Hallowed by the aura of Shri Krishna, Mathura resounds with the call of -Shri Radhe Radhe- wherever you turn your ear. As you pass through the lanes of the city, you can feel the augmented presence of Lord Krishna everywhere. You will breathe in the pure fragrance of sandalwood, flowers and incense sticks. At no point of time, this feeling will go out of your head that you are in the holy land where the most endearing of the Hindu Gods, Lord Krishna was born. He is fondly remembered for his universal charm and his mischievous pranks. Once a less known town transformed into a world known place of faith after Shri Krishna was born here and revealed the supreme truths of life to the world. Mathura- Vrindavan is still redolent with the music of his flute. Not just Mathura, the neighboring towns too still echoes with His enchantment.
Vrindavan, the land where Krishna was brought safely to Yashoda, was famous for forests of basil. It got its name from Vrinda (Basil) and Forest (van). This celebrated town presents a unified image of untold beauty and sanctified religious values. Krishna spent his childhood and adolescence on this land and thus this land carries thousands of stories of His romance and mischief. You recall all those stories that you have heard since childhood how Krishna stole butter, played with gopis and danced merrily with Radha. Thousands of devotees make their way through the busy lanes to offer their prayers for their most beloved God. There are hundreds of temples in the town but the most famous and also the finest temple of Vrindavan is -Govind Deva’. You can also take a holy dip in -Brahma Kund’ or -Govinda Kund’ which are the most highly venerated among the several sacred tanks in Vrindavan. Also, there is the famous -Braj Ras Leela’ where the artists portray Lord Krishna’s pastimes, games and dances with gopis. It’s an age-old tradition of the city and fun to watch. Besides the numerous changes that the city has vaundergone, Mathura- Vrindavan is still magical and spell bound in its own way.
Not only for its religious values and sanctified experience, Mathura- Vrindavan is also renowned for its unique celebration of the festival of colors- Holi! People from all over India and other nations too gather at Mathura- Vrindavan every year to witness and play Holi in this pious land of Krishna. People who act proper throughout the year say bye to their etiquettes and merge in the fervor of madness and let their souls free! It gives a chance to unwind them at the Holi bash of Brij. People relive the legends of Holi associated with Krishna and Radha and they also play pranks in the same way and enjoy unlimited. The underlying feeling of this fun and frolic was love and romance which can still be felt in the air of the city and celebrating Holi with bright and lovely colors in the love- land is simply a faade. Holi here is not celebrated for just one day but is enjoyed throughout the week.
This practice of playing with colors on Holi has a legendary story behind it. It is believed that Krishna was envious of Radha’s fair complexion as he was dark. When he stated his rue to mother Yashoda, she laughed and told him to color Radha’s face in any color he wanted. Krishna got this new mischief and colored Radha’s face. And since then, this tradition of coloring one’s beloved is still followed and enjoyed wholeheartedly by all.ll.
Loud music with Krishna songs, myriad colors flying in the air and people drenched in different colors creates an environment out of the world where everyone is lost in one unified feeling of devotion and ultimate love in the heart. Not just with colors, Vrindavan is famous for playing Holi with flowers. Petals of different colored flowers are mounted in large quantities and are tossed on one another. The unmatchable refreshing fragrance spreads in the air.
One interesting place for Holi celebrations is Gulal Kund in Braj. It’s a beautiful lake near the famous Govardhan mountain. Local artists enact the Krishna Leela and the Holi celebrations. It is so much enjoyed by the visitors that they too get immersed in the passion and get drenched in the colored water in the name of beloved Krishna.
Another famous place in Brij to play Holi is Barsana, the birth place of Radha. It’s a mock battle when boys from Krishna land come to Barsana and women beat them with light bamboo sticks. Boys try to escape it and the ones who get caught get beaten up by women, wear women clothes and dance in the public. In return, Barsana boys go to Krishna land and color the women with -tesu- flower color and the women beat them with bamboo sticks. It is thus also named as -Lath Maar Holi in Barsana-.
All in all, it is one unique experience to play Holi in Brij, as it is an unmatched fun and frolic and one should experience it at least once in his lifetime for sure.
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