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Krishna Pilgrimages - Barsana Dhama

A game called "Huranga" is played during Holi even today symbolizing the Radha-Krishna love play. The men of Nandagaon, where the youthful Krishna played his pranks, and the women of Barsana, Radha's birth place, come together and clash. The objective being that the men put a flag on Radhika's temple at Barsana, symbolizing their victory over the women of Barsana, while the women beat the men with stout sticks to keep them away.
A land of ancient origins, intricate cultures interwoven over great periods of time, Holi portrays the diversity and the mythology of India to our senses even today

Hindu mythology is full of stories about Lord Krishna's childhood pranks. And that of his youth when he with his mischief and the sweet sounds of his bansuri (bamboo flute) captivated the hearts of the gopikas (the cowherd girls), amongst whom he grew up. Among the gopikas, especially, was his beloved beauteous Radha. Most of the folk songs and folk dances, called Raas-Lila, in Northern India performed during Holi are recitals of Radha's and Krishna's love. The separations, the pining and the longing, the clandestine meetings, the adoration . . .

But the origins of the eroticism lie in the story of Lord Krishna's (the great lover in Hindu mythology) fabled love for his beloved Radha. Holi is spread over two weeks in Mathura and Vrindavan, the two ancient cities Krishna has been associated with. Here, along with the coloured powder and water, lively processions come out in the streets, folk songs and dances are performed to the rhythmic beat of dholkis (folk drums), the mirror embroidered vibrantly coloured long skirts of the women swirling and swinging in gay abandonment.


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