Vrindavan, 2017.03.08 (VT): After Nandgaon and Barsana, it was the turn of Vrindavan to begin the celebration of Holi on the Rangbharni Ekadashi.
On Wednesday, the celebrations began with the offering of gulal in the temples and performing Panchakosi Parikrama. The temples overflowed with the colors of love and devotion. The priests sprinkled flower petals and gulal upon the devotees.
While the largest crowds of devotees were attracted to the Banke Bihari Temple, other ancient temples drew their share of visitors. The old traditions came alive in the temples of Radha Raman, Radha Vallabh, Yashoda Nandan, Madan Mohan, Radhika Ballabh, Shriji Kunj and Topi Kunj. Regular visitors to Vrindavan made certain to visit these temples and enjoy the unique Holi traditions in each temple.
Holi Samaj Gayan, Holi Kirtan, and Raslila performances were organized in different temples and ashrams. The famous Bhramar Shyam Ras Lila of Jai Singh Ghera began on Thursday, presented by the troupe of Swami Fateh Krishna.
Right from the morning devotees swarmed into the temples to get soaked with colors sprinkled upon them by the priests with huge pichkaris (water guns) made of pure silver or brass. This is considered a special form of Prasad from Shri Radha and Krishna, which they relished as they danced to the sacred beats of traditional Holi songs.
Organic colors were used in most of the temples. The preparation for Holi began months ago, as tesu flowers were collected and dried. These flowers are soaked in water to produce a beautiful reddish orange color.
A large number of rural folks performed the Panchakosi Parikrama of Shri Dham Vrindavan, and then went to play Holi in their favorite temples of Vrindavan. Clouds of colors could be seen in the temples as well on the Parikrama Marg, when devotees flung colored powder in the air and on each other.
Several processions from various temples and ashrams were taken out, with palanquins in which the deities were seated. The priests threw colors on the devotees. The festive mood in the town began on Ekadashi and will prevail till Purnima.
The markets were flooded with heaps of gulal – they were arranged in pyramids and sold loose. Vendors also sit on street corners selling gulal to passers-by. The powdered color is sold in many rich colors like pink, magneta, red, yellow and green.
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