At the birthplace of Krishna during Holi Festival
Trip Start Feb 03, 2014
26Trip End Apr 29, 2014
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We arrive the night before it starts and there's already bags of paint powder for sale, as well as water pistols and 'snow' sprays. One man smears paint on my forehead and says 'happy holi' and I do the same back.
When I wake up on the day of the festival and lookout over the hotel balcony, Indian people are already hugging each other in the street. At breakfast another traveller tells us that Virindavan (where Krishna grew up) was very lively the day before
As we approach the temple the crowd gets denser and rowdier. I have to throw my flip-flops on a huge pile to enter barefoot. There is a priest at the front and people clap for him. The place is completely packed everyone is pushing past each other and it's quite like a rock concert
Drenched, we sit in the sun and non-stop, people keep wishing us 'happy holi' and hugging us.
We go to another temple and there is a group of people sitting besides a drum and some of the older indian women are singing the loudest. As it's close to midday light is coming directly into the temple and all the particles in the air are visible. A cow wonders inside.
When we continue walking someone grabs my sunglasses and takes them away. I ask all the people around but some tells me they're stolen. They were cheap and had fallen off a theme park ride, a few days before so it was no great loss.
We walk down an alley and I slowly creep past an outpost that could instigate a water attack. Five men hold buckets of water. Once I get safely through I look round and all five are tipping water over Adam who's running and shouting.
Later a group of kids chase us down the street
On the way back we jump on a shared tuk-tuk with three Indians. After a couple of miles it becomes apparent that they all seem pretty wasted (including the driver who starts to swerve around a little). The guy sitting at the front produced a baseball bat and starts gently tapping the other tuk-tuks as we pass. The guy at the back start pestering me for a job in England. He says he can do anything and he's well qualified. When I tell him I can't get him anything, he keeps pleading 'please get me a job, please. His English isn't great. Half way through the journey we stop early and escape.
Later someone tells me that his sunglasses were stolen by a monkey who traded it for peanuts at a local stall. He had to pay for the peanuts to get the glasses back.
In the evening everything has quietened down and we head over to Holi gate. An indian man invites us briefly into his home and he had a shrine and paintings in the walls. He names all the Hindu gods that are depicted and gives me some cakes insisting I eat them all. He says life is like a dream. When Adam says he's not working he says 'that's not right' and asks him his 'aim' in life and when Adam can't answer say 'that's not right'. After we leave we go to the Krishna temple which is quite empty and a local takes us to a place where's there's loud music and at one point a Krishna dance.
The next day we go sightseeing around the temples
Before I leave we go to the Vishram Ghat in the morning and all the locals are washing themselves in the holy river. We have a boat ride and then head over to Kesava Deo Temple that's claimed to be the birthplace of Krishna and the slab of rock where he was born can be viewed.