Photos: A riot of colour as Vrindavan widows celebrate Holi in Mathura

Updated On Mar 01, 2018 12:40 PM IST

For the sixth consecutive year, the widows of Vrindavan let the hues of Holi take over as they stepped beyond traditional norms and played Holi with flower petals and gulaal in the grounds of the Gopinath Temple in Mathura. Organised by Sulabh International, which launched Holi for widows back in 2013, the event aims at ending stigma associated with being a widow in India.

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Widows in Vrindavan played Holi at the historic Gopinath temple in Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh for the sixth consecutive year, subverting traditions that otherwise expect them to lead austere and reclusive lives. The scene was awash with colour as hundreds of women in spotless white saris stepped out of their ashrams and played with gulaal in the temple courtyard. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Mar 01, 2018 12:40 PM IST

Widows in Vrindavan played Holi at the historic Gopinath temple in Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh for the sixth consecutive year, subverting traditions that otherwise expect them to lead austere and reclusive lives. The scene was awash with colour as hundreds of women in spotless white saris stepped out of their ashrams and played with gulaal in the temple courtyard. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

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Held in the ‘city of widows’, the event brought a of colour to women bound by strict customs of appearance and behaviour, such as dressing in white -- the colour of mourning-- and keeping their hair cropped. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Mar 01, 2018 12:40 PM IST

Held in the ‘city of widows’, the event brought a of colour to women bound by strict customs of appearance and behaviour, such as dressing in white -- the colour of mourning-- and keeping their hair cropped. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

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A widow at Vridavan arranges flowers and powdered colors into mounds before the celebrations commence. The Holi played this time over used with more than 1600 kilograms of flower petals and colour. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Mar 01, 2018 12:40 PM IST

A widow at Vridavan arranges flowers and powdered colors into mounds before the celebrations commence. The Holi played this time over used with more than 1600 kilograms of flower petals and colour. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

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Women sing and dance as they celebrate Holi in the Gopinath temple at Vrindavan. The festival of colour will be celebrated across the country on March 2 this year. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Mar 01, 2018 12:40 PM IST

Women sing and dance as they celebrate Holi in the Gopinath temple at Vrindavan. The festival of colour will be celebrated across the country on March 2 this year. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

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Organised by Sulabh International, the Holi for widows was first played in 2013 attempting to end the stigma associated with being a widow in India. Beginning to some resistance, the event has grown in its appeal and participation in the years since. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Mar 01, 2018 12:40 PM IST

Organised by Sulabh International, the Holi for widows was first played in 2013 attempting to end the stigma associated with being a widow in India. Beginning to some resistance, the event has grown in its appeal and participation in the years since. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

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Meanwhile, a stone’s throw away at the Bankey Bihari Temple, other revellers also joined in the celebrations also with flowers and colour. (Sonu Mehta / HT Photo) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Mar 01, 2018 12:40 PM IST

Meanwhile, a stone’s throw away at the Bankey Bihari Temple, other revellers also joined in the celebrations also with flowers and colour. (Sonu Mehta / HT Photo)

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Not just locals, tourists from across the world throng to Mathura, famous for ‘Phoolon ki Holi’—a day of playing Holi with flower petals and dry powders as well as ‘Lathmar Holi’ in which men and women from Barsana and Nandgaon recreate an ancient tradition of Holi played using lathis or wooden sticks. (Sonu Mehta / HT Photo) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Mar 01, 2018 12:40 PM IST

Not just locals, tourists from across the world throng to Mathura, famous for ‘Phoolon ki Holi’—a day of playing Holi with flower petals and dry powders as well as ‘Lathmar Holi’ in which men and women from Barsana and Nandgaon recreate an ancient tradition of Holi played using lathis or wooden sticks. (Sonu Mehta / HT Photo)

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A blanket of flower petals covers a crowd of participants playing Holi at the Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan. (Sonu Mehta / HT Photo) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Mar 01, 2018 12:40 PM IST

A blanket of flower petals covers a crowd of participants playing Holi at the Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan. (Sonu Mehta / HT Photo)

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Religious songs and tunes dedicated to Krishna rang loud as crowds drenched in colour sang and danced in merriment. (Sonu Mehta / HT Photo) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Mar 01, 2018 12:40 PM IST

Religious songs and tunes dedicated to Krishna rang loud as crowds drenched in colour sang and danced in merriment. (Sonu Mehta / HT Photo)

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Apart from celebrating Holi with fellow ‘widow sisters’, the residents of the ashrams have prepared 11 big earthen pots of herbal gulaal in various hues intended for the Prime Minister. Sulabh founder Bindeshwar Pathak, who organised the Holi for widows in Vrindavan, said they have struck a special bond with the Prime Minister and consider him a brother. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Mar 01, 2018 12:40 PM IST

Apart from celebrating Holi with fellow ‘widow sisters’, the residents of the ashrams have prepared 11 big earthen pots of herbal gulaal in various hues intended for the Prime Minister. Sulabh founder Bindeshwar Pathak, who organised the Holi for widows in Vrindavan, said they have struck a special bond with the Prime Minister and consider him a brother. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

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