Jaipur - Bharatpur. It's an early start today as the festivities of Holi bring thousands of people out onto the streets in a dazzling display of colour and good cheer. Celebrated every year in February or March, the ancient Hindu festival of Holi originated as a celebration of the end of winter and beginning of spring in honour of Prahlada, who was protected from the flames by Vishnu when he was tricked to his near death by his father King Hiranyakashipu.
Today Holi is a time when Indians across the nation gather together with family, friends and neighbours to throw powder bombs, fire water pistols and splash coloured water as they run through the streets. Shops and businesses close down for the day, and on the eve of the celebrations a bonfire is held to remember the story of Prahlada and Vishnu.
While this is the mostly believed story, the myths and legends that surround Holi differ around the country, but the basic principle remains the same. Holi is meant to symbolise the triumph of good over evil, the importance of love and of happiness, and supports the formation of new friendships.
After hotel check-out and time for lunch, you can pull up a chair and watch the Holi celebrations taking place out on the lawn. For those wanting to get involved we'll be providing white kurta pyjamas for you to wear and organic colours for you to throw. In this game of cat and mouse, stealth and the art of surprise will serve you well. After a bombardment of powder bombs and shower of water in every imaginable colour we'll hatch an escape plan to Keoladeo Ghana National Park for a late afternoon bicycle rickshaw ride and bird-watching.
Overnight - Bharatpur