Holi is one of the most well-known Indian festivals the world over, characterised by playfulness, colours and bonding over poetry, songs & dancing. People from all over the world visit India to celebrate Holi, specifically the version played in North Indian region of Uttar Pradesh. There are many forms in which Holi is celebrated all over India, like West Bengal’s famed Shantiniketan ‘Dol’ celebrations or like Hola Mohalla in Punjab. In the hill state of Uttarakhand, Holi is celebrated over many days in the villages of Kumaon region in what is known as Baithaki Holi. This Holi, I travelled to Jim Corbett National Park in Ramnagar area of Kumaon and among many other experiences, playing Baithaki Holi was one of my most enjoyable & cherished experiences. Sharing my #baithakiholi experience with all readers here.


Welcomed with a smile & colors

Growing up in city of Delhi, one of my most delightful childhood memories have been of unbridled gaiety on Holi. However, in recent years, rowdism and advent of chemical colors made me avoid Holi, so most of my Holi day is spent inside my home in almost curfew like situation! I actually had forgotten the joy & festive fervour of the festival in the last few years. I was actually planning an almost similar build up to Holi this year too and when I got invited for the long weekend stay at Wild Iris Spa & Resort in Jim Corbett National Park along with a couple of my travel buddies, I thought it will be good getaway from the chaotic Holi time of the city without expecting much more than a tiger sighting in the forest.

The Wild Iris Spa & Resort among its many activities offers a village walk and interaction to its guests. They told us that Holi festival in kumaon is celebrated a bit differently and we should definitely visit the Baithaki Holi. Intrigued, we accompanied the Iris team on an afternoon to a local staffer’s home where we were greeted with smiles, hugs & melodious sounds of kumaoni folksongs. The ladies of the village had gathered at this particular home and were bonding over songs & dance, with sweets & snacks going around.

Baithaki Holi, also known as Kumaoni Holi is a unique version of Holi festival, celebrated in Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. It is characterised  by ladies or men of the village (or sometimes a mixed gathering) coming together in a musical gathering at one villager’s home each day,  starting from the day of Basant Panchmi till the Holi day (or the last full moon day of the lunar month Phalguna). We were told that depending on the type of gathering, it is also called Mahila Baithaki Holi (if its just a ladies group) or even Khadi Holi (celebrated on bigger scale with men folk singing and visiting different homes in the village). The Baithaki Holi songs are usually a mix of kumaoni folk songs & Hindustani popular songs.

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Celebrating Holi the kumaoni way, bonding with singing, dancing & colors | I celebrated the most unique Holi in Choti Haldwani – Jim Corbett's model village in Ramnagar, Uttarakhand, India . . Read my #travelogues on www.myunfinishedlife.com #linkinprofile ————————————- #Holi #Uttarakhand #jimcorbettnationalpark #baithakiholi #uttarakhanddiaries #incredibleindia #indiantravelblogger #instatravel #indianfestivals #india #festivalsofindia #travel #journey #instatravel #womenwhotravel #girlslovetravel #girlsmeetglobe #globetravel #traveler #explorer #trystwithiris @corbettwildiris #colorstory #inspirioindia @lonelyplanetindia @natgeotravellerindia @lonelyplanet @lonelyplanetmagazineindia @telegraphtravel @bbc_travel @lyfintransit #mahilaholi #awesometravel #discoverindia #uttarakhandtourism #uttarakhand_travel_diaries #kumaoniholi

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Such a vibrant gathering of #BaithakiHoli
Ladies singing & dancing without a care!
We also joined in the fun!
Me & our team of travellers posing with villagers in Choti Haldwani

During our stay with Wild Iris Spa & Resort, we experienced Baithaki Holi twice and it was the highlight of our trip! I absolutely loved the genuine bonhomie, warmth and innocence of the villagers who opened their homes & hearts to us, urging us to dance & sing with them. I was completely taken back to my happy childhood memories of Holi!

The Wild Iris Spa & Resort is located in Kyari Village, Ramnagar near the Jim Corbett National Park tourist Entry gate of Bajrani and organizes many different activities in the nearby villages for all its guests on request.  This trip was organized by TCBG group in association with Wild Iris Spa & Resort.

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