A fierce red teeka on your forehead and a flower garland around your neck mark the beginning of a stimulating colour cannonade in Rajasthan. Pink, blue, white and golden. This state has a thing for colours, don’t you think? While Jaipur is known as the Pink City because of its lavish architecture, Jodhpur is the Blue City- for its ancient buildings cloaked in shades of blue. Udaipur is white for its marble glazed palaces, while Jaisalmer is known as the Golden City because of its yellow sandstone dominated architecture. No wonder its Holi celebrations are famous all around the world. Make your way to these four places in the land of colours to celebrate Holi this year with your family!
Places to Celebrate Holi in Rajasthan
Thwack! A multicoloured water cannonball called gulaal gota filled with soft gulaal drenches your clothes in a riot of colours. As you walk through the technicolour alleyways of the bustling bazaar of Choti Chopar, you will see enthused children running around armed with pichkaris, water pistols and powder bombs ready to attack. The manicured lawns of Khasa Kothi come alive with Amitabh Bachchan singing Rang Barse over the speakers and faces smeared with brilliantly coloured dyes. White turns into hues of red, blue, green and pink. Tubs of crimson powder dot the streets as unidentifiable locals refuel their baskets to continue playing this colourful game. Holi in Jaipur is an ethereal tinted mist of colours and contagious laughter. If we had to suggest a weapon of choice, we say arm yourselves with a handful of pink to respond to Jaipur’s colour-throwing antics. Playing the colourful cat and mouse game calls for syrupy sweets that re-energise. Do not forget to bite into the giant, glazed Ghevar. And as the name suggests, these simmering circles are larger than your usual jalebi, unapologetically laden with ghee. Or dance to the beats of traditional drums known as dholaks. Indulge in sweet dumplings locally known as gujjiya or snack on some crispy biscuits called mathris.
Watch the quintessential blue city of Jodhpur turn red, green and purple during the flamboyant festival of Holi. Colour spills on to the winding, breathless streets of Jodhpur and water balloons fly through the air. Gleeful children jump into tubs filled with coloured water, while loud Bollywood music blasts from the speakers. Prized palaces, heavenly havelis and florid forts join hands for a colourful celebration. While the royal Umaid Bhawan Palace stands witness to locals and tourists alike turn into havoc-wreaking children as they playfully throw colours on each other. Here, the royal family invites one and all for a grand celebration on their exquisite palace gardens. Dance to the enthused drumming of the dholaks, as the sky transforms into a fusion of colours. Or perhaps watch vibrant lehengas and clinking bangles sway to the tunes of some folk music as locals perform enchanting Gair folk dances at the beautifully kept palace gardens.
While the effervescent murals and miniature paintings do add a splash of colour to Udaipur’s walls, the festival of Holi transforms the city into a world of many hues. The City Palace witnesses a wonderful lakeside ceremony where the present custodian of the Mewar dynasty lights a bonfire on the eve of Holi along the glimmering waters of Lake Pichola. This takes places on the day of Holika dahan. Make your way to the bustling Jagdish Chowk where all kinds of festivals are celebrated with equal fervor, enthusiasm and love. Make friends with happy faces smeared with blue, orange, pink and green. And as you make your way to the Jagdish Temple, a child donning a kurta splattered in blue might stop you right in your tracks and attack you with a water pistol! You too can return the favour with a handful of gulaal. Go for it! Wear the colours of red, blue and green with pride as you take part in the Holi madness, but watch out for colour bombs thrown in the air by locals and tourists alike. The narrow alleyways and streets of the city come alive by locals singing rasia songs.
Get ready for colour clad strangers to walk up to you and smear your face with powdered colour. This glorious golden city shimmers more than ever during the festival of Holi. With its elaborately carved Jain temples and a breath-taking hilltop fort, Jaisalmer is the place to be at any time of the year. Ladies donning multi-coloured sarees sit on the sidewalks while herds of wandering cows and camels seem to have taken part in the colourful celebration too. Fingers dig into trays and buckets of brilliantly coloured powdered paint, ready to attack. The colours of Holi also signify the season of fruitfulness, known as spring. You can choose to cruise down the chaotic, colour-splattered streets of Jaisalmer in a van or perhaps a motorbike. Make sure you are armed with adequate holi gear, such as cotton pants, white t-shirts, water guns and coloured powder. Engage in light pats of gulaal on the cheek or spend your day perched on the steps of Jaisalmer Fort and watch the celebrations from a distance. The choice is yours!
Now that you know how Holi is celebrated in the royally colourful cities of Rajasthan, we suggest you take part in the festivities too! Make your way to the Thomas Cook India website and check out our Rajasthan tour packages right away. All you need to do is book your tickets and let us take care of the rest. What are you waiting for? The festival of colours is calling out to you! We assure you that your Holi-day in Rajasthan will certainly remain etched in your hearts for a lifetime.