7 places to visit in India to see the real Janamashtami celebrations
7 places to visit in India to see the real Janamashtami celebrations – The beauty of Janmashtami lies in its way of celebration. The hearts of the devotees are filled with joy on this day which makes them celebrate this day in different ways.
This day marks the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna but his birthday is celebrated in different ways across the country. The festival is celebrated during the months of August or September, just after Shravan and Raksha Bandhan. The entire country celebrates his birthday but there are some special places in India where Janmashtami is experienced more than just a festival. Let us see which are those places and how Janmashtami is celebrated over there.
While some of the common sightings of this festival across the nation include the temples being adorned with flowers and lights, kids dressed up as Bal Gopala and Radha Rani, dahi-handi contests, and more, the way these things are done is quite different in different places. Let us decode them one by one.
P.S. – If you wish to experience Janmashtami in its true form, you must visit these places and see the real celebrations.
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7 places to visit in India to see the real Janamashtami celebrations
- Mathura Vrindavan
It is quite obvious to begin this article with this place. Mathura is the birthplace of Lord Krishna and it is in these two places that Lord Krishna lived most of his life. Of course, the celebrations are the grandest over here. Here, celebrations take place in two parts which are Jhulanotsav and Ghatas. Jhulanotsav is a sacred ritual in which people install swings in their houses or temples and keep the idol of Bal Gopal in it to remark his birth.
He is bathed with curd, milk, and water, and adorned with jewels, flowers, and new clothes. People sing songs of his birth and life and swing this cradle like a child’s cradle to keep him happy. Ghatas is the custom in which the temples of the city are highly decorated days before Janmashtami in the same colour scheme. The traditional shell, temple bells and prayer hymns are constantly chanted inside the temples. The same goes for Vrindavan.
- Gokul Barsana
Lord Krishna was born in Mathura inside the cell but he was taken to Gokul on the same night of the storm. So, he spent most of his life in Gokul as well. Hence, this town also celebrates the festival of Janmashtami in a very lavish way. Since Lord Krishna grew up in this place, he has more fond memories here and hence this place is closer to him than any other place. People celebrate Gokulashtami here, just one day after Janmashtami. It is so because Lord Krishna was brought to this place after midnight and hence they celebrate it one day after. Gokul residents celebrate Dadhikana or Nandotsava. Radha Raman temple and Radha Damhodar are the two temples in which the celebrations are the grandest. Barsana was the place of Radha Rani
Mumbai, the city of dreams, one of the best Indian cities is known for a lot of parties but it is also one of the best places where Janmashtami is celebrated in an extremely lavish way. After Ganesh Chaturthi, it is the Dahi-handi festival of Janmashtami that Mumbaikers celebrate like a Boss. In the Dahi-Handi festival, lots of Gopala groups take part who spend the entire year practising climbing that human pyramid. This is done inside the pandals and lots of pandals are created in the entire city. Huge prize contests, people flocking to watch this, rain dance, etc. are a part of this festival in this city.
Another one of the cities that is close to Lord Krishna’s heart is Dwarka in Gujarat. Lord Krishna moved to Dwarka and is believed to have spent more than 5,000 years of his life here. Hence, it is quite evident that this city also celebrates this festival with utmost zeal. Dwarka is a part of the chaar dhaam yatra circuit which is the most sacred pilgrim tour for Hindus. The name Dwarka is derived from dwara meaning door and ka referring to Brahma. Dwarka, therefore, means the gateway to Brahma or moksha.
Janmashtami is not just celebrated for one day here but the celebrations are carried out throughout the year. The Aboti Brahmins of the city perform the daily Janmashtami pooja here known as “nitya kram” of the master. Mangla aarti is also performed throughout the city on this day. Banta Bhog and Utsav Bhog are the two famous prasad that are offered at temples. The rituals begin around 11 pm and the aarti is performed at 12 am, at the time of Lord Krishna’s birth.
Jhunjhunu is a lesser-known place in Rajasthan but if you wish to experience the true colours of Janmashtami with fewer people around then you must visit this town. It is probably the only city in India where the Muslims also celebrate Janmashtami. This makes this festival even more special and loveable where two different communities come together to celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna. A three-day festival is conducted each year during the time of Janmashtami in Jhunjhunu. The different skits, dance dramas and traditional qawwali are performed to entertain the crowd. The entire city comes to these celebrations and makes sure to be a part of it. This celebration is believed to have started around 400 years ago.
Goa is known for parties, nightlife, and beach life but one Hindu festival that is celebrated with utmost excitement and grand way is the festival of Janmashtami. Since Goa is also home to a lot of Yadava community people, this festival tends to be one of the important festivals of the state. Lord Krishna is believed to belong to the Yadava clan and hence the people of this community celebrate this festival with utmost love in this city. Just like Mumbai, Goa also celebrates the ritual of Dahi-Handi. So, if you want to go on a holiday in Goa then visit around this time when you can experience the Dahi-Handi ritual and can also experience the beach life at its best.
Lastly, this list will surely be incomplete without the mention of Puri. Puri is also one of the chaar dhaam yatra places. It is a holy town because it has Lord Jagannath temple which is also an avatar of Lord Krishna. The Rath Yatra is also one of the important festivals related to Lord Krishna and the biggest Rath Yatra festival is celebrated in Puri. And after the Rath Yatra, it is Janmashtami that is celebrated with utmost zeal in this holy beach town. Processions, Krishna Leela, Bal Gopala leela, fasting, and temple rituals are the things that are done on this day in this town.
If you wish to experience the true meaning of Janmashtami then you must visit these places and experience the festival celebrated over here. All of these places celebrate the same festival but the vibe is much different and unique. Each of these places celebrates Janmashtami in a grand way but they are all different from each other and yet very similar. The traditions are the same but the way of celebrating is very different. We wish a very happy Janmashtami to all of you. This is a festival of joy, merriment, and happiness and we pray that everyone’s lives are filled with all of it.
7 places to visit in India to see the real Janamashtami celebrations – The beauty of Janmashtami lies in its way of celebration. The hearts of the devotees are filled with joy on this day which makes them celebrate this day in different ways. This day marks the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna but his birthday…