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Top 9 Places to Celebrate Holi 2024 in India

Holi, known as the Festival of Colors, is a vibrant celebration in India that happens every spring. It's all about playful color-throwing and embracing the lively local culture.

If you want to experience this unique festival, we have recommended the best 9 places in India for the greatest experiences: Udaipur, Pushkar, Hampi, Jaipur, Goa, Delhi, Mathura and Vrindavan, Shantiniketan, and Anandpur Sahib. These destinations host beautiful celebrations and are safer for travelers.

If you are traveling alone or are a female traveler, we advise you to avoid experiencing Holi in Mathura and Vrindavan.

Top 9 Places to Celebrate Holi in India

1. Udaipur

Udaipur in Rajasthan is the best place to experience royal Holi celebrations. The royal family hosts a grand celebration, starting with the Holika Dahan ritual at the palace, which is followed by a colorful parade.

On the first day of Holi, the royal family performs the ritual of lighting the Holi bonfire at the Udaipur City Palace. The king of Mewar lights the pyre while locals perform folk dances around it.

Then, there is a large procession through the streets of Udaipur. The members of the royal family sit on decorated camels, horses, and elephants, surrounded by folk dancing and music. There is then a beautiful display of fireworks at night.

The color fight takes place on the second day in several areas of Udaipur's Old City.

Insider tips:

  • Many hotels and resorts in Udaipur also offer private Holi celebrations for their guests which include colors, music, and food. These are great for people who want to experience Holi but aren"t sure if they should venture out into the chaotic streets for the color fight.

2. Pushkar

Holi in Rajasthan, Pushkar, Udaipur, Jaipur Holi celebrations in Rajasthan are always colorful, fun, and photogenic

Holi celebrations in Pushkar, the holy Hindu city, are well organized, making it the safest place for travelers to engage in the activities.

Alcoholic drinks are not allowed there. During the celebrations, there are volunteers and local police on guard to make sure that everyone is safe and that no one is acting inappropriately toward the women in the crowd.

The Holi color fight in Pushkar is grand and beautiful. It includes lively Hindi music playing in the background while people dance and joyfully toss colors into the air.

Insider tips:

  • Most of the celebrations in Pushkar take place in Badi Basti.
  • The Holi celebrations in Pushkar start at 10 am and last until 5 pm so there is plenty of time to have fun and then return to your hotel to clean up before dinner.

3. Hampi

Hampi is the perfect place for travelers who want to experience a peaceful yet beautiful Holi color battle in a historical Indian city.

Built on the ruins of the former Vijayanagara Empire, this ancient city is surrounded by ancient temples and rocky terrain.

It is also the most unique place for travelers to immerse themselves in the Holi celebrations in South India. The Holi celebrations in Hampi have a peaceful ambiance with fewer participants and more travelers.

During Holi, Hampi comes alive with an exciting color fight that engages both locals and travelers. The whole town actively joins in the Holi celebrations. People participate through rhythmic drumming, lively street dancing, or the playful tossing of colors.

After the color fight, local people head to the Tungabhadra River to swim and start washing away the dye.

Insider tips:

  • People in Hampi do not celebrate Holika Dahan the night before Holi, so if you would like to see the religious side of the holiday then you will want to choose another location.

4. Jaipur

Jaipur is the best place to celebrate Holi with local families. There are many homestays, which organize Holi celebrations. You could play with the colors with children, locals, and other travelers there.

Many hotels in the city also arrange private Holi parties for their guests.

There are also grand celebrations at the Royal Palace and the Govind Dev Ji temple. At Govind Dev Ji Temple, the celebrations are impressive with traditional songs as well as dance and drama performances. However, it is crowded and a bit chaotic for travelers.

Insider tips:

  • Many websites say that there is an elephant festival in Jaipur during Holi, but this is incorrect. The elephant festival has not happened since 2012 due to concerns from animal rights groups about the toxicity of the paint used on the animals.

5. Goa

Holi on the beach in Goa Celebrate Holi and the color fight on the beach in Goa

Experience the thrilling color fight as well as singing and dancing on a beach. If that is what you are looking for, Goa is your best choice.

The main beaches in Goa have color fights during Holi and many travelers join in. Some hotel resorts also organize private Holi parties for their guests on the hotel beaches.

Holi is called Shigmotsav in Goa and is celebrated for a period of 2 weeks with parades, cultural shows, folk dances, and traditional music.

In Goa, travelers could choose to go to the modern Holi parties with DJs, dancing, cocktails, and colors, or head to some of the state's famous temples for a more traditional experience.

Some of the best Holi celebrations in Goa happen in Panaji, Mapusa, Vasco da Gama, and Margao. In these areas, celebrations often include parades and processions with large idols of Hindu gods and music performances.

Insider tips:

  • Although Holi is celebrated for two weeks, the parades often happen during the last 5 days of the festival and the throwing of colors occurs on the last day.
  • Check out Goa's weather during the celebrations.

6. Delhi

Holi in Mathura and Vrindavan Uttar Pradesh

As the capital city of India, Holi celebrations in Delhi are intense and boisterous. If you go out into the streets during Holi in Delhi, you could expect to have powder thrown at you by anyone nearby, including children and shopkeepers.

The best places to celebrate in Delhi are in residential neighborhoods in South Delhi where you could see neighbors and friends laughing and playing with colors together. There are also popular Holi parties with DJs and colors, such as the Holi Moo Festival.

The Holi Moo Festival is a private party that offers shows from 40 Indian and international performers. It also provides non-toxic colors, street food, drinks, and water sprinklers. This is a popular event among expatriates, travelers, and locals. The event also has security and is a relatively safe choice for female travelers.

Insider tips:

  • Certain areas of Delhi, such as Paharganj, can get unruly and dangerous during Holi. If you plan to celebrate Holi in Delhi, make sure to ask your guide or hotel staff about which areas to avoid.

7. Mathura and Vrindavan

Holi celebrations in India 2024

Mathura and Vrindavan have the most photogenic and traditional Holi celebrations in India.

The Holi celebrations in these two towns last for weeks and take place mostly in temples but also include large processions and parades. Banke Bihari Temple is the most famous place for the color fight in Vrindavan. There, the color fight happens the morning before Holi and includes throwing flower petals along with colored powders.

After the Holi events end in Vrindavan, most travelers head to Mathura to experience the events there. In Mathura, the most famous place to celebrate is at the Dwarkadhish Temple. The color fight there starts at 10 am and is often slightly calmer than the celebration at Banke Bihari Temple.

Insider tips:

  • It is important to know that Holi celebrations in these cities can be dangerous. Intoxicated men have been known to grope or even attack women and travelers at these events. If you are a female traveler, it is best to experience Holi in a safer city or to only visit Mathura and Vrindavan on a guided Holi tour.

8. Shantiniketan

Bengali Holi folk dances A Bengali woman performing traditional folk dances
  • Location: in the state of West Bengal

Called Basanta Utsav or the Spring Festival, Holi celebrations in Shantiniketan are famous for their unique folk art, dances, and cultural performances at Visva-Bharati University.

During the performances, students dress up in bright yellow and pink clothes and participate in folk dances. The performances are then followed by a campus-wide color fight.

Insider tips

  • The cultural shows of Basanta Utsav occur the day before Holi.
  • Shantiniketan is easily accessible from Kolkata by road.

9. Anandpur Sahib

  • Location: in the state of Punjab

Known as Hola Mohalla, as well as the color fight, Holi in Anandpur Sahib is famous for the impressive shows of martial arts performed by Sikh warriors.

During the festival, Sikh warriors display their physical agility and skills in the traditional martial art of Gatka. Other events include wrestling, mock sword fighting, turban tying, and various displays of Sikh military skill.

The fighting performances are then followed by music and poetry competitions as well as bareback horse riding and tricks.

Insider tips:

  • The events in Anandpur Sahib normally take place the day after the rest of the country celebrates Holi.

Tips for Experiencing Holi in India


Holi in India is very different, intense, and more crowded than most celebrations in the West. Because of this, it is important to know what to expect during Holi..

Expect to see large and chaotic crowds: The public color battle in the streets will be very crowded and chaotic. It is definitely an adventure for foreign travelers. Join a private celebration in a hotel if you prefer.

It is essential to protect your skin: Many of the colored powders may stain your skin, ruin your clothes, and even color your teeth and hair. It is important to protect yourself by covering your skin with coconut oil and wearing sunglasses during the event.

Protect your electronics: The colored powders could ruin any electronics or valuables that you carry with you into the color fight. If you choose to take a phone or a camera, they need to be in airtight cases or bags for protection.

Wear old clothes: Your clothes would be stained by the colors after the fight so wear your old clothes, which you may just throw away after the event.

Choose a safe and peaceful place for the celebrations: Holi is meant to be a joyous holiday but it is be very chaotic because of the large crowds. It is common for women and even foreign men to be groped in the crowds during Holi. That's why it is very important to choose a safe location to celebrate.

Experience a Once-in-a-Lifetime Holi Celebration with Asia Highlights

Holi celebrations

Asia Highlights is ready to design your uniquely-suited tour to experience Holi in India. Based on your preferences and needs, we would arrange the best places for you to enjoy an authentic cultural experience in India. See below for our popular and customizable Holi itinerary:

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