Janmashtami was celebrated with much fanfare across the country on Thursday, with thousands of devotees thronging the major temples in Mathura in Uttar Pradesh, the birthplace of Lord Krishna.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted people on the occasion. He wished for new energy and enthusiasm in the lives of “every member of my family”, a reference to citizens. “Jai Shri Krishna,” Modi added in his post on X.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah will visit the ISKCON temple at East of Kailash in south Delhi and perform a pooja, sources said.
The festival celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna.
Thousands of devotees witnessed the “Abhishek” (bathing of the deity) ceremony of Lord Krishna at the Radha Raman, Radha Damodar and Gokulanand temples in Mathura in Uttar Pradesh, officials said.
Balram Goswami, the priest of the Radha Damodar temple, said while the festival is celebrated at midnight everywhere, it is celebrated during the day at the three major Mathura temples in accordance with the tradition set up by noted seer Jeev Goshwami nearly 500 years ago.
Since the Shahji temple in Vrindavan also celebrates all the festivals in accordance with the traditions followed at the Radha Raman temple, there too, Janmashtami was celebrated in the morning, the priest of the temple, said.
At the Srikrishna Janmabhumi, the day started with the blowing of shehnai and the sound of conch and drum beats, followed by the “abhishek” of the deity and the distribution of the “charnamrit” among the devotees.
Thousands of devotees paid obeisance to the deities at the Bhagwat Bhavan temple and other temples at the Srikrishna Janmasthan.
Headed by Shailjakant Mishra, the vice-president of the Uttar Pradesh Vraj Tirth Vikas Parishad, state ministers Laxmi Narain Chaudhary and Jaiveer Singh, District Magistrate (DM) Shailendra Singh and Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Shailesh Kumar Pandey, a procession was taken out from the Srikrishna Janmasthan. It passed through the main streets of Mathura.
Janmashtami was also celebrated at the Dwarkadhish temple, Vrindavan, Govardhan and Nandgaon.
“It is invigorating to witness the Janmashtami celebrations in Mathura. One cannot experience this anywhere else,” said Bimalendra Mishra, a resident of Lakhimpur Kheri who travelled to Mathura to participate in the festival.
A large number of foreigner devotees of Lord Krishna also paid obeisance to the deities at the ISKCON and Radha Damodar temples in Vrindavan.
According to Panchagoda Prabhu, the president of the Krishna Balaram temple (ISKCON, Vrindavan), hundreds of devotees from different countries paid obeisance to the temple deity.
The Mathura district administration has decided to limit the number of devotees inside the Bankey Bihari temple to avoid overcrowding and stampede-like situations.
The decision was taken to prevent any untoward incident. Two devotees were killed and seven injured in a stampede at the temple during Janmashtami celebrations in August last year.
It has been decided to allow only 500 devotees, including the acharyas (goswami) of the temple, during the “mangala aarti” slated for post midnight, officials said.
“The entry of devotees will be allowed on a first-come-first-serve basis during the aarti,” the DM said after inspecting the arrangements at the temple with Inspector General (IG) Deepak Kumar and SSP Pandey.
At least 35 “Govindas” involved in the formation of human pyramids as part of the Dahi Handi celebrations were injured in Mumbai, officials said.
The Dahi Handi festival is celebrated on the occasion of Janmashtami. As part of the celebrations, “Govindas” or Dahi Handi participants form multi-tiered human pyramids to break earthen pots filled with curd suspended in the air.
The celebrations, which began in the morning, will continue till night. Competitions are organised at various locations across the city, offering cash prizes for the Govinda groups that succeed in breaking the dahi handis.
“At least 35 Govindas have suffered injuries during the Dahi Handi celebrations in Mumbai. Four of them have been admitted to hospitals — two each in the civic-run KEM Hospital at Parel in central Mumbai and the Rajawadi Hospital in Ghatkopar,” an official said.
Twenty-two of them were treated at the outpatient departments (OPDs) of state-run and municipal hospitals, he added.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has kept 125 beds ready at civic-run hospitals to treat the injured Govindas, the officials said Janmashtami celebrations in Delhi’s Dwarka incorporated “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” — the theme of the upcoming G20 summit in the national capital.
Union Minister Smriti Irani and BJP general secretary B L Santhosh attended the celebrations.
In view of India’s G20 presidency, the Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan (DJJS) celebrated Janmashtami by incorporating the theme of the upcoming summit of the bloc — “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” (the entire world is one family) — according to a statement issued by the organisers.
The event was organised on September 6-7 at the DDA ground in Sector 10, Dwarka.
Janmashtami was celebrated with traditional enthusiasm and religious fervour in Punjab and Haryana too.
Thousands of people visited temples amidst heavy security arrangements. Bhajans and discourses on Krishna were organised at temples across the region.
“Baalgopal” (child Krishna) idols were placed on “jhulas” (swings) that were ceremonially swayed by the devotees.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and his Punjab counterpart Bhagwant Mann greeted people on the occasion.
Kashmiri Pandits took out a Janmashtami procession in Srinagar.
Amid tight security arrangements, the procession started from the Ganpatyar temple in the Habba Kadal area and passed through Kralkhud and Barbarshah, before reaching the clock tower at the historic Lal Chowk.
The procession then crossed over the Amirakadal bridge, passed through the Jehangir chowk and returned to the temple.
The devotees, including women, men and children, danced alongside the chariot.
Sandeep Mawa, a Kashmiri Pandit, said it is a good thing that the procession has been taken out in the valley for the last few years.
Ghulam Rasool, a local Muslim who was also a part of the procession, said, “There was a time when we used to celebrate festivals together. Muslims also used to participate in these festivals. After 1989, these festivals were not celebrated. But now, the situation is peaceful here and we want it to remain so.” A “shobhayatra” was taken out by Pandit devotees in Jammu and Kashmir’s Ganderbal district after a gap of 34 years, an official spokesperson said. The procession was not taken out after Kashmiri Pandits left the valley with the outbreak of insurgency.
The “shobhayatra” was taken out from the historic Bedeshwar Mahadev temple at Nunnar. It culminated at the Devraj temple at Chapergund Wayil.
Both the temples wore a festive look as they were beautifully decorated with flowers and lights.
Ganderbal Deputy Commissioner Shyambir also participated in the procession.
The Kashmiri Pandits expressed their gratitude to the district administration and local community for their support.
Foolproof arrangements were put in place by the district administration and police for the successful conduct of the “shobhayatra”.
Janmashtami was celebrated with religious fervour and gaiety in the Jammu region as well.
The Ragunath and ISKCON temples witnessed a huge rush of devotees since early morning.
ISKCON official Krishna Arvind Das said the preparations for the festival started two months ago. He said the “Nandotsav” will be celebrated on Friday.
According to reports, the festival was celebrated in Poonch, Rajouri, Kathua, Samba, Reasi, Udhampur, Ramban, Doda and Kishtwar districts as well and there was no untoward incident.
All the major temples in Rajasthan, including Nathdwara in Rajsamand district and the Govind Dev temple in Jaipur, were specially decorated on the occasion of Janmashtami.
“Darshan” (a glimpse of the deity) will start at the Govind Dev temple from midnight after a 31-gun salute. It will be followed by Shaligram puja and “panchamrit abhishek”. “Nandotsav” will be celebrated at the temple on Friday and a procession will be taken out.
The festival was celebrated at the Radha Damodar temple located at Chauda Rasta at 12 noon.
Devotees started arriving at the ISKCON temple in Mansarovar at 4.30 a.m.
“Darshan” of “mangala” (panchamrit) opened for about an hour and a half at the famous Nathdwara temple in Rajsamand at 4:45 am.
Special arrangements were made by the temple administration for “darshan”. According to Jitendra Ojha, the temple administrator, the grand procession started from the Risala Chowk at 6 p.m.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)