How many times have you heard the phrase, ‘Haathi Ghoda Palki Jai Kanhaiya Lal Ki’? Must be infinite times, right? After all, with the approach of Janmashtami, the birth celebration of Lord Krishna, India gets immersed in merry making and celebration of this vibrant festival. North, east and west India majorly immerses in Janmashtami celebration where devotees as well as amateur travellers from within and outside India find out ways to be a part of the fabulous eve. Here is our list of such religious destinations in India:
A discussion on Janamstami is incomplete without mentioning Mayapur, a spiritual town on the banks of Hoogly in Nadia, West Bengal. In spite of remaining occupied by Krishna Bhakts round the year, onset of Janmashtami witnesses countless footfalls of domestic and international devotees. There are many Radha Krishna temples in Mayapur, but the ISKCON Temple holds utmost religious importance. Janmashtami is best watched and best celebrated with thousands of devotees in the brightly lit up ISKCON Temple.
What else: Mayapur’s spiritual ambience, quaint and old world charm, shopping of local handicrafts and experiencing Bengali delicacies, culture and customs are add ons to the festivity.
As it happens to be Kanhiya’s birthplace, the whole town becomes a highlight in itself during his birth celebration. From the challenge of breaking ‘Dahi Handi’ to performing traditional dance and drama form, Janmashtami celebration in Mathura is a quintessential example of an extravagant and internationally acclaimed Hindu festival. While the gusto keeps visitors entertained, the spiritual ambience promises to wipe off worries. Ritualistic bath with milk and curd at Krishna Janma Bhoomi Mandir, the actual birthplace of Lord Krishna, holds special significance to the festivity.
Beyond Janmashtami? As Mathura is a land of lip smacking delicacies like pede, rabri and kachoris, tantalizing taste buds with sweet and salty savouries is a common affair here.
Animated streets, countless shrines and spiritual minds of Vrindavan links it deeply with Hindu mythology. As Lord Krishna is believed to have spent his childhood here, from then till now, Vrindavan promises to hold an extravagant Janmashtami in honour of the Lord. Holy songs, traditional dance, devotional plays like ‘Rasleela’ performed by cultural artists attract minds of devotees. Banke Bihari Temple, Rangnathji Temple and ISKCON Temple are few significant landmarks of Vrindavan that witnesses maximum footfalls during Janmashtami.
How to reach: Vrindavan can be reached via road from Delhi by public buses or private vehicles.
Today’s Dwarka, a religious nerve centre of Gujarat is known for the brilliant Janmashtami celebration on the eve of Krishna’s birth. Dwarkadheesh Temple is the major attraction where the statue of the idol is washed, dressed up, decorated with clothes and precious ornaments and then presented to devotees for worship. Added to the gusto, gorging on sumptuous Gujarati thalis including dhoklas, khakras and theplas lead to a true memorable experience.
Where to stay: Dwarka has sufficient number of budget and luxury accommodations ideal for short and long term stay during the celebration.
Just like any other festival, Delhi turns out to be utterly enthusiastic with the advent of Janmashtami. The ISKCON Temple in South Delhi’s East of Kailash gets decorated like a wedding venue and countless pilgrims flock the complex a week ahead of the celebration. Theme dance, temple bells, devotional hymns, ‘prasad’ and an all pervading religious ambience can rarely be experienced at any time of the year.
Where to stay: there are many nearby accommodations within the temple complex that caters to such an increasing number of tourist population during the event.
Hurry up folks!Countdown has begun and delay in planning might lead to inconvenience.