Best Places to Visit in India on Holi for a Fun Experience

Holi, the exuberant festival of colors, marks the end of winter and the bounty of the upcoming spring harvest season. It's a time when the country is awash with a kaleidoscope of colors, and people from all walks of life come together to celebrate with music, dance, and the playful tossing of colored powders and water. India, known for its diverse cultures and rich traditions, offers some of the most distinctive and spirited Holi celebrations. Here's a closer look at the best places to visit in India for a memorable Holi celebration that combines traditional rituals with fun-filled activities.


1. Barsana, Uttar Pradesh

Barsana witnesses the best Holi celebration in India, drawing visitors from across the globe. The Lathmar Holi in Barsana and Nandgaon, towns near Mathura, is particularly noteworthy, where women, armed with sticks, playfully beat the men, who shield themselves with shields, adding a unique flavor to the festive spirit. The term "Lathmar" translates to "Holi with sticks," and as the name suggests, this festival involves women playfully hitting men with sticks, while the men try to shield themselves. This tradition is said to be inspired by the playful exchanges between Radha and Krishna. According to legend, Krishna, known for his mischievous nature, visited Barsana to tease Radha and her friends. In response, the women of Barsana chased him away with sticks.

Barsana, Uttar Pradesh

2. Udaipur, Rajasthan

Udaipur, the city of lakes, adds a royal touch to Holi celebrations with the Mewar royal family taking an active part in the festivities. The celebration begins with the lighting of the Holika bonfire, symbolizing the burning away of evil spirits, in the grand courtyards of the Udaipur Palace. The following day, the city is immersed in vibrant hues as locals and tourists alike join in the revelry, throwing colored powders and splashing water on each other. The picturesque backdrop of the city's palaces and lakes, combined with the joyous celebrations, makes Udaipur a must-visit destination for Holi.

Udaipur, Rajasthan

3. Shantiniketan, West Bengal

In the serene town of Shantiniketan, Holi is celebrated as Basanta Utsav (Spring Festival) and is synonymous with cultural renaissance. Initiated by the revered poet and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore at Visva-Bharati University, the festival is marked by a vibrant display of music, dance, and theatrical performances by the students, all dressed in bright yellow, the color of spring. The day is filled with Tagore's poetry and songs, and the celebrations conclude with the students and visitors alike smearing each other with colors. This blend of cultural festivities and traditional Holi celebrations provides a unique experience that is both soulful and joyful.

Shantiniketan, West Bengal

4. Anandpur Sahib, Punjab

Anandpur Sahib, one of the most important Sikh pilgrimage sites, celebrates Holi in the form of Hola Mohalla, a tradition established by Guru Gobind Singh. This week-long celebration is a testament to the martial spirit, with Sikhs from around the world gathering to display their skills in traditional martial arts, including sword fighting, archery, and horse riding. The air is filled with the sounds of martial music and the sight of breathtaking military exercises, interspersed with poetry readings and music. The blend of devotion, bravery, and colors makes Hola Mohalla a unique festival that goes beyond the conventional celebration of Holi.

Anandpur Sahib, Punjab

5. Hampi, Karnataka

Hampi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, breaks the notion that Holi is predominantly celebrated in North India. The historic ruins of Hampi come alive during Holi, as locals and tourists gather to play with colors amidst the ancient temples and monuments. The festive spirit is contagious, with drumbeats, dance, and laughter echoing through the streets. The contrast of the vibrant colors against the backdrop of the old, majestic structures offers a mesmerizing experience, making Hampi an exceptional destination for celebrating Holi.

Hampi, Karnataka

6. Jaipur, Rajasthan

The Pink City of Jaipur celebrates Holi with grandeur and pomp, starting with the famous Elephant Festival, which, though no longer featuring elephants due to animal welfare concerns, continues to attract crowds with its colorful processions, folk dances, and traditional Rajasthani music. The city's historical forts and palaces provide a majestic setting for the celebrations, with local communities and tourists engaging in the playful throwing of colors. The royal family of Jaipur also hosts private events, adding to the city's festive atmosphere.

Jaipur, Rajasthan

7. Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh

Flower Holi, known as Phoolon Ki Holi, in Vrindavan is a spectacular and unique celebration that adds a divine fragrance and ethereal beauty to the traditional Holi festivities. This event is held at the Banke Bihari Temple, one of the most revered temples dedicated to Lord Krishna, in the historic town of Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh. During Phoolon Ki Holi, instead of the usual vibrant gulal (colored powders), participants and devotees are showered with a myriad of fresh flower petals. The air is filled with the soft petals of roses, marigolds, and other fragrant flowers, creating a carpet of colors on the temple floor. The atmosphere is charged with devotion as chants and hymns dedicated to Lord Krishna echo through the temple, blending with the laughter and joy of the revelers.

Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh

8.Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

Celebrating Holi in the spiritual town of Rishikesh offers a unique blend of traditional religious ceremonies and the joyous play of colors. If you're near Rishikesh and browsing online, for "Holi party near me," you can join in the vibrant celebrations and immerse yourself in the colorful festivities of this joyous occasion.The celebrations by the banks of the holy Ganges River, coupled with the chants and prayers from the ashrams, provide a serene yet festive backdrop to the Holi festivities. The International Yoga Festival, which often coincides with Holi, adds an international flavor to the celebrations.

Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

9. Goa

Holi in Goa, known as Shigmo, is celebrated with a mix of vibrant street parades, traditional folk dances, and the lively play of Holi Colors. The festival reflects Goa's rich cultural heritage, with elaborate floats depicting mythological scenes, drummers, and dancers in colorful attire, making it a visual treat. Shigmo is especially popular in the rural areas of Goa, where the celebrations can last up to a fortnight.


In essence, Holi in India is not just about smearing colors and exchanging Holi Sweets; it's a profound expression of unity, joy, and the renewal of life. It's a time when differences are set aside, and people come together to share in the spirit of festivity and camaraderie. These destinations, with their unique celebrations, provide a glimpse into the diverse ways in which Holi is celebrated across the country, each adding its own hue to the canvas of India's cultural festivals. So, if you're looking to experience the best place to celebrate Holi in India, these places in India promise not just a fun experience but a deep dive into the heart of India's vibrant traditions and communal harmony.