Holi with Gods and Spirits: the Phagun Madai of Bastar

in Module
Published on: 09 April 2019

Anzaar Nabi

Anzaar Nabi has been involved in the photography industry for 18 years and active in video documentation for the past 2 years. Born in Bastar, a tribal region in Chhattisgarh, his interest in nature photography was kindled several years ago, buoyed by his personal conviction in preserving nature.

Turning his "passion into profession", he has worked with the district administration of many districts of Chhattisgarh to bring
out developmental initiatives through his documentation.


Madai are an ineluctable part of the culture of Bastar. They are meeting grounds for the world of gods, spirits and human beings, in which festivities accompany economic activity and the gathering of communities and their deities. The goddess Danteshwari is the presiding deity of the royal family, and of all the gods of Bastar.  The Phag Madai is held in her honour in Dantewada every year just before the festival of Holi. The royal family of Bastar inaugurates the festival which lasts for ten days and ends with the celebration of Holi. In many ways this festival represents the confluence of royal, Adivasi and non Adivasi traditions in Bastar.


This content has been created as part of a project commissioned by the Directorate of Culture and Archaeology, Government of Chhattisgarh,  to document the cultural and natural heritage of the state of Chhattisgarh.