Rangbhari Ekadashi: A Festival of Colors and Devotion

Rangbhari Ekadashi
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Rangbhari Ekadashi, also known as Amalaki Ekadashi or Phalgun Shukla Ekadashi, holds a significant place in the Hindu calendar. Celebrated predominantly in India, this auspicious day falls on the eleventh day of the waxing moon phase (Shukla Paksha) in the Hindu month of Phalgun. The festival marks the onset of spring, and it is characterized by vibrant colors, devotional fervor, and spiritual significance.

Historical and Mythological Significance:

Rangbhari Ekadashi finds its roots in Hindu mythology and ancient scriptures. According to the Padma Purana, Lord Krishna narrated the importance of observing Ekadashi fasts to Yudhishthira, the eldest Pandava prince. It is believed that observing this fast with utmost devotion can cleanse one’s sins and bestow blessings upon them.

Legend has it that during the reign of King Mandhata, severe drought plagued the kingdom, causing immense suffering to its inhabitants. In desperation, the king sought sage Vasishta’s guidance, who advised him to observe Rangbhari Ekadashi fasting and perform rituals with devotion. Following the sage’s instructions, King Mandhata and his subjects observed the fast and worshipped Lord Vishnu fervently. As a result, the kingdom was blessed with abundant rains, ending the drought and bringing prosperity once again.

Rituals and Celebrations:

  1. Fasting: Devotees observe a strict fast on Rangbhari Ekadashi, abstaining from food and water from sunrise to the next day’s sunrise. Some devotees may choose to consume fruits, milk, and nuts during this period.
  2. Devotional Activities: Temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu witness a surge in devotees offering prayers, hymns, and bhajans (devotional songs) throughout the day. Many devotees also engage in reading religious scriptures and recounting tales of Lord Vishnu’s divine deeds.
  3. Colorful Celebrations: One of the distinctive features of Rangbhari Ekadashi is the vibrant display of colors reminiscent of the upcoming festival of Holi, which is celebrated a few days later. People gather in temples and public spaces, smearing each other with colored powders and water, symbolizing the triumph of good over evil and the onset of spring.
  4. Charitable Acts: Charity holds immense significance during Rangbhari Ekadashi. Devotees are encouraged to perform acts of kindness such as donating food, clothing, or money to the needy, thereby earning merit and spreading joy in the community.

Spiritual Significance:

Rangbhari Ekadashi is not merely a festival of colors and merriment; it carries profound spiritual significance for devout Hindus. Observing the fast and engaging in devotional practices are believed to purify the soul, remove past sins, and invoke the blessings of Lord Vishnu. It is also an opportunity for introspection, self-discipline, and strengthening one’s faith in the divine.


Rangbhari Ekadashi is a joyous occasion that blends religious fervor with cultural exuberance. It reminds us of the eternal values of devotion, compassion, and righteousness upheld by Hindu traditions. As devotees come together to celebrate this auspicious day, they not only seek divine blessings but also rejoice in the vibrant tapestry of life and the promise of renewal that spring brings.

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