The festival of colours or Holi is one of the most celebrated religious festivities. This year in 2021, this festival coincides with the Easter weekend, making it the perfect long-weekend for a fun-filled staycation. Happy images of people joyously celebrating, an unlimited supply of beloved mithai and thandai, along with a fraternity of youngsters ‘letting their hair down’, this vibrant festival is celebrated differently in various parts of India. Whether you prefer to be a part of the celebration or hideaway somewhere quiet, here are some cities we recommend for the experience of a lifetime.
Like a vision from the Mughal times, the Pink city always glistens with a riot of colours. However, with the advent of time, the major focal point of Jaipur festivities is the big, royal gala bash, hosted by the Royal Family of Jaipur. Tickets need to be booked in order to witness this event. Traditional Rajasthani folk music and dance performances are the perfect background score for ‘gulal-play’. For those who favour a more traditional and devotional atmosphere, head to the Govind Dev-Ji Temple in the heart of City Palace. There, the Krishna and Radha deities are serenaded with marigold flowers and holi hymns.
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- Ashapura Niwas: Located in the heart of the city, this magnificent 6 bedroom bungalow offers comfort and style. Its huge terraces, overlooking the mesmerizing city lights, blue, white and cream coloured rooms, spacious bedrooms and a quiet neighbourhood, makes this property Instagram-worthy and popular amongst large groups.
- Krishnalaya Mansion: Reminiscent of Rajasthani architecture and an indoor swimming pool inspired by Roman baths, this property offers you a swing, lush greenery on three sides, an outdoor barbeque area, traditional Rajasthani delicacies, encompassing perfect royal experiences. A jacuzzi and sauna are also present at this property. Located within the centre of the city this bungalow makes for an exciting yet comfortable stay, with Jaipur’s popular locations in close proximity.
Fireworks, Holika Dahan and absolute royalty, Udaipur is the best place to be on Holi eve. With the local Maharaja lighting a ceremonial bonfire in the central courtyard of the Royal Palace, followed by cocktails and a lavish dinner for those who booked tickets, Udaipur is an amalgamation of both traditional and contemporary ways of celebrating this festival. In order to ensure no madness prevails, local police are present at all times for a safe, yet fun ‘gulal’ festival. With a live DJ, local ‘gair’ performances, authentic Rajasthani delicacies and refreshments, this holi celebration is unmissable
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- The Jungalow: Persian style interiors, spacious bedrooms, lavish furnishings and heritage decor welcome you at this property. With uninterrupted views of the Aravalli Hills and a tranquil, green location, this 5-bedroom palace-like retreat comes equipped with a private, indoor swimming pool, sunset outdoor seating and vast open spaces.
- El Lago Villa: Explore nature trails and soak in the splendid view of this lake-view house. With 4 vast bedrooms at your disposal, a plunge pool, jacuzzi and modern decor, this conveniently located property is the place to be to celebrate an intimate holi.
Home to a ‘second Golden Temple’ dedicated to Goddess Durga, this shrine sits on a rectangular lake which is reached by a narrow causeway, where locals and foreigners gleefully play ‘gulal’. It’s a family filled event full of mirth and joy, involving moms and grandmoms too. This low-key city is a great place to celebrate this vivacious festival.
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- Serenity Bangla: The spirituality of Amritsar and vibrancy of Punjab are encompassed in this serene property. Feel the famous Punjabi hospitality, and enjoy the convenience of famous attractions close by. Unwind at this modern, lavish 4-bedroom villa with a huge garden, plenty of space, aesthetic pleasing interiors and a homely ambience. Luxury and comfort go hand-in-hand at this property.
- ETA Homestay: Located in the heart of the city, this homestay is surprisingly serene, wherein you can enjoy a quiet walk around the property. The rooms are equipped with all the modern amenities, lush green views and birdsong surrounding you, making this 2BHK a quiet go-to home in Amritsar.
Manali, Himachal Pradesh
For a vibrant, energetic holi, this charming and playful festival is celebrated in unique style at one of India’s favourite hill stations. Ancient ceremonies showing devotion to deities and the Holika Dahan being lit, see families, friends and neighbours alike come together to perform traditional customs. Local children and youth come out to play Ice Holi, which is a mix of loads of powdered colours and snow. With dance parties, thandai mixed in with the atmosphere, small melas and fairs make this experience, one of a kind.
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- Chalet Windflower: For an unfiltered bond with nature and views of gorgeous snow-clad mountains, this gorgeous 4BHK villa oozes a wooden rustic charm paired with earthy colour palettes. A private heated jacuzzi, sauna and spa display Manali’s finest amenities.
- The Magnolia Estate: Opulence, cosy vibes and lush green views welcome you at this gorgeous 10BHK property. Soak in views of the mountains across the sprawling lawn, at this 60-year-old heritage villa, while enjoying a bonfire. This lovely abode is perfect for a large group and a memorable holi weekend.
For the biggest celebration in the country, visit Delhi’s NCR Region festival filled with organic colours, rain dancing, premium alcohol, foot-tapping music and world-class delicacies. Experience a variety of holi parties in Rang Leela, Unite Holi Music Festival in Gurugram and an underground Holi movement called the Holi Moo Festival. The festival of joy and mirth has no bounds in the country’s capital city, with each corner displaying its opulence and vibrancy. Often in Delhi, Holi is inaugurated by the Tilak ceremony and greetings with garlands.
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- Aanandum: Nestled away in the South-West portion of Delhi, this magnificent 4BHK will magically transport you into a serene getaway experience, without having to leave the heart of the city. Developed over 30 years and promising new discoveries at every corner, this property comes packed with lush green surroundings, sprawling lawns, a lotus pond and a rose garden. Spacious bedrooms and all the modern amenities, provide you with the comfort needed after an exhilarating day.
- Khohar Haveli, Gurgaon: This gorgeous 6BHK villa is nestled at the base of the Aravali Hills and is a distinct amalgamation of old-world charm and modern comforts. With a Mughal garden, royal artefacts and interiors along with magnificent 18th-century architecture, this property is an ideal escape for the bustling excitement of this city during this festival.
Holi is celebrated in a variety of different manners from North, South, East and West of India. This festival of laughter, joy and exhilaration is the perfect way to kickstart your long-weekend getaways for 2021.