India is a place where multifarious cultures, religions, ethnicities and traditions blend beautifully with each other. Being the land of God and Goddesses, festivals lie in the heart of its dwellers. One of the cherished festivals is Krishna Janmashtami. You know it’s Janmashtami is just around the corner when devotional slogans like ‘Haathi Ghoda Palki Jai Kanhaiya Lal Ki‘, ‘Jai Shri Krishna’, spurt in the air.
The festival is celebrated with great and enthusiasm in various parts of the country. Janmashtami is celebrated by observing a fast till the midnight, the time when the Lord of Dwaraka is believed to have been born. The devotees break the fast only after feeding Baalgopala with curd, sugar, honey and fruits. The temples then resonates with Krishna bhajans and claps, welcoming him to this world.
A beautiful and unostentatious city with only a few thousand folks, Nathdwara is yet to claim its fame. The festive spirit at the Srinathji Temple in Nathdwara, 48 kilometres north-east of Udaipur, is at it’s highest during the entire Janmashtami week. Nathdwara witnesses huge masses of devotees from all parts of the nation. The coal-black idol of Krishna, similar to the one in Shrinathji Temple, appears in the houses, shops, offices and cars in Western India. Nathdwara celebrates the birth of the Lord of Dwarka with 21 salutes by cannons at the Risala Chowk at midnight and singing Krishna bhajans all night long.
The vibrant city of Delhi witness the Janmashtami preparations days ahead of the big day. The famous Krishna Temples in Delhi, Birla Mandir, Akshardham Temple and the ISKCON blooms with the festive liveliness on the day of Krishna’s birth.
Being the birth place of Kanhaiya, Mathura celebrates Janmashtami with great zeal. The same enthusiasm is also observed in the neighboring town of Vrindavan. The entire town echoes with the ‘Jhule Lal’ mantra. ‘Krishna Rasleela‘, the devotional theatrical performance depicting the Lord and the Gopis, is one of the most highlighted event of this day. Some of the famous Krishna temples in vicinity are, Shri Krishna Balram Temple, Rangnathji Temple, Banke Bihari temple, ISCKON and Radharaman Temple.
Maharashtra has its own grand way of celebrating Gokulashtami. The birth of Krishna is marked by the popular ‘Dahi Handi’ event in this state. During this event, young boys, commonly called Govindas, form human pyramids for cracking the Handi. People gather in large numbers for the event, chanting “Govinda Govinda” passionately.
So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bag and take a devotional trip with your family this Janmashtami long weekend.