I had never seen so much colour in my life before.
Sure Holi is crazy all over India, it is after all the festival of colour, and there’s a lot of it, but being there in the heart of Uttar Pradesh, in the mythical home of Krishna and Radha is an experience you are unlikely to forget. For a week to ten days before Holi, the region known as Braj which loosely comprises of Mathura, Vrindavan, Barsana, Nandgaon and other surrounding villages literally shuts down as everybody competes to see how much colour and water they can possibly throw at each other. Besides the very very colourful and very very wet Holi, Nandgaon and Barsana are famous for a unique Holi tradition called ‘Lathmar’. Lathmar is an age old celebration of Holi where the women from Barsana, representing Radha and her friends, repel the teasing advances of Krishna and his friends, represented by the men from Nandgaon, with some pretty heavy duty sticks and the men gamely defend themselves with puny little leather shields. Fun!
The scene is all at once chaotic, intense, mad, spiritual and joyful. And for this Parsi photographer from Bombay, who has really not played Holi properly in his life before, it was the experience of a lifetime.
Here our some of our favourite moments from Holi in the heartland of India.