Indore: Holkars perform Holika Dahan continuing 294-year-old tradition
On the eve of Holi, 'Holika Dahan', also known as Sarkari Holi, was celebrated with grandeur outside Rajwada Palace on Thursday, continuing a 294-year-old tradition of the royal Holkar family.
People from neighbouring areas also joined the Holkar family to celebrate the occasion.
Richard (Shivaji Rao Holkar II) and his son Yashwantrao Holkar III reached Indore to perform Holika Dahan outside the palace.
Every year, people gather in huge numbers here to celebrate the festival and often take back fire to light bonfires in their own area.
Yuvraj Yashwantrao Holkar III, while speaking to the media, congratulated the people of Indore and appealed to them to play a safe Holi, to avoid the resurgence of COVID-19.
Pandit Liladhar Warkar of Holkar family said that the 294th Holika Dahan was performed on Thursday. "It is also known as 'Sarkari Holi'. For the first time today (Thursday), Yuvraj Yashwantrao Holkar III performed Holika Dahan following the tradition of Malharrao Holkar and Goddess Ahilya Bai Holkar," the priest said.
Holika Dahan is celebrated by lighting a holy bonfire termed as 'Holika'. The tradition is associated with Hiranyakashyap's son Prahlad, a devotee of Lord Vishnu, and his aunt, Holika. Hiranyakashyap's sister Holika was given a gift of a shawl in the form of a boon which prevented her from being harmed by any fire.
In a conspiracy to kill Prahlad out of jealousy, Hiranyakashyap and Holika planned to make Prahlad sit in the lap of Holika in a holy pyre so that he died and Holika remained alive due to the special boon. But it later turned out that the fire burnt Holika and devotee Prahlad came out safe and after that day Holika Dahan was celebrated every year.
The bonfire is a reminder of the victory of good over evil.
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