Janmashtami celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna. Decorating temples, making sweets and intense prayers turns the festival into a grand celebration. Janmashtami is a very lively event which falls in August and September on the 8th day of Shravan. India is known for its colourful festivals, Janmashtami is no exception.
India is home to many Krishna temples and every temple celebrates Janmashtami in its own unique way. Dahi Handi is one such event in this celebration. Dahi Handi is a clay pot with curd in it that is tied up around 15 feet high, and a human pyramid is made to break the pot of curd, emulating Lord Krishna.
Here’s a list of cities that celebrate Janmashtami in their own beliefs:-
Mathura, Uttar Pradesh
Mathura is the birthplace of Lord Krishna, making it the most popular place for celebrating Janmashtami. The celebration in Mathura is at its best as there are two events, namely Jhulanotsav and Ghatas. Jhulanotsav is an event where swings are tied inside the house for Krishna idols and then the idol is decorated with new clothes and ornaments, then placed in the swing. This event is known as Abhishek.
The other event of the celebration is called Ghatas. Here all the temples are decorated in the same colour. Pujas are performed in the temples stating the birth of Lord Krishna. Mathura is energised by the sound of prayers, shells and temple bells.
Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh
Just about 20km from Mathura is Vrindavan. It is the place where Lord Krishna grew up. Here too, the temples are decorated for the pujas. The main temple is situated in the middle of a forest, making it lively with the legend of Krishna performing Raas Leela. Raas Leela is a dance ritual performed by Krishna with his devotees’ women.
The Raas Leela is performed in the entire town, and the preparations for this day start 10 days before the actual Janmashtami.
Dwarka served as the ruling city of Lord Krishna, making it the most important among other places. Here the celebration is at its peak. The celebration lasts for the whole month of Shravan. This month-long ritual is the most popular among the residents. The mangal aarti is performed by all the temples in the city. It starts at midnight, making it a full night event with lights.
The Banta Bhog and Utsav Bhog are offered in the temples and the rituals include Garba, bhajans and Raas Leela. Devotees are suggested to try the Bhog as it is most delicious during Janmashtami.
Udupi has the most popular temple, Shri Krishna Matha. Here the celebration is different from up north. This has a south Indian touch to it. The temple has amazing architecture and location. Here their version of Raas Leela is performed on the street. These performances are paired with folk dancing, singing, and skits from Krishna’s childhood.
Kottige dish is prepared for the celebration, which is idlis steamed in jackfruit leaves. Puppetry and Yakshagana performances in traditional Karnataka theatre take the Janmashtami celebration to another level.
Mumbai is known for its Ganesh Chaturthi and Janmashtami. Janmashtami in Mumbai is a must if you want to enjoy the activity of Dahi Handi. Dahi handi, or human pyramid, is a famous event held in Mumbai. There are healthy competitions for Dahi Handi in the older areas of Mumbai, i.e., Dadar, Worli, Thane, and Lalbaug.
Dahi handi is so popular that now it is capped at a height of 20 feet. There is also prize money for the winners. Traditional tunes and Dholak performances are carried out, making it the most popular place during Janmashtami. The ISKCON temple in Juhu is a must-visit during Janmashtami.
Puri has the biggest Jagannath temple of Lord Krishna. The temple is decorated with vibrant colours. The story of Krishna and his best friends is enacted in the Pandal in the evening for the devotees. The Krishna Leela is also performed by the kids. This goes on for 17 days and ends with Krishna slaying Kansa.
The Janmashtami celebration has its charm in every city with its celebrations and various rituals according to the region you are in. If you are travelling during Janmashtami in any of the above cities, don’t miss the chance to be a part of this grand celebration.
Celeberate Janamashtmi by visiting these places and immersing yourself in the life story of Lord Krishna.
MyTravaly wishes you all Happy Janamashtmi, May Lord Krishna fulfill all your wishes and give you strength for your future endavours.
Post is written by Amey Mohite : Content Writer, MyTravaly
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