Janmashtami is around the corner and so is the excitement of celebrating this festival. In the Hindu culture, Lord Krishna is the ultimate teacher and value giver as he narrated the Bhagwad Geeta, as well as the naughtiest gods of all about whom you have heard numerous stories!
Whichever story we incline ourselves to, the fact remains that Lord Krishna is immensely loved and respected in this country. This is why his birth anniversary is celebrated with utmost joy and grandeur!
It is a given that in a diverse nation like India, a single festival will see a million different ways of celebrations! In this article, we will take you around the country and tell you about the different ways in which Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated in five different cities!
Mathura And Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh
Being the original birthplace of Lord Krishna, it is a given that Mathura will celebrate Janmashtami in the most lavish way possible! Throughout the day, all the priests chant mantras and as soon as midnight arrives, they start the ‘Jhulotsav’ where an idol of Bal Krishna is placed on a tiny swing and he is bathed with milk, curd and honey. The entire city takes part in performing ‘rasleelas’ to enact the various scenes from the childhood of their favourite Lord Krishna!
Coming to Vrindavan, this is where Lord Krishna had spent his childhood. Here, the devotees bathe Lord Krishna’s idol in a cradle, rock him, prepare delicacies in his name and completely engage themselves in making his birthday a grand celebration!
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According to the Hindu belief, Dwarka has been the kingdom of Lord Krishna. This is why the city celebrates the birth of its ruler in a much extravagant way. If you happen to visit Dwarka during Janmashtami, do visit the Dwarkadhish temple in the morning when the festival commences with an aarti. After that, the entire day is spent in puja, chanting mantras, abhishek, shringar, and darshan of Lord Krishna. At 11:00 P.M the idol of Lord Krishna is adorned with jewels and at 11:30 P.M he is offered the Utsav Bhog. At 12 midnight, the entire city rejoices the birth of Lord Krishna with celebrations that go up to 2 A.M! Dwarka celebrations of Janmashtami are also very popular because of the Chappan (56) Bhog that is prepared on this day for Lord Krishna’s welcome!
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Janmashtami in Udupi or even in other parts of Karnataka is known as Vittal Pindi. Vittala is the childhood name of Lord Krishna and Pindi is derived from ‘banda’ which means milk pots. Udupi is home to the 800 years old Krishna Matth(read more about Krishna temples) which is a temple home to one of the most beautiful Krishna idols. In these celebrations, devotees from all over the state gather together to watch the procession of the Krishna idol in a chariot. This procession is followed by children who are dressed as Bala Krishna and people dressed in folk costumes. They all try to break clay pots full of curd and turmeric, a ritual known as Mosaru Kudike. After this, 1.25 lakh chaklis and 1.50 lakhs laddus are prepared and distributed to the devotees!
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In the city of hustle and bustle, this beautiful festival sees a whole new way of celebration- Dahi Handi! These are tournaments conducted in every nook and corner of the city where a pot is filled with curd, turmeric and some flowers with additional ingredients varying form event to event. This pot is tied several feet above the ground and people of different age groups form human pyramids to reach the pot and break it! The team that breaks it wins this competition! These celebrations are full of excitement and nothing like you would have ever seen before!
We hope you found this article interesting and will soon be celebrating Krishna Janmashtami in one of these places! Until then, we hope all your wishes come true this Janmashtami and you have the time of your life on this festival!