Huranga by Idris Ahmed

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The quiet village of Daujee (around 30 kms from Mathura) transforms into the nucleus of colors & energy on the day after Holi. Holi here is referred as ‘Huranga’ probably to highlight more clamorous form! The tradition dates back to 1580 AD when Shri Dauji Maharaj Temple was established.

Daujee ka Huranga starts with people gathering in the Daujee temple premises around noon. Folk songs are sung, prayers are performed to the idols of Lord Baldeo and Revati Maiyya as a form of taking permission to play Holi. Soon after the darshan, thousands of devotees from Baldeo and neighboring villages gather in the temple courtyard.

Holi here is played essentially amongst the family, which established the temple! Devar’s pour buckets of saffron-tinged water on Bhabhis, who playfully react by tearing their shirts off and spanking them with it. After some hours, the temple floor is full of water and resembles an orange lake.

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I reached Baldeo around 8:30am and walked towards the Daujee temple (an easy walk of little more than a kilometer from the parking area). The atmosphere outside the temple was typical- bustling with energy; there were garland shops, sweet shops, gulal shops and of course stalls selling chai 🙂

As I entered the Temple I was surprised to see house full of early spectators & photographers who had already ensured their seats with the best view from the terrace (It is important to reach early to absorb the ambiance of the place before the real action starts).

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There were lots of locals already playing holi and dancing to the loud music but everyone was waiting for ‘the family’ to come in. Around 11:30 hundreds of men & women entered the temple with beautiful traditional attire and I could feel the energy gears changing J :)everyone was dancing singing!

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After lots of dancing to the holi folk songs, Devar’s start pouring buckets of saffron-tinged water on Bhabhis, who playfully react by tearing their shirts off and spanking them with it. After some hours, the temple floor is full of water and resembles an orange lake. (Remember this strictly is a family event so only family members can take liberty with each other).

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Tips for the photographers :
  • Shooting from the terrace- Grab your spot by as early as 7-8am. Keep something to munch & drink, as you would be immovable for some time! J
  • Shooting from ‘the middle of action’- Wrap your camera very very carefully as colors & water will come from all directions.
  • Decide your camera settings, check your battery levels and number of available images on your memory card before jumping into the action area!
  • Try not to disturb ‘the family’ while they are enjoying festivities. After all it is their event and we should be kind enough to respect traditions & rituals!

 

This year Huranga will be on 11th March 2020. Feel free to write to me at info.photocommune@gmail.com if you need and advice, I would be happy to help.

Dauji Huranga