How to plan a 2 Day Trip To Pushkar for Holi Celebrations

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HOLI is the INDIAN FESTIVAL OF COLOURS.  It is celebrated every year in the month of March. 

Holi is celebrated in different ways and scale in different parts of India. 

It is celebrated for 40 days in Mathura, a district town of Uttarpradesh in north India. 

In Pushkar, it is celebrated for about 10 days. Mainly, it is celebrated for 2 days all over India. 

● Day 1 is celebrated as HOLIKA DAHAN ( Holika effigy is burnt in the night)

●Day 2 is celebrated by applying colours on each other.

HOLIKA DAHAN : This is celebrated as the victory of Good over Evil. Holika was the evil sister of an equally evil king. She had been granted a boon of surviving fire. So the evil king plotted the killing of his pious son by making him sit on Holika’s lap and set them on fire. The Gods became very upset by this plot. As the fire blazed, they took back her boon. This way, she perished and the child survived. 

So, a bonfire is set up in the evening and people pray around it for granting of boons and the victory of Good over Evil. For the bonfire, people collect dried branches and there is a sense of merriment all around. 

PLAYING COLOURS or RANGWALI HOLI (DHULANDI) :This is the most popular event and is anticipated with great excitement. The energy is palpable with people merrily applying colours on each other. One sentence is frequently heard ( Bura na Mano holi hai ). It means, do not get angry or upset if people throw colours as it is the festival of holi. If you don’t want to play,  stay at home. But if you plan to step out of home, be prepared to get smeared with colours by random folks. 


You can plan a 2 day trip to Pushkar for Holi. This year the 2 main events fall on the 17-18 of March. Holika Dahan is on the 17, and Playing Colours Holi or Dhulandi is on 18 of March. The festival dates differ every year as they are announced, as per local calculations in  the Indian calander.

Pushkar Holi has become very popular in the past 2 decades. 

● Pushkar is an important spiritual town in the state of Rajasthan, in India. It was always very popular with foreign tourists as it has much to offer. 

● Apart from the various temples and the Pushkar lake, the spiritual vibe of the place attracts folk artists, tourists, musical groups etc.

● The variety of interesting activities offered in Pushkar range from music fests, folk singers, folk dancers, yoga teachers, tattoo artists, shopping and a variety of cuisine. 

● The atmosphere at Pushkar is very cosmopolitan and eclectic. As you meander through its lanes, you will see locals in their colourful attires comfortably mixing with foreign tourists who come in droves.

● During Holi the place becomes very happening and vibrant. As the place sees a huge number of tourists during this festival  it is important to make reservations at your hotels, lodges, guesthouses or AirBnB. 

● On day 1, people gather at various locations in the evening and participate in the Holika Dahan. Various streets and squares have their own Holika Dahan programme. You can be part of any one of your choice. The main Holika Dahan programme (bonfire) is in the central square. There is a lot of excitement around it, as a large number of people take part in it. The spiritual energy is very high as it marks the victory of Good over Evil.

People sing and dance around the fire and the atmosphere is very lively. Sweets are distributed among the people to mark the holy occasion. 

● Day 2 is the most eagerly awaited event by people of all ages. Everyone generously applies colour on each other and enjoys the comoradriee. 

Early in the morning  you can see people starting to gather at various places and hear the kids enthusiastically playing with colours. As the day progresses, everyone can be seen with colours smeared across their faces, relaxing , greeting each other, exchanging sweets and drinking Thandai ,( a cool drink that is very refreshing and made particularly for this day).

The central square has the maximum energy level as it is jam-packed with revellers swaying to electronic music non stop for hours. No where in the World will you witness an event of this magnitude where hundreds of people, smeared completely with different colours, dancing to trance music throughout the day in complete abandon.

This Holi party has an electric vibe to it. Every one is dancing with abandon, completely covered with Gulal ( colour) and not a single worry in the World. You have to see it to believe it.

If you are planning to Travel from Delhi (capital of India) you have the option of a cab or bus.

It is very easy to book a cab to Pushkar as it is a popular destination. 

Also various Public and Private bus services are available to Pushkar. 

The approximate distance from Delhi to Pushkar is about 450kms. It will take about 8-9 hrs.


Though there are plenty of places to stay, I have shortlisted a few comfortable ones for you.


A comfortable, well designed place, with its own swimming pool, a garden and terrace for tea and breakfast. 


If you want to stay at an upscale hotel, is is for you. Situated atop a dune, overlooking the town, swimming pool, garden, a quiet and relaxing ambience. 


Want to meet other backpackers? A quaint, cute place to stay. Also  it’s just a 15 minute walk from the Pushkar lake. 


What is being offered:

Stay in luxury tents with a view of sunrise and sunset. 

Bonfire in the night 

Camel rides in the dunes

A cultural show with local food 

There are a variety of other options and generally the accommodation is reasonably priced.


They are easily available all over the market. Most of the shops keep huge piles of colours and you can find them without any issues. They are very reasonably priced. It’s a good idea to play with dry colors as they can be easily washed away. Wet colors are also popular but you will have to bathe a few times you get them off your skin.


1● Gugiya 

A sweet filled with coconut and dry fruits. It is absolutely delicious and Holi is not complete without it.

2● Malpua

This is also a popular sweet served during Holi.

It is a pancake, served with delicious Rabdi ( thickened milk preparation)

3● Dahi Bada

A savoury dish, a must during Holi, it is a Chaat ( spicy dish served with curd). It is delicious and not to be missed. 

4● Thandai

A drink made with buttermilk and dry fruits. It is very popular during Holi. Sometimes, a little bhaang,( Marijuana) is mixed with it, so you have to be careful as it becomes very potent. 

All these dishes are easily available in the local sweet shops and are very reasonably priced. 


● As the festival of Holi is full of excitement, be prepared to be smeared with colours by absolute strangers. 

Here, you have to use discretion and mingle with known people. You don’t want unnecessary attention, so it’s advisable to play safe.

Celebrate in the hotel premises with a small group if you want to avoid the revellers.

● As it is very crowded, do not wear any valuables on your person. Jwellery, watches and expensive electronics items should be avoided. 

● If you plan to photograph the event, secure your cameras in a plastic bag and tie it with a rubber band. Also, avoid changing the lens. This will protect your expensive equipment from water and colour.  Once the fine particles of the colours enter your camera, it’s difficult to get rid off. Also, be very careful of your mobile phones. Secure them well from pickpockets and water.

● People are generally decent, helpful and polite but miscreants are everywhere so be cautious. 

● It is advisable to wear clothing that is not transparent. A t shirt, trouser, track pants, kurta(Indian top) is best. You can also wear loose pajamas and pair it with a loose top. Also  you can cover your self with a cotton scarf.  

● Before playing colours,liberally apply baby oil over your face, neck, arms and hands. This is very helpful as the colours will come off easily.

After 2 years, the people of Pushkar are eagerly waiting for the return of crowds. With restrictions gone, Holi can be celebrated with the same joy and verve of previous years. The hotels are gearing up for the tourists, the markets are full of traditional handicrafts and textiles, folk singers and dancers have been booked, adventure tours have been planned and the town of Pushkar, once again dressed up for the Festival of Holi.  

Do plan a trip to Pushkar and participate in the Holi revellery. 

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