Holi played with ash from burning pyres as huge crowds gather at Manikarnika crematorium, Varanasi

Huge crowds gathered to celebrate Holi in Varanasi, India, on Saturday 4 March. The ancient city of Kashi, a historic name for the city, is famous for its unique events and traditions. The crowd had gathered in Manikarnika Ghat, one of India's holiest cremation grounds, for Rangbhari Ekadashi, which marks the beginning of the festival of colours. On one side of the scene were burning pyres, and on the other side saints and devotees were playing Holi with the ashes of extinguished pyres. Amidst the beat of drums, devotees danced fervently and the crematorium resounded with the chants of 'Har Har Mahadev'.