Historical town Barsana, land of Radha Rani all set to celebrate ‘Lathmar Holi’

PTI, Feb 27, 2023, 12:51 PM IST

Mathura: Historical town Barsana — the land of Radha Rani — will witness a spectacle on Tuesday when menfolk will drench womenfolk with colours and the women wielding batons will ‘playfully’ hit the men to drive them away.

Every year, thousands of devotees and tourists are attracted to the town here to witness ‘Lathmar Holi’, the festival that honours the couple, Radha and Krishna.

“Holi in Barsana virtually is a repeat of Holi representing the ‘Dwaapar’ age with menfolk trying to drench womenfolk with colours and women preventing them through baton attacks. The men protect themselves by carrying leather shields,” Raas Bihari, a priest of Ladli temple in Barsana, said.

Legend has it that when Krishna visited Barsana to spray colours on his beloved, Radha and her friends ‘playfully’ hit him with sticks and drove him out of the town. Lathmar Holi seeks to recreate that.

“Holi in Mathura is celebrated for around 25 days. It is celebrated at different locations in different ways. On Friday, we organised ‘Phoolo kee Holi’ (Holi of flowers) at Ramanreti in Gokul. On February 28, we are having ‘Lathmar Holi’ in Barsana, the next day we have Lathmar Holi in Nandgaon. After that we have Rangbharni in Vrindavan. So, there are different ways of celebrating Holi in different parts of the district. Together it is called Rangotsav,” District Magistrate Pulkit Khare said.

Officials said heavy security arrangements have been made for the festival in Barsana on Tuesday.

Six additional SPs,14 police circle officers, 60 inspectors/ SHOs, 300 sub-inspectors, 1,200 constables, 40 women sub-inspectors, 130 women constables, four traffic inspectors, 50 traffic sub-inspectors and five companies of the PAC would be deployed for Lathmar Holi, they said.

To prevent unlawful activities and misbehaviour with women, police in plain clothes will also be deployed at strategic points, they added.

The entire festival area has been divided into six zones and 14 sectors with ADM level officers/additional SPs as incharge of each zone and deputy collector level officers as incharge of each sector, the officials said.

Around 40 parking points have been set up for parking of vehicles, Senior Superintendent of Police Shailesh Kumar Pandey said.

He said the entry of heavy vehicles to the town has been banned till Tuesday.

According to officials, 300 sanitation workers will also be deployed to ensure cleanliness during the festival.

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