The festival of colours, Holi is celebrated all over India but nowhere with as much fervour as at this small town in Karnataka, Bagalkot.
Celebrated over the course of four days with great pomp and show, Holi Habba is Bagalkot’s most important cultural tradition. The festival kicks off with Kama Dahanam – a bonfire ceremony symbolic of burning lust and other evils harboured in the human hearts.
This is followed by three days of playing with colours. People gather in parks and streets all over the city bombarding each other with anything and everything in their sight, either with dry coloured powder or with water guns and water balloons filled with coloured water.
Five different localities called Onees are the traditional centres for celebrating the festival – Jainpeth, Hosapeth, Halpeth, Killa and Venkatpeth, with Hosapeth being the largest.
Although of a Hindu origin, the festival is enjoyed by people of all faiths and backgrounds with everyone participating in the spirit of joy and harmony. At the end of the festivities the whole town stands painted in a myriad of hues, a symbol of the town’s colourful culture.