Holi is a Hindu spring festival celebrated all over India. It signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, end of winter, and for many a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair broken relationships. In Hampi we celebrate Holi with much enthusiasm. Travellers both foreign and domestic celebrate along with the locals. Sweets, colour powder, pichkaris all are part of the celebration.
We were curious to find out if Holi was celebrated during the Vijayanagara period and here is what we found.
It is clear that the spring festival was celebrated with much gusto in the Vijayanagara era much in the same way as we celebrate Holi today. Author Anila Verghese suggests that the fourth festival described by Nicoli Conti and represented in above described sculptures is Vasantotsava, that fell on the full moon of Chaitra (March – April) rather than Holi, which is celebrated on the full moon of Phalguna (February – March). The literary and archaeological data available points to the celebration of Vasantotsava. Vasantotsava is associated with the worship of Kama (or Madana or Manmatha), the god of love. Kama is also the demi-god of the spring season, thus also called as Vasantha. In course of time the worship of Kama or Madana died out and the great festivity connected with it was transferred to the spring festival of Holi.
So this year when you celebrate Holi remember that the celebration associated with it has a long history of merriment and fun.
On this engaging Hampi tour we will explore the rich history of Vijayanagara empire, learn about unique architecture of various monuments, hear stories of victories and defeat. This is a tour for all history lovers. If you are looking for a well researched tour of Hampi that covers all the important monuments then this one is highly recommended.