Ditch the regular this year, celebrate Holi in these colourful floral destinations in India

As one of the most popular cultural festivals in India, Holi is enthusiastically celebrated by people across the country. The festival welcomes spring and marks the end of winter and is an occasion where loved ones meet each other. It is traditionally celebrated with colour and involves playing with water, following the bonfire the night prior known as Holashtak. Over the years, people have taken a modern spin on the festival by hosting parties full of songs, dance and engaging activities. 

However if you are looking to celebrate Holi a little differently this year,, the leading travel brand, has curated a list of unique flower-filled Indian destinations with a diverse colour palette to celebrate this occasion. Enjoy nature’s colours as you soak yourself in these beautiful flower destinations as you celebrate this festival of colours. 

Dzukou Valley, Nagaland

Along the Nagaland-Manipur border lies the concealed Dzukou Valley, filled with the famous and endangered Dzüko Lilies and other rare flowers including rhododendrons, aconitums and euphorbias. To experience the beauty of the place, you need to trek from the villages of Viswema and Zakhama. The vast fields are covered in hues of green, white and yellow and a great place for trekkers who are in search of solitude among nature. Given the elevation of the valley, you can take some panoramic photos of the colourful landscape. 

Yumthang Valley, Sikkim

Yumthang Valley brings together a peculiar mix of landscapes. The green and fertile valley filled with flowers, surrounded by snow capped mountains with spots of hot springs and a river running through the middle of the valley can really captivate your senses. You can find exotic flowers in the valley including cinquefoils, primroses, and cobra lilies. If you wish to see more of the flora and fauna of the area, you should make your way to Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary. 

Apple orchard blossom farms Kotgarh, Himachal Pradesh

Kotgarh is known as the ‘Queen of the Hills’ and over the years has become famous for their apple farms. And specifically, their apple orchard blossom farms are a sight to see as they fill the fields with hues of white. Each farm spans up to 10 acres filled with short trees which grow 6-7 apples on a branch. This space has been blossoming since 1904 when Samuel Evan Stokes planted the saplings to help the local community get into trading and sustain a means of livelihood. The farms are a great place to experience farm to table. 

Nishat Bagh, Jammu & Kashmir

India’s second largest Mughal garden, Nishat Bagh was built on the eastern part of Dal Lake. The locals call the place the ‘Garden of Bliss’. This beautiful garden has the Zabarwan Mountains as its background, and sights of the lake beneath the Pir Panjal mountain range below. If you are looking for a myriad of colours, Nishat Bagh is the place for you since it has a variety of flowers - from roses to lilies. Originally intended to be designed similar to Persian gardens, it was re-designed owing to the topology and water resources of the Valley. The garden has twelve terraces, with a range of water distributaries including fountains, water chutes, pools and more.

Khasi Hills, (Shillong), Meghalaya
The East and West Khasi Hills in Shillong, Meghalaya start to bloom with light-pink coloured cherry blossoms after the winter. The cherry blossoms, also known as Prunus Cerasoides, are considered to be a prized possession by the tribes of the area, as they attract tourists every year, especially towards the end of winter. The localities also host the International Cherry Blossom Festival in Shillong which features live music, pageants, dance recitals, and other cultural events, as well as stalls where you can sample the local cuisine.