the festival of colors : holi , and lathmaar holi लठमार होली : the holi by beating of bamboo sticks


many tourists have enquired about the famour lathmaar holi of barsana, nandgaon in vrindaavan this year 2012.

though i have written to many people who wish to visit this festival this year.  they have enquired about the dates , this year, as the dates are always according to lunar calander. 

this year the dates of lathmaar holi लठ्ठमार होली  are 2nd and 3rd march.  and the main festival is on 8th march, but should be reconfirmed as the actual date is sometime chage a day according to the calculation of stars by different styles in different sects of hindus. some times it is celebrated on two days. 

my family lives in delhi, which is about 120 kilometer from brij / vrindaavan, which is the centre of festival , and is the birth place of lord krishna. so any body who is interested in knowing more, i am more then eager to help out if they write me on my email address; , or my phone no.:+91-9810890743 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            +91-9810890743      end_of_the_skype_highlighting, and skype : ashok.gupta004 , 
ashok gupta
here is one good video link which will give you some idea about it.
recently some body sent me a link about the holi in utah, usa. it is worth wathing.:
देखिये एक अविस्मरणीय होली अमेरिका में : 

holi in salt lake city, utah,usa.


here is some information about holi and lathmaar holi : 
in hindi this is called लठमार होली 
i.e. lath means ; a bamboo stick
maar : to beat 

Lathmar Holi

Lathmar Holi 
Holi is one of the most ancient festivals in India. It was originally named as 'Holika’. It is celebrated in most of the parts of the country. The celebrations of Holi are full of immense zeal and fervor. It is also one of the most popular Indian festivals abroad. The celebrations of Holi differ from region to region, as if the Holi in Mathura and Vridavana, differs from those celebrated in Manipur, West Bengal and Orissa. It is said that the trend of colors and the modern form of Holi was introduced in Mathura and Vridavana by Lord Krishna himself and that is people of this region celebrate Holi religiously. One of the most famous kind of Holi celebrations in these areas are the ‘Lathmaar Holi’.

Lathmaar Holi is celebrated in Barsana, a small village at a distance of about 15 km from Vrindavan. It is known throughout India for its traditional Holi celebrations. No other city in the country can match the grandeur of the festival here. Barsana is actually the birth place of Lord Krishna's beloved and divine consort, Radha. This is also the place where Lord Krishna used to play pranks on his beloved and Gopis (Radha’s companion). This naughty festivity still reflects in the celebrations of Holi in this village. Holi here is regarded as the celebration of the divine love of Radha and Krishna.

According to the folklore and mythological tales, Krishna in one of his pranks, applied dark colors on the cheeks of Radha, as she was fairer than him. This initiated the tradition of celebrating Holi not only here but in the whole country. Following the tradition, men from Nandgaon, the place where Krishna spent his childhood and early days, come to play Holi with the women of Barsana. Here, women and girls welcome them not with colors, but with stout sticks.

All this takes place in pursuit of men, trying to put a flag on the temple dedicated to Radha Rani. To stop them from doing so, women beat them hard with sticks. Some of them are even made to wear saris and skirts, all in the spirit of the festival. On the other hand, men, knowing what awaits them, come fully padded, carrying shields to protect themselves. The sight of women beating men is electrifying. The environment echoes with the reverberating sound produced by the stick hammering the shields.

Lathmaar Holi is definitely an interesting Holi celebration, wherein men patiently face the charged womenfolk. This is considered the sweet revenge women take for the ancient pranks played by Lord Krishna on them. However, after all the women folk is tired and their game is over, it is now the chance for the men to reciprocate. They drench the women with the colors of kesudo (a natural dye) and palash, thereby balancing the deal. At the end of the day, the Holi celebrations at Barsana present an unforgettable life time experience, downed with the spirit of devotion and affection for the Lord.


one person recently asked from me about this holi: this is the copy of that communication:
dear leonar and miguel,

thanks for your letter to me. i have forgotten when and where , i mentioned about holi in lonely planet.

holi as you know is the festival of colors , celebrated throughout india, in each and every city and village. 

but holi in vrindavan and barsana and nandgaon has a special flavour as there it is tradition that the ladies of those towns, all togethor beat the boys of other town with bamboo sticks. (of course not to harm them, as they have a dhaal made up of hard leather to protect them).

because these towns are the places where lord krishna was born and played, so it has a lot of spritual signifigance also.  but because of this different style of holi which is called "lathmaar holi" a lot of tourist come there to watch this, (and do not worry , they do not become the part of this beating by wooden sticks)

i do not know how you knew about this, are you a person interested in hindu philosophy or just a curious tourist, from which country, but this will be a life time entertaining festival of colors in this part of india. 

this place is only 120 kilometer from delhi.  and we live in delhi,  so if you really are interested, then it would be my pleasure to assist you in any manner you like. 

many other my friends from germany, and usa are also coming as i used to live there. 

the dates are 2nd and 3rd march for this lathmaar holi.  and simple holi is on 8th march throught india. 

on hearing from you, i can  send you more information.

thanks and regards
ashok gupta
delhi, india
ph.             +91-9810890743      
- Hide quoted text -

On Wed, Jan 18, 2012 at 3:00 AM, leonor suarez <> wrote:
Hello Ashok
I have read about you in the thorn tree forum of Lonely planet. We are thinking of going to India to attend Holi. I have read about the Holi in Basara and Laoungdeon, and also in Mathura and Vindravan. I do not know wich one is best, wich one is the most interesting. As I suppose you know it quite well, I would be very grateful if you could suggest us which one to attend. Also I am not sure the exact days of the holi. I have read they celebrate holi during some days but I suppose there is one day that is the best to attend. Could you please inform me about that?
Thank you so much

Leonor & Miguel

many times different tourists have enquired different questions about holi to me , directly and through my one time entry in lonely planet, here i am also giving those writings. 

Holi at Braj (Nandgaon, Mathura, Barsana and around)
Please help me find schedule for Holi for this year (2011).

ashokgupta4 avatar
Feb 7, 2011 2:18 AM
Posts:  3
it is on naumi and dasmi ( ninth and tenth of lunar hindu calander ) first in barsana , next day in nandgaon.
for details write me
ashokgupta4 avatar
Mar 10, 2011 3:03 AM
Posts:  3
i have recieved a few enqiries about the lathmar holi in nadgaon and barsana. 

do not get confused please , by the word lathmar. 

of course it is lathmar, but for the local residents only. it is absolutely safe, and enjoyable. 

feeel freee to ask me any queries. and do not miss to see this , if you can plan quick , it is only 2 to 3 hr drive on a beautiful highway to agra. 

this will be a life time scene to remember. 

write me at and then i will give you my phone no. for complete information.

holi hai

happy holi to all of you.

jai shreee radhey
ashokgupta4 avatar
Mar 10, 2011 4:53 PM
Posts:  3
again thanks shankar jee,

i appreciate your interest in this chief festival of brij. 

have you ever been to that area before. then how you plan to go from airport to mathura

actually the way to barsana is about 25 km before mathura, that you can see in the following link.,+Uttar+Pradesh&aq=0&sll=28.656098,77.272682&sspn=0.075468,0.110378&gl=in&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Barsana,+Uttar+Pradesh&ll=27.649016,77.402287&spn=0.079983,0.175781&z=13

so you need not go upto mathura first, if you do not want to visit the krishna's birthplace first. then it would be worthwhile to see vrindavan and goverdhan also( the mountain which krishna lifted on his little finger to save the brij from indra. ) 

all depends on the time at your disposable to see these places. 

though there are a lot of staying places in barsana, depending on the availability and the budget, but there is one , which is the biggest for which the link is as under :

i have stayed there once, many years ago, i am not sure what is there policy now. by phone , there or their delhi office you can check it. this is under the guidance of one of the biggest saint of the area, jagadguru kripalu jee maharaj. whose link is as under.

i think if you have contact with some good travel agency, who can book a taxi for one or two day, you will be most comfortable. in delhi the normal price is about 10 rs per km. and the whole trip would be around 500 km.for all the six main places of vrij. ( i went with my one friend from usa just a month before. 

just i wish , you do not meet any suspeses, since you have made up your mind for this enjoyable , spritual journey.

thanks and regards
ashok gupta
On Thu, Mar 10, 2011 at 10:29 AM, Preetham Shankar wrote:
Thanks… yeah I am not from Delhi… I am from Bangalore…. We will be flying into Delhi and then going to Mathura…. Will surely contact you for information..
Well I am at office and hence cant open facebook… will check at home… yes the link should work fine J
From: Ashok Gupta 
Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2011 10:18 AM

To: Preetham Shankar
Subject: Re: Regarding Holi in Mathura
thanks for the response preetam jee, 
i am at your service always. if you are not from delhi, you can stop by me , and i would like to give you more information.
i am sure you would like this life remembring event of the year.
thanks and regards
hari bol
(did my photo link opened ! . i am new to these things, and i do not know, how exactly they work)

On Thu, Mar 10, 2011 at 8:59 AM, Preetham Shankar wrote:
Thanks a lot Ashok…… for the information….. I do have ur number… will call u incase I need more info… thanks… I was googling and then found that u had responded to some ones query about holi in Mathura along with ur email id….. that’s how I got it… but now I am unable to locate that page L
From: Ashok Gupta 
Sent: Wednesday, March 09, 2011 9:10 PM
To: Preetham Shankar
Subject: Re: Regarding Holi in Mathura
jai shree krishna
thanks for your asking me about holi in mathura. i do not remember where i put any information like that. i am curious, if you can send me the link of that page.
now your queries. 
there is absolutely no indecency there at the time of holi. attached are my link to my album at facebook, of seeing holi there, with my family.
i do not know what is your main aim, a pilgrimage or a criosity to see the lathmar holi or both. but i would say, if you have heard of any thing like unsafe, then it is not true. 
specially lathmar holi is a festival between the residents of barsana and nandgaon, others are only onlookers, they are not in the activity, not even by chance, but they enjoy seeing it. 
if you have any more question, feel free to call me any time , at my no. 98108 90743. i am in delhi.
there are actually three special holi there. on 13 (ashtami) there is laddoo holi in barsana. on 14 (naumi) lathmar in barsana and on 15th ( dasmi) , in nandgaon. 
i wish you a very happy holi in vrij. it is absolutely safe, if you have never been to vrij area. 
thanks and regads
ashok gupta
98108 90743

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