It’s that time of the year again where people all over the world will witness joy and happiness. Celebrating the birth of Lord Krishna, Janmashtami is not just another Hindu festival but it happens to be a grand celebration enjoyed by every age group. It is the birthday of Lord Krishna and the devotees all over the world observe fasting until midnight (because midnight is believed to be the birth time of Lord Krishna). Special dishes are prepared which Lord Krishna was fond of and the breaking of the Dahi Handi is one of the major attractions of this festival. Many believe that the celebrations are just restricted to Vrindavan and Mathura as Krishna was born in Mathura. So, we have curated a list of temples that celebrate this special occasion in their own unique style.
1. Bankey Bihari Temple, Vrindavan
The Banke Bihari Mandir in Vrndavan gets decorated with flowers and lights on this auspicious occasion of Krishna Mahotsav. At the midnight, the deity is taken for Maha Abhishek and given a ceremonial bath with milk, curd, honey, ghee, and water. Mangal Aarti is the major attraction of the day as it happens only on Janmasthami.
2. Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi Temple, Mathura
Mathura is the birthplace of Lord Krishna and people from across the world come here to witness the Janmashtami festival. Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi Temple is home to a prison cell called Garbha Griha which is believed to be the birthplace of Lord Krishna.
The celebrations go on for two days here. The first day, devotees keep day-long fasts and feast at midnight after the birth time of Lord Krishna. The second day is all about the day of celebrations and feast. The major attraction is the Rasleela, a dance drama that narrates the story of Lord Krishna.
3. Shree Dwarkadhish Temple, Gujarat
Located in Gujarat, this is a Hindu temple which is dedicated Lord Krishna, who is worshipped here by the name Dwarkadhish, or ‘King of Dwarka’. Devotees celebrate this special day by keeping fast and singing devotional chants. A holy bath i.e. Abhishek is given to the lord Krishna idol on this day. Devotees are allowed to view this Abhishek only twice in a year- Janmashtami and Jalayatra day. You can also witness the Dahi Handi ritual happening in every corner during Janmashtami.
4. Murlidhar Mandir, Maharashtra
Every street of Mumbai, Pune and other places in Maharashtra celebrate this festival with pomp. Murlidhar Mandir in Nashik is a popular temple in Maharashtra. The Janmashtami celebration here is incomplete without the Dahi Handi ceremony which is performed by young kids. Devotees keep fast on this day and Maharashtrians even prepare a special dish known as Gopalkala for Lord Krishna on Janmashtami.
5. Guruvayur Sri Krishna Temple, Kerala
This temple is also known as Bhooloka Vaikunta, which actually means the abode of Vishnu on earth. It’s a popular Krishna temple in Kerala which celebrates the Sreekrishna Jayanti with lots of enthusiasm and devotion. Do you know the major attraction of this temple? The idol is made of Patalanjana stone which has special medicinal ingredients which makes the idol unique. Laddu Gopal is decorated with gold ornaments; tulsi and rose garlands. Paal Payasam and Neyyappam (special dishes) are prepared for the Laddu Gopal and distributed amongst the devotees after the darshan.
6. Udupi Shree Krishna Matha, Karnataka
The unique feature of this matha is that devotees can only view Lord through a small window which has nine holes and is popularly known as Navagraha Kitiki. A grand procession takes place on the day which includes tiger dance, a performance by musicians with other cultural programs. Ladoos and Chakkuliis are made on this occasion which is believed to be the favourite of Lord Krishna.
7. ISKCON Temple, Delhi
ISKCON is one of the biggest platforms for all the Krishna devotees. The temples across the country wear a festive look on this day and are decorated with lots of beautiful flowers and lights. The Maha Arti is performed at midnight to welcome Lord Krishna. Devotees fast throughout the day until midnight, when the fast is broken after a special Janmashtami pooja. A total of 108 different food items are prepared to offer to Lord Krishna. All-day endless kirtan and bhajans are sung by the devotees.
(Featured Image Source: indoindians)