga Aarti Sthal, Kar Ki Pauri, Mansa Devi Temple, and Chandi Devi Temple.


Holi in Delhi

Delhi in Holi transforms into a vibrant and beautiful festival, reflecting the diverse culture of the city. Delhi is a rapidly growing and modernized city with wild parties and even wilder people.

There are several Holi celebrations in Delhi where parties are organized. Still, the locals like to roam around the streets while coloring every person they see and to be honest, this is an experience on its own.

Holi Parties in Delhi — Holi Bash 2.0, Holi Sholi 2024, Rang Rasiya, The Holi @ Downtown Resort, Holi Spirit 2024, etc. 


Holi in Goa

What better way to celebrate Holi than at a beach surrounded by water with loud music and crazy dancing? With lots of excitement and glee, this festival, also known as Shigmotsav, is welcomed in Goa, which is one of the best summer destinations in India

The streets get packed, and the white sand gets enveloped in different colors. This is one of the most amazing places to visit on Holi if you want to party hard and enjoy every second of this day. 

Holi Do’s And Don’ts

Children playing Holi
  • Use only organic, eco-friendly, and non-toxic colors to play with.
  • You can wear old and nearly discarded clothes and torn footwear while playing with colors since they’ll get dirty beyond saving but most people like to wear white.
  • Cover the head with caps and scarves and wear full-sleeve clothes. To protect your eyes, wear sunglasses.
  • Apply coconut oil to your hair and skin before going out to play Holi.
  • Before washing off the colors it is recommended to apply coconut oil and cleansing milk.
  • Apply thick coats of nail paint to keep your nails away from color stains, and to protect your teeth from color, wear dental caps.
  • Keep away from mobs or frantic groups, down the streets, they can get quite crazy.
  • Use permanent colors or things like nail paint and mud.
  • Throw colors on animals, especially stray dogs, cats, and cattle.
  • Indulge in illegal and irresponsible acts like rash driving, drunken driving, or damaging public property.
  • Force anyone to play Holi. Not everyone likes colors and many suffer from allergic reactions too. So, if anyone is reluctant to play with colors, respect their wishes.

Here’s a YouTube video by Editorji showcasing the different shades of India on Holi


Holi is one of the most fun festivals in India and needless to say, everyone has to experience this once in their life. Although people celebrate Holi with so much enthusiasm and joy in the whole country, these 12 places host the best Holi celebrations in India that are worth witnessing.

Frequently Asked Questions
Holi is famous in which state?

Holi is famous in every state of India, but places like Bruj, Pushkar, Goa, etc. celebrate it in different ways that are popular worldwide.

Where is the best place to celebrate Holi in India 2024?

The best places you can celebrate Holi are Barsana, Mathura, Vrindavan, Udaipur and Pushkar

Which is the safest place to celebrate Holi?

Here are the safest places to celebrate Holi in India — Mathura, Vrindavan, Barsana, Pushkar, Shantiniketan, Udaipur, etc.

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