Four-day Holi festivities began in Sujanpur Tihra on Thursday afternoon with the participation of thousands of people from Hamirpur, Kangra and Mandi districts.
Mandi divisional commissioner Onkar Chand Sharma declared the festival open after offering prayers in a temple and participated in a colourful procession taken out before the prayers. Local deputy commissioner Rohan Chand Thakur and district police chief Veena Bharti accompanied him.
The Mandi DC also inaugurated an exhibition stalls set up in the huge chaugan (big ground) located in the heart of the town and evinced keen interest in those.
While the state chief minister used to inaugurate the function and the governor performed the closing ceremony, no politician was present at the venue following imposition of model code of conduct.
Holi of Sujanpur Tihra is the creation of great Katoch rulers who had reigned over the Kangra hills in the nineteenth century and were credited for the propagation of the Kangra Kalam. Historians say that Raja Sansar Chand Katoch used to play Holi with his courtiers and the elite of the town.
Leading historians of India and foreign countries have written much about this historic town and its famous Holi. Apart from the Beas river flowing nearby and the big chaugan (ground), spread over nearly 1,054 kanals, attract the attention of people coming to the town during the fair. Such huge grounds are rare in the hilly areas.
In Sujanpur Tihra, Holi is celebrated to relive the memories of Radha and Krishna. A beautiful, ancient temple dedicated to Radha-Krishna is located besides the chaugan. This temple had withstood the Kangra earthquake in 1914.
A number of people purchase items at the chaugan for their homes. The main attraction is the earth pitchers, called the 'refrigerators of the poor'.