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Breaking the age-old tradition, over a thousand widows played Holi at a temple in Vrindavan. (Photo: AP)

In Pictures: Vrindavan Widows’ First Holi Inside the Famous Temple

Vrindavan widows celebrate the Festival of Colours at Gopinath Temple for the first time. 

2 min read

Over a thousand widows celebrated Holi at an ancient Vrindavan temple on Monday, in a colourful departure from an age-old tradition that bars widows from celebrating Holi and other auspicious festivals.

Amid blowing of conch shells and showering of flower petals and dry colour powders, these widows participated in the Holi celebrations at the ancient Gopinath temple, dedicated to Lord Krishna.

They were joined by widows from Varanasi. There was palpable excitement as they smeared each other with Holi colours, as this was the first time they played Holi inside a temple in this town, holy to Hindus.

A number of Sanskrit students and scholars too joined in the Holi revelry along with the widows cast away by their families and living in the temple town for several decades.


Bindeshwar Pathak – well-known social reformer and founder of Sulabh International who has waged a steady campaign against ostracised widows in the country – also joined in the celebrations.

The Sulabh International has been taking care of 1,500 widows in Varanasi and Vrindavan in light of the Supreme Court’s observations in 2012.

A total of 1,200 kg ‘gulal’ and different coloured powders and 1,500 kg of rose and marigold petals were arranged for the special event.

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