On the eve of Holi, people light bonfires to mark the occasion and ward of evil spirits in a ritual called Holika Dahan celebrated throughout the country. But we suggest, celebrate this in Udaipur, simply because Mewar royal family does it in style. There is a magnificent palace procession from the royal residence to Manek Chowk at the City Palace, including bedecked horses and royal band. Later the traditional sacred fire will be lit and an effigy of Holika burnt. You can also head to the public square at the Jagmandir.
Want to witness Elephant parades, polos and more? Head to Jaipur to celebrate Holi with elaborately painted elephants and various performances based on the life of Krishna and Radhu are held in temples. Try your hand at turban tying competition, or test your strength in a tug of war match.
From the Elephant Festival in Jaipur to the Emperor’s Parade at Beawar, Rajasthan boasts of some unique ways to celebrate the festival of colours.
Badshah ki Sawari at Beawar, about 185 km south west of Jaipur, re-enacts a medieval practice instituted by the Great Mughal Akbar. Impressed with his minister and one of the nine gems of his court, Raja Todarmal, Akbar made him the Emperor for a day. On the day of Holi, Raja Todarmal went around in a procession distributing money and wealth on Holi. At Beawar, the Emperor and the vizier move around throwing colours.
Koda Maar Holi: It’s Rajasthan’s answer to the Lathmar Holi of Barsana. Men who throw colour or water are whipped by their victims. While men enjoy the punishment, the women too seem to love inflicting it.
Tourists visiting Rajasthan will get a true feel of the colorful state Rajasthan.
Note: In case the Elephant Festival gets cancelled in Jaipur, Holi will still be celebrated, just without the participation of elephants.