INDIA : HURANGA FESTIVAL AT DAUJI TEMPLE
The Dauji temple, located about 30 km outside Mathutra, hosts the famed Huranga festival a day after the Holi festivities. The festival involves a rather strange ritual, where men go around in circles pouring saffron-colored water on women while the women strip and beat them up. The tradition, more than 500 years old, started when the Krishna temple was first established and is supposed to give woman the chance to get back at men for all the bullying they suffered through. The ritual lasts a few hours, and has tens of thousands of devotees gathered in the temple courtyard while traditional music is played and colored powder is thrown at people with big pipes. Towards the end and as people leave, you realise that the temple is nearly submerged in vibrant orange water and the remaining men fight with wet pieces of clothes in a slightly more violent way. The Huranga festival was definitely one of the highlights of my entire Holi experience and one of the most insane thing I have ever had the chance to see. Intense, vibrant, colorful, chaotic- much of what India has come to mean for me. I took the opportunity to stay on the highest level of the temple and above the action, which gave me a fantastic perspective to take photos from. Honestly, the ambiance is impossible to describe - words can’t possibly capture how breath-taking the entire event is, but maybe the following pictures will do a better job of capturing the essence of the Huranga festival.