Celebration of Holi in Kolkata

After a hectic season of celebrations finally spring has come with its ¬†own charm and a wedding photographer has got some time to write a new blog post ūüôā

Though I chose wedding and event photography as my profession, travel and street photography is my passion. The street is the actual stage for the life , enacted in different form and obviously the same scene never gets repeated. This is the secret of my love towards street.

Kolkata holds different stories from different parts of it and this time of the year is the time for celebrating colors, The Spring Festival.

COLOR represents love, ecstasy, madness, youth and after all celebration of Life. And when the place is Kolkata, it reveals all the elements of color. But today I am not here to show you only the picturesque moments of the celebration but the behind the scene stories are equally interesting.

In Kolkata Holi (another name of spring festival) / basantotsav is celebrated in different form in different place. It is started few days before the actual calendar date as well as on the day.

Jorasanko Thakurbari/ Rabindrabharati University:

Basant Utsav literally means the ‘celebration of spring’. The beautiful tradition of welcoming¬†spring in Bengal was first started by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, at Vishwabharati Shantiniketan, the University founded by him. Actually, Basant Utsav is no different from Holi, except for the gracefulness with which it is celebrated. The former is celebrated in a much dignified manner, compared to the boisterous Holi witnessed in most parts of India.

On the day the students ¬†dressed in yellow (basanti) color, welcome spring – the season of hope, in a very elegant manner. They greet spring not only with colors, but also with songs, music and poetry of Rabindranath Tagore. For the Bengalis like me/us the festival is incomplete without ¬†listening some of the songs of him and throughout the year whether it’s winter or monsoon these songs always reminds the essence of the festival.

Here color means love,affection ; a really pleasant celebration to welcome the Spring.


Venue: Jorasanko thakurbari

Nearest metro station : Girish Park

2017 Dates: 7th March,2017

The same group performed in the B T road campus of Rabindrabharati, on the next to next day , this year it’s 9th December, 2017

Same kind of program held on the Golf Green On the day of Holi during early morning.

Holi at Sudder street:

Sudder street is the adjacent locality of Newmarket, Esplanade, Kolkata. The place is famous for cheap hotels and foreign tourists often prefer the living places in this street during their stay in Kolkata.

Here COLOR means madness, excitement, energy, ecstasy.. Here color bridges the gap between locales and foreigners. Both celebrate the festival together. The celebration is totally different than the previous one.

The celebration starts from the early morning on the day.


Nearest metro station: Esplanade

2017 date: 12th March,2017

Holi at Burrabazar, Kolkata:

Burrabazar is a neighbourhood in central Kolkata. РIt is expanded from a yarn and textile market into the commercial nucleus of Kolkata and one of the largest wholesale markets in Asia and deals in all kinds of garments and textile and commodities.

Here Holi is celebrated in vibrant way from Prayer in the temple to craziness on the road.

Here celebration starts before the actual day, interested persons have to collect information from the local people.

Nandgaon, Barsana is famous for this festival but in Kolkata burrabazar is the only place where you can get the pinch of the essence. Few years back when I went there to collect information I really got astonished to see  peacock in a temple there, the mood inside the temple is totally different as of rest of the city.

On the specific day the priest started the festival by spraying water color and color powder to lord Radha-Krishna and then to the devotees.  The devotees believe this as blessings which will protect them against disease throughout the year.. The temple persons and devotees sing various religious song throughout the celebration. It looks magnificent when the priest throws different colors of gulaal ( powdered color) towards the devotee.

One should get prior permission from temple authority to take pictures on the specific day.


Note: Photographers are expected to maintain silence inside the temple and are not allowed to take photos of the idol.

The local people celebrated the festival on the calendar date. To photograph their celebration was so much fun that you will remember it for a long time.

Here COLOR means craziness with full of  zeal.
Composition/ frames are just happened here, no perceived idea won’t work .
Every time when I figured out something and decided to click something happened and the composition got totally changed. Moments are just created in every bit of second.
They not only play with their own group but forced to join the people passing the lanes.
Lanes within the lanes become colorful on the day.

Note: Police postings are there in every lane or nearby, if faced any misbehavior or problem please ask for help.


Nearest metro station: M G Road
2017 Date: 13th March,2017

In another celebration in Burrabazar a procession came with Radha-Krishna in a rolls royce car. The devotees took the lord to the Laxmi-Narayan temple of Kalakar Street.
Mainly the businessmen are associated with this procession.
The lanes turned colorful during their celebration.
There is no exact date for this celebration, you have to inquire beforehand.


Note: Please take care of yourself and your gadget while taking photos in colors..
Happy Holi

For more photos please check  http://www.sandipamalakar.com/

Keep in touch and feel free to revert for more details if any.