Krishna Janmashtami in Mathura Vrindavan: A Celebration like No Other

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Gokulashtami, which is popularly known as Janmashthami, is a festival that is celebrated all over the country to welcome Lord Krishna into this world. This date, according to the Hindu calendar, marks the birth of Lord Krishna who was the 8th reincarnation of Lord Vishnu. On this auspicious day, all the Krishna temples are decorated with garlands and colourful lights and devotees throng the temples at midnight to offer their prayers to the Lord. Though this day is celebrated throughout the world, Janamashtmi in Mathura Vrindavan is revelrous and rapturous like no place else. The day is celebrated with a lot of zeal and enthusiasm in these two Indian holy places. Let’s give you an insight of how it goes.

1. Celebration in Mathura

 

Mathura is the actual birthplace of Lord Krishna and if you are curious to see the grand celebrations of this day, make sure Mathura is your first stop. Mathura’s Janmashtami has a lot of significance because there are a lot of customs that people follow on this day to celebrate the birth of ‘Makhanchor’. One of the most important customs includes reading of Bhagavad Gita while rocking the cradle with an idol of baby Krishna inside. Along with this, people also perform Raas Leela that is a dance ritual which was performed by Krishna with his Gopis and Radha.

Various ceremonies are held starting from midnight and the entire celebration is performed till dawn because Lord Krishna was born at the stroke of midnight. There are about 400 temples in Mathura that come to life on this day and that is why Mathura ki Janmashtami is known to be one of the best in the world.

2. Celebration in Vrindavan

 

The second stop for you should be Vrindavan where Lord Krishna spent his younger days. Legend has it that when Kansa discovered the presence of Krishna in Gokul, he sent his army to kill him. Looking at these occurrences, Krishna was sent to Vrindavan. This is where he started performing Raas Leela with his Gopis.

With such a strong history, this place takes Janmashtami celebrations to a whole new level. Janmashtami in Vrindavan is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm in Prem Mandir, ISKCON Temple, and 5000 other smaller temples that are present in the city. According to the locals, this number is only going to increase every year, thus raising the scale of Janmashtami’s grand celebrations. People here chant mantras, sing Krishna songs, dance to them, and rock cradles with baby Krishna inside. Devotees also play with buttermilk, curd, and turmeric, bathing Krishna with all these items; prepare different delicacies to serve all the devotees, and much more. hough the preparations start a day before Gokulashtami, the city gets into the festival mood about a week before the actual day.

3. Celebration in Gokul

 

You don’t have to go too far to visit Gokul and you must not miss out on this important venue for Janmashtami celebrations. Gokul is the place where Krishna was brought right after birth. People here celebrate the festival a day later than the actual Janmashtami and the reason behind this is that they believe Lord Krishna was brought to Gokul a day after his birth. Throughout the entire celebration, you will enjoy being here because it is similar to that of Krishna Janmashtami in Mathura and Vrindavan. People set-up stages where Raas Leela is enacted by devotees to celebrate the day. Devotees also enjoy playing with curd, turmeric, buttermilk, and bathe the idols of Lord Krishna with milk.

4. Celebration in Dwarka

 

Dwarkadheesh, which is popularly known as Dwarka, is another place where you should visit in order to witness the celebration of this festival. The other three cities of Uttar Pradesh saw Krishna grow into a man and Dwarka saw him leave his physical form. Mathura Vrindavan Janmashtami does have a very magnificent and grand celebration but Dwarka is no less in terms of celebration. The city of Dwarka is located in the coastal region of Gujarat. It is believed that this city was built by Balram; brother of Lord Krishna. After defeating his maternal uncle Kansa; Shri Krishna came to Dwarka and settled here as a king making this place holy for Hindu devotees. To usher in Krishna’s birthday people of Dwarka sing, dance, and feast to celebrate this day.

What makes Mathura Vrindavan ki Janmashtami so special?

 

Every year when Janmashtami is about to arrive, devotees from all around the world, especially devotees of ISKCON come to Vrindavan for being a part of this festival. If you are planning to watch Mathura Vrindavan ki Janmashtami, then here are the sights and sounds you can expect:

1. Devotees enchanting legends of Krishna

According to the legends, Lord Krishna spent his childhood and teenage in these two cities. He had a very joyous and mischievous childhood where he teased his gopis by playing pranks and stealing butter from houses. When you visit these cities during the Janmashtami celebration, you will get to hear people singing legends, stories, and songs of the lord. This is one of those rituals that are followed every day during dawn and dusk. Sit in any temple and enjoy the soothing songs sung by devotees.

2. Vrindavan and Mathura has a different charm altogether

Though Janmashtami is celebrated across the globe, the charm of Krishna Janmashtami of Vrindavan and Mathura is like no other. The entire city is decorated with garlands and lights up with a new lease of life at this time.

3. Beautifully decorated temples

Mathura has over 400 and Vrindavan has over 5000 temples dedicated to Shri Krishna. When you visit here during this grand festival, you will get to see so many temples get decorated and people take dips in the Yamuna River. You will also get to see a lot of other activities and rituals being performed throughout the cities. During the celebration of Janmashtami in Mathura and Vrindavan, the atmosphere of these cities is filled with the sound of hymns and aarti; especially during dawn and dusk.

4. Grand Abhishek of Lord Krishna

One of the key highlights of Janmashtami celebration in Vrindavan and Mathura is the grand Abhishek or holy bath of Lord Krishna. According to the rituals followed by the people of these cities, the idols of Shri Krishna are bathed with milk and curd after which they are dressed up in beautiful jewellery and clothes. You can visit ISKCON or Prem Mandir to enjoy the best demonstration of this ritual.

5. Dahi Handi celebration

Visiting Mathura for Janmashtami celebration calls for the Dahi handi ritual as well. This is one ritual that takes place with great fervour in Mathura. In this, a pot filled with curd is suspended at a height and people in the group have to climb one over the others to reach the pot. Once the person reaches the top, they break the pot and it starts the actual celebration including the feast. Do not miss the Dahi handi celebration; it is so much fun!

6. Chappan Bhog

Another ritual that the devotees follow during this festival is the offering of Chappan Bhog. It is a plate that consists of 56 different cuisines including sweet dishes to the lord. Mantras are chanted while extending the offering and once this is done, all the Bhogs are then distributed to the devotees. If you are at the right spot at the right time you might get the Bhog which is an important element of the entire celebration.

Lord Krishna’s followers have increased significantly with time because of the teaching of Bhagavad Gita. It is believed that all the lessons are given in this holy book help a person in becoming a better version of himself and also help us to achieve our goals with ease. There are many other benefits of reading and understanding this holy book which was orated by Lord Krishna. If you haven’t been to these places yet, plan a trip around Janamashtmi and make sure to get one of the Uttar Pradesh tour packages so that the trip is hassle-free.

Krishna Janmashtami, Mathura

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