FESTIVALS : Dauji ka Huranga

Dauji Ka Huranga is significant as marking the end of the Holi celebrations in Braj Bhoomi. When finally done, the women raise a flag and the priest of the Dauji temple declares the festivities over. Braj has celebrated Holi for the last 40 days. Now the

The celebrations have been on for a week and the masses are high on the festive spirit. But Krishna has to return to Dwarka. So who better than Dau to continue playing Holi with the people of Braj? While the Lathmaar Holi of Barsana and the romance of Radha and Krishna are well known, the Holi celebrated at the temple of Dauji at Baldeo is relatively less famous.

Hindu mythology tells us that Lord Krishna’s elder brother Balram, or Baldeo, or Dauji Maharaj as he was called affectionately, used to rule this province around 12 km from Mathura. In his memory the place is known as Baldeo or often, Dauji.

 A day after the actual Holi, revelers look to Dauji Maharaj to continue the festivities as “Krishna has already left Mathura and returned to Dwarka”. He, in turn, obliges by becoming the center of the “Maharaas” in place of his brother Krishna. This is perhaps the only place in the world where the “raas” features someone other than Krishna.

Dauji ka Huranga starts with people gathering in the Dauji temple premises around forenoon. Holi Sangeet is sung to the idol, believed to have been found at the Khir Sagar or BalaBhadraKund around 200 years back, as way of taking permission to continue the revelry and play Holi in Baldeo town. The formalities over, the celebrations now turn raucous. Raas songs can be heard all around and people get high on Bhaang.  Till now the women had the upper hand in the Holi celebrations, even beating up their menfolk during the Lathmaar Holi at Barsana. Now the men get their revenge and drench the women in colored water. The women try to save themselves by tearing off the men’s clothes, dipping them in the same colored water and then trying to beat them with the same rags.

Dauji Ka Huranga is significant as marking the end of the Holi celebrations in Braj Bhoomi. When finally done, the women raise a flag and the priest of the Dauji temple declares the festivities over. Braj has celebrated Holi for the last 40 days. Now the sakhas of Krishna and Balram need to get back to work and the sakhis of Radha rani need to attend to their chores.Till next Phalgun, till next Holi….till the next raas.

Read more about Brij ki Holi