HOLI FESTIVAL, INDIA
8 DAYS TOUR
from March 13th 2014 to March 20th 2014
Just as all indo-european languages originate from a sanskrt language, all civilizations originate from an ancient Indian – Vedic civilization. This civilization had a culture that was so strongly permeated with a spiritual tradition and faith, that you can even nowdays still see the fragments of this unique culture being alive in India, if only your eyes are not blinded by all those coverings of the present time and social dealings.
To find out what it’s all about, and to live a fragment of your life as if you were a part of a different culture – the one that is so wildly colourful and mind-blowingly interesting and full of stories that are just too good not to be true – we offer you a 8-days trip to India to attend the famous Holi Festival in the center of all that is spiritual – Vrindavan and Mathura.
Join us on this journey and feel for yourself the explosion of colours, learn about the past in the present, and discover the famous city of Delhi, while Mathura awaits in the near-by with all her ancient secrets just for you to find out about!
Day 1 (Thursday, March 13th 2014) – Arrival to Delhi and accomodation
A flight from Europe and arrival to an Indira Gandhi Airport in Delhi. Transfer to the city of Delhi and accomodation in a hotel, which is located in a near-by area of many most interesting tourist points f the city. Later our first orientation promenade in a near-by area of our hotel. Delhi is the capital of the second largest country in the world (in number of residents), and is also the second largest city in the world with 22 mio residents. It is also an administrative and governing center of India, and the only city-state in India, which is also determined in the constitution. In the times of the epic Mahabharata the city was called Indraprastha and was a headquarter of the state that belonged to the members of the Pandava family.
In the afternoon and in the evening you will be able to take some free time just to rest, or have individual excursions to the near-by places, shops, etc.
Day 2 (Friday, March 14th 2014) – Getting to know Delhi, part 1
Day two is planned for acclimatization or ‘getting used to the Indian way’. We will visit India Gate, main bazaar, if desired also the big shopping center Connaugh Place (which are all close to our hotel), then the Lotus Temple (it has a famous prayer room for the members of all religions of the world).
Day 3 (Saturday, March 15th 2014) – Getting to know Delhi, part 2
A day for individual excursions, shopping in a near-by bazaars, or, if desired, we will organize a sight-seeing tour to the ‘Old Delhi’.
Day 4 (Sunday, March 16th 2014) – Vrindavan
After a couple of hours train ride we shall enter the famous holy city of Vrindavan, where we will attend the Holi festival next day. Accomodation in a hotel, which is close to the Iskcon temple and main festival happening. For the rest of the day we will explore the surroundings, and in the evening, if desired, we will attend the temple programme where just that day the Gaura Purnima festival will be held. Preparations for the next day, firts day of the Holi festival follow.
Day 5 (Monday, March 17th 2014) – The first day of the Holi festival in Vrindavan
First day of the Holi festival in Vrindavan, attending and joining the festival on the scene with lots of colours, or, if desired, exploring the city of Vrindavan by rickshaw (visiting some of the cca 500 temples of Vrindavan, river Jamuna and her famous ‘ghats’,.. Through out the day it will be almost unavoidable not to get coloured.
Day 6 (Tuesday, March 18th 2014) – The second day of the Holi festival in Vrindavan
Attending the festival of colours, or, if desired, exploring the city of Vrindavan. If desired we will organize a trip to Taj Mahal in Agra.
Day 7 (Wednesday, March 19th 2014) – Mathura
A trip o Mathura where Lord Krisna appeared, and visiting the temple and the room where He was born. Departure to Delhi by train or other vehicle. Arrival to Delhi in the late afternoon, then accomodation in a hotel. Free for evening sightseeing or shopping in a near-by Main bazaar or Connaugh Place.
Day 8 (Thursday, March 20th 2014) – Delhi
Free for sightseeings or shopping in a near-by Main bazaar or Connaugh Place, until the departure to the airport. Departure for Europe.
Travel dates: from March 13th 2014 to March 20th 2014 (8 days in total)
*Dates can vary according to the desires of the group or in accordance with arrival and departure flights to Delhi.
Price: 1.199.00 Eur
The price includes: transfer from the city of Ljubljana to the airport, and return; flight Ljubljana – Delhi – Ljubljana; 7 nights hotel accomodation; transportations by train, private vehicles and rickshaws; trip management and organization.
*If the price for the (return) flight ticket exceedes 600,00 Eur, the trip price (in whole) will increase accordingly.
*If one buys his own plane ticket, the price of the programme is 599,00 Eur.
The price does not include: food, entrances, donations (in the temples,..), tourist and health insurance, indian visa.
Booking: until February 13th 2014.
The minimum number of reservations: 7, maximum: 21. In case that less than 7 reservations will be made, the price of the trip may increase.
For more information please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org ,
+386 41 400 108 (Bine Avguštin)
+386 41 203 865 (Borut Vidmar)
BINE AVGUSTIN is an excellent, world-known tourist guide and tour organizer. With almost 20 years of experiences, he cooperates with 9 foreign and 7 local tourist agencies, and tours mostly in Asia, Middle East and the Balcans.
He is best known for his excellent knowledge, organization, clearness, friendliness, fun, being always ready for any kind of assistance,.. – all because he simply adores his work.
Being a world traveler (within and without), Bine is also a great connoisseur of India (with over 30 tours).
Since his moto is ‘taking care of the guests the way i would want to be taken care of’, you can rest assure that with his assistance you will surely experience an unforgetable and wonderful journey!
Explanation and description of the Holi Festival:
One of the major festivals of India, Holi is celebrated with enthusiasm and gaiety on the full moon day in the month of Phalgun which is the month of March as per the Gregorian calendar.Holi festival may be celebrated with various names and people of different states might be following different traditions. But, what makes Holi so unique and special is the spirit of it which remains the same throughout the country and even across the globe, wherever it is celebrated.
Entire country wears a festive look when it is time for Holi celebration. Market places get abuzz with activity as frenzied shoppers start making preparations for the festival. Heaps of various hues of gulal and abeer can be seen on the roadside days before the festival. Pichkaris in innovative and modern design too come up every year to lure the children who wish to collect them as Holi memorabilia and of course, to drench everybody in the town.Womenfolk too start making early preparations for the holi festival as they cook loads of gujiya, mathri and papri for the family and also for the relatives. At some places specially in the north women also make papads and potato chips at this time.
Season of Bloom
Everybody gets delighted at the arrival of Holi as the season itself is so gay. Holi is also called theSpring Festival – as it marks the arrival of spring the season of hope and joy. The gloom of the winter goes as Holi promises of bright summer days. Nature too, it seems rejoices at the arrival of Holi and wears its best clothes. Fields get filled with crops promising a good harvest to the farmers and flowers bloom colouring the surroundings and filling fragrance in the air.
A Hindu festival, Holi has various legends associated with it. The foremost is the legend of demon KingHiranyakashyap who demanded everybody in his kingdom to worship him but his pious son, Prahladbecame a devotee of Lord Vishnu. Hiranyakashyap wanted his son to be killed. He asked his sister Holika to enter a blazing fire with Prahlad in her lap as Holika had a boon which made he immune to fire. Story goes that Prahlad was saved by lord himself for his extreme devotion and evil minded Holika was burnt to ashes, for her boon worked only when she entered the fire alone.Since that time, people light a bonfire, called Holika on the eve of Holi festival and celebrate the victory of good over evil and also the triumph of devotion to god. Children take special delight in the tradition and this has another legend attached to it. It says that there was once an ogress Dhundhi who used to trouble children in the kingdom of Prithu. She was chased away by children on the day of Holi. Therefore, children are allowed to play pranks at the time of ‘Holika Dahan’.Some also celebrate the death of evil minded Pootana. The ogress tried to Lord Krishna as an infant by feeding it poisonous milk while executing the plan of Kansa, Krishna’s devil uncle. However, Krishna sucked her blood and brought her end. Some who view the origin of festivals from seasonal cycles believe that Pootana represents winter and her death the cessation and end of winter.In South India, people worship Kaamadeva– the god of love and passion for his extreme sacrifice. According to a legend, Kaamadeva shot his powerful love arrow on Lord Shiva to revoke his interest in the worldly affairs in the interest of the earth. However, Lord Shiva was enraged as he was in deep mediation and opened his third eye which reduced Kaamadeva to ashes. Though, later on the request of Rati, Kaamadeva’s wife, Shiva was pleased to restore him back.
Holika Dahan On the eve of Holi, called Chhoti or Small Holi, people gather at important crossroads and light huge bonfires, the ceremony is called Holika Dahan. This tradition is also followed in Gujarat and Orissa. To render greatfulness to Agni, god of Fire, gram and stalks from the harvest are also offered to Agni with all humility. Ash left from this bonfire is also considered sacred and people apply it on their foreheads. People believe that the ash protects them from evil forces.
Play of Colours Great excitement can be seen in people on the next day when it is actually the time for the play of colours. Shops and offices remain closed for the day and people get all the time to get crazy and whacky. Bright colours of gulal and abeer fill the air and people take turns in pouring colour water over each other. Children take special delight in spraying colours on one another with their pichkaris and throwing water balloons and passers by. Women and senior citizen form groups called tolis and move in colonies – applying colours and exchanging greetings. Songs, dance on the rhythm of dholak and mouthwatering Holi delicacies are the other highlights of the day.
Expression of Love Lovers too long to apply colours on their beloved. This has a popular legend behind it. It is said that the naughty and mischievous Lord Krishna started the trend of playing colours. He applied colour on her beloved Radha to make her one like him. The trend soon gained popularity amongst the masses. No wonder, there is no match to the Holi of Mathura, Vrindavan and Barsana – the places associated with the birth and childhood of Radha and Krishna.
Sobering Evening After a funfilled and exciting day, the evenings are spent in sobriety when people meet friends and relatives and exchange sweets and festive greetings.
It is said that the spirit of Holi encourages the feeling of brotherhood in society and even the enemies turn friends on this day. People of all communities and even religions participate in this joyous and colouful festival and strenthen the secular fabric of the nation.