Lathmar Holi 2018- why men enjoy being beaten by Barsana women

Lathmar Holi 2018 promises to be an insane affair, guys. This year, this crazy Indian festival acquires a new look in the villages of Barsana, Vrindavan, and Mathura.

Lathmar Holi 2018
‘Please leave me,’ says a gop to a gopi and promises never to tease them again

If you have been coming to India regularly in February and March, then now is the time to plan a 2-day visit to Mathura, Barsana, and Vrindavan.

The mystery of the haunted forest of Vrindavan 

Solo women travelers- please get some male company if you want to enjoy the Holi festivities in these places; menfolk here can turn boisterous and may spoil your fun.

Barsana- your Lathmar Holi 2018 pitstop

Every year, Holi means the Lathhmar Holi played in Barsana.

Do you know what Lathhmar Holi means? This means that women folk ‘beat’ up their men with sticks. Actually, this is a fun-filled activity and nobody gets injured in this activity. At Barsana, Holi is marked by these ceremonial ‘beatings’ and the men like them no end.

But why are men ‘beaten’ up by the Barsana women?Let us indulge in a bit of storytelling here.

Lathmar Holi 2018
Image creds-

Well, the story goes that Lord Krishna used to live in Nandgaon, a village near Mathura while His beloved Radha Rani ‘s home was in Barsana, roughly 25 kilometers from the same city.

He used to come to Barsana to play with Radha and Her friends on Holi and the same tradition is followed by His followers from Nandgaon. Except that there is a small hilarity these days when the menfolk arrive in Barsana.

Beaten up!

So, when the men arrive at Barsana hoping to drench the women with colors and water, they are countered by the latter with sticks.

The Nandgaon men also want to raise their flags on the spire of the Radha Rani Temple, but the women won’t allow them to do so. There is a good deal of healthy and good-natured rivalry between Nandgaon and Barsana, you know.

     You may also read this fantastic article on Holi >

So when the enthusiastic boys and men arrive in the premises os Radha Rani temple in Barsana, they are ‘beaten up’ by the ‘sakhis’ or friends of Radhaji. And this is the most interesting part of the entire Holi scenario in the Braj area of Mathura, Vrindavan, Gokul, Nandgaon, and Barsana.

Next day, the menfolk of Barsana take ‘revenge’ by visiting the ladies of Nandgaon and this is also an altogether a very interesting spectacle.

Ah, I forgot to add; the word Lathmar means beaten up by stick, okay!

Where to stay in Barsana

If you are wondering where to stay in Barsana during this Lathmar season, then  you can check this link>

Since the ‘beating up’ ceremony happens one week before Holi, it is better to reserve your rooms early. Rates will go up sky-high as the days pass by. This year, Holi is falling on March 1, so do your bookings quickly.

To reach Barsana, you will have to take a cab or drive there on your own. Here is a link about driving directions from Vrindavan to Barsana.

Keep an eye on the traffic advisory; the UP police often stops outside vehicles from entering Barsana to avoid overcrowding. It is a very small town, you see.

Barsana, Mathura
Radha Rani Temple in Barsana. Image Courtesy- UP Tourism

Lathmar Holi 2018- advice to solo women travelers

Make this Lathmar Holi 2018 a memorable event by following these pieces of advice;

  1. Cover up fully while participating in or watching the proceedings
  2. Many people will offer you drinks laced with ‘bhang’ or ‘thandai’; avoid these as you might lose your senses.
  3. While dancing among people, avoid eye-contact with the menfolk. You never know what some of them might read in your eyes.
  4. Apply lots of mustard or coconut oil on your skin, it will help in ridding yourself off of color
  5. Do not argue or fight with people there
  6. Avoid venturing out on lonely roads

That’s it, folks for now.

Hope you enjoy your Lathmar Holi 2018.

Thanks for reading

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.