Gokarna – It’s Holi, and time for celebrations: The Great Arabian Sea Drive Day 18

karnataka, gokarna, holi

For the second year running, I was on the road on Holi, the festival of colours. The previous year I was driving through Assam and Arunachal Pradesh – and in Gokarna this time.

Holi is not a big festival in the south – it is not even a compulsory holiday here unlike the north where everything is closed. I was told it is called Sugi in Karnataka.

Chanced upon a unique style of celebration around Gokarna: groups of men and women wear costumes and masks, and do themselves up in bright colours – and go house to house and dance. And expect the owners to give some money.

These groups can be as small as three – or going up to a score or more. I noticed at least five such groups just in the villages around Gokarna. They made for an interesting and fun sight.

Requested some to perform for me – and they did. And I did my bit by giving them some money.

The video is also available on youtube

Wanted to know a bit more about them and their work – but language became a barrier with all. And we are citizens of the same country. Let the images speak for themselves since words cannot.

karnataka, gokarna, holi

karnataka, gokarna, holi

karnataka, gokarna, holi

karnataka, gokarna, holi

karnataka, gokarna, holi

karnataka, gokarna, holi

karnataka, gokarna, holi

karnataka, gokarna, holi

karnataka, gokarna, holi

karnataka, gokarna, holi

karnataka, gokarna, holi

Ajay Jain is currently on the Great Arabian Sea Drive, starting from Delhi and following the coastline all the way from Gujarat down to Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Follow all updates on:
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2 COMMENTS

  1. Hi, thanks for sharing this post. I’m thinking of heading to Gokarna for Holi 2012. How crazy is it with throwing coloured paint powder? Does that actually happen? I’m a photographer, so thinking of my camera’s survival… :)

  2. Hi David, from what I saw, they don’t throw too many colours around Gokarna. It is more of costumed dances. And you have to be driving around the villages to spot these groups. Your camera should be safe if you maintain a distance. It is in North India that you have one big wild party and need protective gear for your cameras. :)

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