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Women travellers guide to Holi in Barsana & Nandgoan : Aditi Nashine

horse racing
Well, as you know the festival of colours- Holi, is celebrated in March marking the onset of certainly one of the best seasons i.e Spring. The whole vibe of Holi festival spreads so much of colours, love and positivity in life.
I generally don’t take much interest in festivals, but festival of colours is simply one of kind.
The pichkaris, the water filled balloons and those colours, just doesn’t allow my inner child to resist celebrating the festival and having fun on those crazy Holi dances and how can I forget the sweets! Gujia’s, you know!
Well I am lazy person basically a couch potato, mostly and always on bed with laptop.
But This time, I celebrated the festival in Uttar Pradesh. I recently got a chance with DPC to capture one the most famous Holi celebrations in different parts of U.P.
 Pic Aditi Nashine
Feels so great to get the amazing opportunity to travel with DPC and capture something which is different, unique and which is so famous across world.
I travelled to U.P via road and planned the trip for three days to witness the festivities at Barsana, Nandgaon and Vrindavan. These places offers breath taking visuals of colours, culture and traditions. We were 15 of us and I was the only woman traveller in the group. I felt great because I got a chance to travel with the best of enthusiastic people who were excited and passionate about capturing the best frames.
Pic Aditi Nashine
As a woman traveller I can give you few  TIPS:
• Wear conservative clothes, for reasons that you don’t want to feel uncomfortable even if someone throws water at you and your dress sticks on your body.
• Comfortable shoes, you know how it is right? We can’t rule the world in stilettos, always!! Sometimes you have to see a goodbye to heels too. Sadly, though.
• Always carry water bottle, beside trust me there’s a lot to capture and miles to go before you get your satisfying click. Keep yourself hydrated when the going gets tough.
• Don’t carry any valuable item with you, as you might misplace it or it might get robbed.
• Carry a scarf with you, for those unforeseen circumstances.
Samaj in progress Pic Aditi Nashine
So, yes once you take care of all those points stated above for your comfortable and easy peasy journey you can just focus on getting some amazing clicks.
On the first day of the travel, I visited Barsana.
In Barsana, Lathmar Holi is celebrated in the narrow lanes of Barsana ,
The men from Nandgaon (another town in U.P) Barsana every year, only to be greated by sticks(lathis) of the women there.
The women hurl the sticks at the men, who try to protect themselves with shields.
Everybody takes this in great spirit, playfully and doesn’t shy away to have fun. There are travellers from across the world who come to witness this special Holi, and chant for endless times “Radhe Radhe”.
At Barsana you can click pictures of wet Holi, where people dance in huge crowd under splash of water and colours. Usually the festivities starts from morning, but the main event starts at 5 in the noon.
Brothers in color  holi Pic Aditi Nashine
At the temple villagers and communities from Barsana get together at a spacious lawn to offer prayers and chant the bhajans, this is called Samaj. During this time, lots of water and colours is thrown on the people which marks the beginning of the festival. For people who wish to gather the rawness of the place and culture get to experience a lifetime with some real good colourful pics of the event, For the people who wish to visit Barsana for enjoyment I suggest them not to visit. Beacuse the kind of crowd that visits barsana during this festival  in our local language is called “Manchala” as they come from various rural parts of Uttar Pradesh and  their behaviour is not  assured.
Welcome to Barsana   Pic Aditi Nashine
After Barsana, on the second day of the trip the next stop destination was Nandgaon. The start of the day was wonderful, after an amazing breakfast after which we headed to Radha Rani temple.
While passing the narrow lanes of Nandgaon we happened to bump up in building which was also a 15th century Haveli with 5-6 families still living. The typical 15th century Haveli with spacious courtyard in the middle with double storey construction. We also climbed the rooftop of the Haveli from where the panoramic view of the complete holy town of Nandgaon was visible.
We clicked beautiful pictures of the Haveli as well and made a quick move from there to the temple. As compared to Barsana, in Nandgaon it was less suffocating, Like I witnessed samaj at Barsana, the same was witnessed at Nandgaon as well. Over here the gathering time for samajh was 4pm.
I spent my day clicking pictures there till about 6.30 pm and then headed back to my hotel in Vrindavan.
The last day of my travel, the day started off with 8km Parikrama around the main temple. I managed to walk for 2kms along with other people doing Parikrama.
After which I found Gaushala mandir, and happened to click few random pictures, post which I went to Yamuna ghat and had a boat ride and clicked pictures of the people taking bath in the holy water. I also clicked women drying their washed sarees.
• When you visit a small place,
• Make sure you explore all the moods of travel, be it any.
• Gatecrash into random houses for amazing experiences and conversations that takes place.
On the last day of the trip at Vrindavan, I witnessed Phoolo ki Holi At Banke-Bihari temple; where the temple was decorated with flowers and people indulge in playing Holi with flowers, flowers and lots of it. The Holi festivities at Vrindavan goes on for a week with lots of folk music, bhajans, dance, colour, bhaang and pichkaris.
The people of U.P. are always full of joy and excitement for this festival and awaits for the festivities to begin with great preps.
A lot to witness and know more about this beautiful festival in U.P, so if you haven’t visited U.P this Holi, make sure you do the next time.
All the photo enthusiasts out there and all the solo girl travellers pull up your socks and tie your laces, instead of breaking your couches hit the ground. This world offers unique experiences and unique places from your neighbourhood itself. Keep clicking, keep travelling!

About the Author. : Aditi Nashine

Aditi is a avid traveller and a documentary photographer. Aditi  started her photography journey at the tender age of 15 years when she was pursuing her  high school. She studied Bachelors in Management and law because her parents wanted her to do so, But she always wanted to become a Photographer. After completing her college she shifted from Nagpur to Mumbai to pursue her dream career in photojournalism and expand her knowledge.

Aditi did her one year Diploma in Photo Journalism and Documentary Photography from reputed Udaan School of Photography , Mumbai.

She travels to different places meet people she comes across and try to capture their stories .  She wants to contribute to areas where women can freely travel explore and reconnect with themselves . In her free time she can be found on her couch watching some Hollywood documentaries in order to keep her fire alive .

She’s passionate about her format of  photography. She’s got eye for detail and a keen observer.

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