Janmashtami is celebrated to mark the birthday of Lord Krishna. According to Hinduism, Lord Krishna is the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. In many places, this festival is also known as Gokulashtami or Govinda. It is a very popular festival in India and is celebrated in full splendor in major parts of the country. It is a fun festival that has a lot of entertainment, programs and more which brings people together.
Janmashtami Date And Time
The date and time for Janmashtami changes each year. This year it will be celebrated on the 25th and the 26th of August 2016.
Where Is Janmashtami Celebrated
The festival is celebtared all across the country, however it is more prominent in a few cities in comparison to the others. On the day of Janmashtami people also celebrate dahi handi, which is the breaking of an earthen pot filled with curd. The pots are tied by a robe and suspended in the air. These pots are placed at a height in the air and devotees or ‘Govindas’ form a human pyramid to break the pot.
The dahi handi celebrations are handled by individual suburbs or towns in the city. They also have a cash prize for the team that breaks the pot. Some Dahi handi prizes go up to Rs. 10 lakh. Breaking these pots however require a lot of skill and the Govindas practice for days before the actual event.
Witness Dahi Handi
Mumbai is one of the best places to witness the Dahi Handi celebrations. There are dahi handi’s at different places in Mumbai and both men and women participate in attempting to break the handis at different places. The dahi handi celebrations are fun and there is always music, dance and entertainment that make it even more enjoyable.
If you’re in Mumbai on Janmashtami, try visiting the ISCON Temple which is in Juhu. They begin celebrations from Midnight and the temple is decorated beautifully. Another city where you can enjoy the Janmashtami celebrations is Mathura which is also considered as the birthplace of Lord Krishna. Jaipur too celebrates Janmashtami in a beautiful manner. If you want to experience the true Janmashtami spirit, try to visit these cities during the festival.
Janmashtami is one of the most auspicious Hindu festivals in India. This festival i celebrated in many ways across the country. The biggest attraction of Janmashtami is the street performances and large groups attempting to break dahi handi’s hung hundreds of feet above the ground. It is always better to explore the country and see the various forms of celebrations.
The festival of Janmashtami is celebrated across two days. The first day marks the birth of Lord Krishna and is spent in prayer and the second day is celebrated as Dahi Handi where Govindas gear up to break the pot.
Here are the best places to visit to see the best Janmashtami celebrations.
Located in Karnataka, Udupi celebrates Janmashtami on a larger than life scale across various temples in the area. Over here the festival is also called Gokulashtami. The people in this town celebrate by pouring water or milk on Lord Krishna’s idol. Many special dishes such as laddus and Chakkuli’s are offered to Lord Krishna. You will also get to see many artists performing with their unique costumes and musical instruments. Udupi is the best place to visit to enjoy the cultural aspect of Janmashtami.
The state of Manipur celebrates Janmashtami with amazing devotion. All the devotees fast for the entire day and perform various poojas to celebrate Krishna Janma. One of the temples to visit is the Mahabali Temple that is located in the city of Imphal. Here people offer prayers and tributes to Lord Krishna. Another temple to visit is the popular Shree Govindjee Temple where you will be able to see devotees performing a Ras Leela Dance.
This small town located in Orissa is home to the Jagannath Temple. Over here the festival of Janmashtami is celebrated with amazing devotion. Devotees fast till their midnight prayers and break their fast the next day by eating cooked sweets. Here you will see children dressed as Radha and Krishna performing in various plays.
Janmashtami is also called Gokulashtami in Maharashtra. Here devotees celebrate by breaking a dahi handi that is suspended high in the air. Devotees build a human pyramid and try and break the handi to enact Lord Krishna’s act of stealing dahi. This handi is filled with butter and milk. Watching dahi handi at least once in your life is truly worth it.
Located in the state of Gujarat, Dwarka is considered one among the four holy cities in India. The day of Janmashtami is celebrated with great devotion and devotees gather in the famous Dwarkadish Temple to celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna at midnight.
Vridavan is located in the state of Uttar Pradesh. This is said to be the place where Lord Krishna spent his childhood. Here devotees start Janmashtami celebrations ten days prior to the day of the birth. You will get to see various versions of the RasLeela and other plays depicting the life of Lord Krishna.
Gokul is said to be the place where Lord Krishna grew up. The place where Lord Krishna lived is called the Nand Qila or the Nand Bhavan and is located in Old Gokul. Devotees drench each other with turmeric and curd to celebrate the auspicious arrival of Lord Krishna.
Mathura is said to be the birth place of Lord Krishna. Here Janmashtami is celebrated with great devotion. The devotees gather at the Janma Bhumi Mandir and chant Rasleelas, Shlokas and light fireworks to celebrate the welcome Lord Krishna. The devotees also participate in celebrating Janmashtami by decorating temples and Ghatas with great enthusiasm.
Most Expensive Dahi Handi
The most expensive Dahi Handi is the Sankalp Pratishthan Dahi Handi which is at Jamboree Maidan on G M Bhosle Marg, Worli – Mumbai. It is one of the tallest Dahi Handis which is also very lavish. The prize money for this Handi is high and a lot of popular Bollywood celebrities come here to perform and witness the celebrations.