, also known as Janmashtami or Gokulashtami is one of the liveliest and most vibrant Hindu festival which is celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of the eighth avatar of Vishnu, Lord Krishna. Janmasthami
is celebrated on the eighth (Asthami) day of the Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) of the Shravan month.
So, here are few places in India that celebrate Janmashtami in their own style and with their own touch of magic.
Mathura, Uttar Pradesh:
Mathura, the sacred city of Uttar Pradesh is the place where Lord Krishna was born. So, being the birth place of Krishna, Mathura dresses up in the most beautiful, awe-inspiring and vibrant way a month before Janmashtami
The two most important aspects of Janmashtami in Mathura are Jhulanotsav and Ghatas.
Julanotsav, a ritual where there are swings set up with flowers and rangolis in houses and temples. The swing symbolizes the cradle of Lord Krishna.
Whereas, Ghatas is another unique feature of the celebration where all the temples in the city are decorated with the colour of the chosen theme including the clothes of Krishna.
Krishna Janam Bhoomi, the birthplace of Krishna converted into a temple is the main place where every devotee gathers for the celebrations.
Vridavan, Uttar Pradesh:
Vridavan, a holy town in the state of Uttar Pradesh is a place where Lord Krishna spent most of his childhood. It’s home to temples mainly dedicated to Krishna like; Radharam Temple, Banke Bihari Temple, ISKCON temple, etc. One of the highlights during Janmashtami
in Vridavan is Madhuban, believed to be Krishna’s spot of Raas Lilas.
Dwarka, a Hindu pilgrimage site is believed to be the Kingdom of Lord Krishna. The famous Dwarkadish Temple, a temple dedicated to Krishna is the main place where devotees from all over the country visit during Janmashtami
. The whole city celebrates the festival with high-spirits. Lord Dwarkadhish is adorned with precious jewelry.
According to the customs, women all across Gujarat play cards on Janmasthmi
and give up their household chores for a day.
The festival is celebrated with great fervour in Maharashtra. Janmashtami
in Maharashtra is known as Gokulashtmi or Dahi Handi. The famous ‘Dahi Handi’ ritual is the highlight of the state and the most fun activity where a number of young people, who symbolize Govinda or young Krishna form a pyramid. They aim for the handi (earthen pot) filled with buttermilk (dahi) hung at the top by a string, these young Krishna’s chant ‘Govinda, Govinda’ while forming a pyramid to successfully reach the handi at the top. As soon as they reach the top, they crack open it. All this is done to commemorate the activities of Lord Krishna, who was believed to steal all the butter and curd from his house and other nearby houses.
There about 4000 handi’s hung every year in the city of Mumbai and Bollywood stars and Political leaders also participate in this event.
Tamil Nadu, South India:
is celebrated in many places in South India like; Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
In Tamil Nadu, the festival is enjoyed with the preparations of sweets, murukku and seeddai to offer to Gokulnandan or Lord Krishna. All the special delicacies are cooked from milk as Lord Krishna loved eating milk products. Devotees visit temples and chant the name of Krishna the whole day.Odisha:
The state of Odisha celebrates Janmashtami
in a very unique way. The people of Odisha observe fast on this day and celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna at midnight. The verses of the sacred book ‘Bhagwad Gita’ is chanted in the temples and also, a cradle is put up that the devotees come and swing.
So, these are the places where Janmashtami
is celebrated with great zeal and grandeur.