Janmashtami is among the most awaited festivals in India. The celebration season holds immense significance for the Hindu citizenship. People spend this time honoring Lord Krishna in a grand manner. In fact, people across India participate in over a week-long festivities and celebrations. There is so much beauty about this festival, from its animated rituals and colorful decorations to its formation of human pyramids and the breaking of Dahi-handi. A few places in the country are known to celebrate Lord Krishna’s birthday in unique and incredible ways. Everyone must experience such a level of celebration at least once. Moreover, with the advent of superfast trains that take you straight to any destination, visiting these places has become easier. FinancialExpress.com got in touch with Dinesh Kumar Kotha, Co-founder & CEO of ConfirmTkt to know about his list of places to witness this celebration in all its splendor. This is what ConfirmTkT’s CEO shared us:
The city of Dwarka is one of India’s most historically rich cities because of its immense religious significance. As part of the Hindu pilgrimage tradition, the place is known as a char Dham. During Janmashtami, people perform Mangal Aarti, which is a famous practice at this time. After midnight, all Dwarka temples serve Utsav Bhog and Banta Bhog to devotees as a part of the celebration. The best month to visit Dwarka to experience the festive Janmashthami are August or September. Many major cities have well-connected rail routes to Dwarka, including Jamnagar, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Surat, Goa, Vadodara, etc.
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The Lord Krishna’s birthplace, Mathura, lights up every corner in honor of Lord Krishna. It is suggested to take your best vibrant ethnic clothes if you plan to come to Mathura during Janmashtami. Some programs last until midnight, and everyone dresses up in their best attire. Here, Jamasthami occurs in two sections, Ghatas and Jhulanotsav. During Juhlanotsave, devotees decorate swings in their houses and put Lord Krishna’s idol inside. They bathe the idol in honey and milk and decorate it with new clothes and jewellery. During Ghatas, people decorate every temple in the city with the same color scheme. Reaching here via train is convenient, as Mathura is the main railway junction. Multiple trains move between Mathura and other big cities like Jaipur, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Delhi, Kolkata etc.
A place where Lord Krishna spent significant years of his life, Vrindavan is just 20 kms from Mathura. Book your train tickets at least 10 days earlier than Janmashtami to enjoy the essence and excitement of the festival. Raas Leela (the dance of Krishna and his devotee women) starts during these 10 days across the town. Forests are lit up all across Vrindavan; it’s said that Lord Krishna used to perform Raas Leela at these places with his gopis (devotees). Major rituals occur at the popular Nidhivan temple in the forest’s center. To reach Vrindavan, you can take any train to Mathura as there’s no direct route to Vrindavan barring a Rail Bus which runs only twice a day.
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Human pyramids and Dahi-handi programs are popular ways to celebrate Janmashthami in Mumbai. The place becomes pretty energetic during the festival months of August-September. People from many groups engage in a healthy competition with one another on the day of Janmashtami. The popularity of Dahi-handi programs attracts sponsors from across the country every year.
The world famous Jagannatha temple is in Puri, Orisha. The holy temple comes among the Char Dhams in India. Here, you can witness vibrant and colorful decorations during Janmashtami. Devotees attend the pandals where saints tell narratives of Lord Krishna and his friend Balram daily. Adults and kids perform Raas Leela dances, and the entire environment remains cheerful. The entire celebration lasts for 17 days. On the last day, people witness a drama where Lord Krishna kills Kansa. Take a train trip to Puri with your family as Puri junction links to many Indian cities. As Puri experiences heavy downpours during this time, it’s recommended to check weather conditions before visiting.
The best way to experience the festival of Janmashtami is to visit these places and soak up the atmosphere. In India, just learning about Lord Krishna’s life’s history is an experience. As a bonus, traveling back in time to witness his birth celebration will truly be a fantastic experience for all.