Second half of the year, should be officially named as Festive Months on the calendar. One festival that falls in the month of August, is Janmasthami.
Also known as Gokulashtami is a celebration of the Hindu God Sri Krishna’s birthday in India. The festival is celebrated in a vibrant way in many parts of the country.
People fast throughout the day and break it with a special meal after dusk for Juhlanotsav, a ceremony, of Krishna placing child avatar idol, Balakrishna, in swings at their homes.
People re-enact Lord Krishna’s childhood by placing an earthen pot on a height and form a pyramid to the top to try and break it. This reenactment is called Dahi Handi and it’s is a ritual from Lord Krishna’s childhood that’s practiced every year.
Janmashtami is celebrated in a grand way across many cities in India. But we have listed 5 places to enjoy Janmashtami celebrations in India –
- Dwarka, Gujarat
The Dwarkadheesh Temple in Dwarka is well-known for its Janmashtami celebrations. Thousands of devotees from across the globe fly out here every year to bring in the Lord’s birthday with much enthusiasm. The devotees fast up till midnight and break their fast after offering ‘bhog’ to the Lord after 12 midnight.
- Mathura and Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh
Mathura being the birthplace of Lord Krishna, celebrations are grand and extravaganza. Janmashtami celebrations begin 10 days prior to the actual festival in Vrindavan. The city has over 400 temples where the celebrations take place in their own unique styles. Professional dancers are called to perform Rasleelas and reenact famous scenes from the Mahabharata. But a local rumor says that Lord Krishna actually descends in the Madhuban area to perform Rasleela with his Gopis. Hence, no locals or tourists step out after sunset. Despite that, thousands of tourists visit here to join in for the celebration every year!
- Udupi, Karnataka
Udupi is known for it’s Udupi Sri Krishna Temple, where the celebrations are done on a massive scale! Here, Janmashtami is celebrated with a ritual called as Arghya Pradana. It’s a ritual of pouring milk or water over an idol of Lord Krishna. Artists and performers dress up in costumes and makeup to dance and reenact scenes from Lord Krishna’s life.
- Mumbai, Maharashtra
Maharashtra, specifically, Mumbai has a special way of celebrating Lord Krishna’s birthday. With a celebration known as Dahi Handi, youngsters in Mumbai form a human pyramid to break an earthen pot that is placed on a height for a few meters. Many people participate and gather around to see the marvelous way in which groups try to break the earthen pot. There are impressive competitions each year in which hundreds of youngsters participate!View this post on Instagram
Ala re ala Govinda ala. 1 day to go . . . #MyMumbai #nustaharamkhor #SPIcollective #indiapictures #mypixeldiary #maibhisadakchap #_coi #hellofrom #Mumbai #_woi #oph #_soi #lonelyplanetindia #incredibleindia #humanity_shots_ #people_infinity #complexphotos #maharastra_desha #marathifc #insta_maharashtra #bappamorya #ganpatibappamorya #coloursplash #bappa #lordganesha #mumbaiganeshutsav #govinda #dahihandi #itz_mumbai
- ISCKON Temples (Multiple Locations)
If you want to experience Janmashtami like no other, head to one of the ISCKON temples in India. Janmashtami is the most important festival for the International Society for Krishna Conscience (ISKCON). ISCKON in cities like Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Vrindavan, Ahmedabad and Jaipur have some of the popular temples where tourists flock to every year to enjoy the festivities.