​​HOLI - THE FESTIVAL OF COLORS is an ancient Hindu religious festival which has become popular with non-Hindus all over the world. Holi celebrations start on the night before Holi with a Holika bonfire where people gather, do religious rituals in front of the bonfire, and pray that their internal evil should be destroyed as the bonfire starts. The next morning is celebrated as 'Rangwali Color Holi' - a free-for-all carnival of colors, where people play, chase and color each other with dry powder and colored water.

FESTIVAL OF COLORS WITH THE MAHARANA OF UDAIPUR

The current Maharana of Mewar Shreeji Arvind Singh Mewar is the 76th Maharana of the dynasty, making it one of the longest surviving royal dynasties in the world. Maharajah is a king, a maharana is a custodian on behalf of Lord Shiva of power over the kingdom he rules. Since India’s independence in 1947 when India became a democracy, the Maharana is a ceremonial figurehead, like the British royal family. His government stipend, was abolished in 1971. Now the royal family runs hotels in former palaces.

"For me the privilege of unveiling the world’s largest collection of crystal is as satisfying as maintaining ancient temples and preserving the living heritage of my ancestors. I am as content performing the duties of a head priest of our kul devta Eklingji, as I am in the midst of the polo-playing, champagne-sipping glitterati of the world. But I never forget that life is just a mirage…and possessions are not forever. The hand of divinity directs me and I am connected to my God all the time. He doesn’t check to see if I’m wearing Prada!" Maharana of Mewar Shreeji Arvind Singh Mewar



The City Palace in Udaipur (below) was built in a flamboyant style and is considered the largest of its type in Rajasthan, a fusion of the Rajasthani and Mughal architectural styles, and was built on a hill top that gives a panoramic view of the city and its surrounding


HOLI - THE FESTIVAL OF COLORS is an ancient Hindu religious festival which has become popular with non-Hindus all over the world. Holi celebrations start on the night before Holi with a Holika bonfire where people gather, do religious rituals in front of the bonfire, and pray that their internal evil should be destroyed as the bonfire starts. The next morning is celebrated as 'Rangwali Color Holi' - a free-for-all carnival of colors, where people play, chase and color each other with dry powder and colored water.


HOLI WITH THE MAHARANA OF UDAIPUR - March every year

At The Royal City Palace, Udaipur, The Maharana of Mewar presides over the Hindu festival of Holi. Attended by dignitaries, guests and foreign tourists. The Maharana arrives in a elaborate procession. A bonfire is lit, signifying the triumph of good over evil. Drums, folk dances and celebrations are followed by cocktails and an elaborate dinner and fireworks.


Holi is celebrated even in the United States- Sri Radha Krishna Temple Spanish Fork, Utah, United States

By Steven Gerner - Flickr: Holi / Festival of Colors 2013,