West Bengal celebrates Holi
Splashing themselves in vivid colours, offering prayers to deities and exchanging greetings, people in West Bengal Sunday celebrated Holi - or Dol Jatra as it is called in this part of the country - amid heightened security.
Visva Bharati University in Santiniketan, founded by Rabindranath Tagore, burst in to colours and joy as people plunged themselves into the spring festival revelry.
At the Santiniketan campus in Birbhum district people danced on the streets to the tunes of Tagore songs that exhorted everyone to mingle in joy.
Resplendent in traditional attires, students and teachers went around the campus singing "Ore grihabasi, khol dwar khol, laglo je dol", urging people through songs to open their doors and usher in the spring festivities.
In other parts of the state, people marked the day by taking the idols of Lord Krishna and Radha out in processions on picturesquely decorated palanquins on the streets of towns.
People danced, singing hymns, and sprayed coloured water and smeared one another with gulal.
In the metropolis, the festival unfolded itself as a marriage of varied cultures with tradition and modernity.
While the youngsters moved around their neighbourhoods in groups, smearing one another with gulal and colours and dancing to hit Bollywood songs, the elderly too joined in the fun, embracing one another and exchanging pleasantries.
To prevent any untoward incident, security measures were put in place across the city.
Devotees from various parts of the world also congregated at the International Society for Krishna Consciousness temple in Nadia district's Mayapur, the global headquarters of ISKCON, to celebrate the day as the birth anniversary of Vaishnav saint Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Devotional songs and cultural programmes, discourses about the life and teachings of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu marked the day at Mayapur, which is about 130 km from Kolkata.
(Posted on 16-03-2014)