Holi heralds the
beginning of spring and is celebrated with great enthusiasm all
over India. According to a legend, Hiranya Kashyap, the demon who
ruled over 'Sapta Deep' believed himself to be more powerful than
God. He contemplated killing his youngest son Prahlad, an ardent
devotee of Lord Vishnu after he refused to worship him as
Holika, the demon's sister who possessed a divine, garment to
protect her from fire, agreed to enter the burning pyre with
Prahlad in her lap but got burnt herself.
Holi thus signifies the triumph of good over evil and is marked
by grand festivities all over India and particularly in the Braj
area where it is celebrated with great gaiety and fervour.
It is believed that Lord Krishna, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu,
in human form played holi with the Gopi's (cowherd maids) in the
ancient past. Keeping this tradition alive in Braj, Holi
celebrations last for more than a week and are marked by people
sprinkling colored water & smearing colored powder on each
The playful teasing of the Gopis by the Gopas (cowherd boys) is
enacted by groups of men and women through special Holi songs and
dances, called Rasiya.
48 km. from Mathura at Barsana, is
celebrated the famous "Latthmaar Holi" of Braj. Tradition has it
that Krishna from Nandgaon use to come to Barsana to play Holi
with Radha alongwith his Gopi friends. The Gopis after merriment
chased away the Gopas of Nandgaon by beating them with "lathis".
So it came to be known as the 'Latthmar Holi' of Barsana.
To this day, the village women have the freedom to literally take
up cudgels against their menfolk, a right they exercise with all
enthusiasm and shower colored water as an expression of joy.
The main celebrations at Barsana, take place at the Ladliji
temple, dedicated to Sri Radha Rani, (the beloved of Sri
Dadjee Ka Huranga (Baldeo)
20 km. from Mathura, the
town is named after Balram the elder brother of Sri Krishna. A
temple dedicated to Baldeo stands in the centre of the town.
The Holi festival celebrated here is famous as Daujee Ka Huranga.
Men & women collect here in large numbers to play holi.
Kampil Fair, Kampil
Kampilya called Kampil today, is a
village in tehsil Kasganj of Etah district, situated on the banks
of the Ganga. During the epic period it was the capital of King
Drupad, the father of the Queen Draupadi, wife of the five
Pandava's of Mahabharat. It was the birth place of the 13th
tirthaiikar Brahlan Vimal Nath and was graced by the visit of
Lord Mahavir. The neighboring ruins and mounds contain the relics
and sculptures of Jain period. Every year a Jain Mela is held for
five days in the month of March thronged by Jain devouts.
Bateshwar Fair, Agra
Situated at a distance of 70 km. from Agra on the banks of river
Yamuna, Bateshwar is an important spiritual and cultural
The place is named after the presiding deity of the region,
Bateshwar Mahadeo and has 108 temples dedicated to the gods and
goddesses of the Hindu pantheon. During the months of Oct. &
Nov. a large fair is organized from Shashthi of Kartik month to
Panchami of Agrahayan month. Devotees congregate here in large
numbers to worship Lord Shiva and take holy dips in river Yamuna.
A livestock fair is also organized and owners and buyers conduct
serious business combined with the gaiety of a market place.
Kailash Fair, Agra
Held at Kailash. 12 km. from Agra
during the months of Aug.-Sept. It is a major fair celebrated in
honor of Lord Shiva who is believed to have appeared here in the
form of a stone lingam.
The marriage procession of Sri Ram, is
held every year during Ramlila celebrations at Agra.
Every year a new locale of the town is chosen as Janakpuri, which
is elaborately decorated to perform the royal wedding. The
Rambarat (marriage procession) starts from Lala Channomaiji Id
Baradari for Janakpuri passing through different parts of the
town. The barat is a large procession of Jhankis followed by the
swaroops of Ram-Lakshman mounted on elephants.