Holi celebration in Bundi, Rajasthan // March 2019

I was very lucky to been able to attend and photograph one of the most colourful and interesting celebrations in India – Holi. I decided to travel to Bundi, a small village off the beaten path where few tourist go and enjoy the event there. It was a great decision – there were almost no tourists and the party was crazy!!

The History of Holi

Holi’s origins are linked with the coming of spring, good harvest and fertility of the land. Two stories are linked to Holi celebrations. The first is pretty romantic and explains why Holi is the exuberant colourful party it is today.

It celebrates the love story of Krishna and Radha. Krishna is traditionally depicted as having blue skin. He told his mother he was unhappy that his difference would come between him and fair-skinned Radha. His mother told him not to wish for fair skin but to playfully smear Radha with paint instead. Which he did and Radha fell in love with him.

The second story symbolises good triumphing over evil and tells the legend of Holika and Prahlad.

Prince Prahlad’s father was the demon king Hiranyakashyap and he wanted everyone to worship him. The price included. But Prahlad could see that his father was corrupt and chose to worship Lord Vishnu instead.

Enter his aunt – who held an amazing power. She was immune to fire and she was supporting her brother the king. She tricked Prahlad into sitting on her lap in a bonfire – meaning to destroy him.

However, the forces of good overcame all. Prahlad emerged from the flames unharmed, while his aunt succumbed to the flames. Bonfires are lit the night before Holi to symbolise these flames – which is called Holika Dahan, or Chhoti Holi.

Please enjoy a few photos form the celebrations on both days and if you like what you see, check out my next photo adventures. If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact me at: ivo.popov@gmail.com