Janmashtami is among the most awaited festivals in India. The celebration season holds immense significance for the Hindu citizenry. People spend this time in glorious worship of Lord Krishna. In fact, people across India participate in festivities and celebrations that last for over a week. This festival has so much beauty, from its lively rituals and colorful decorations to the formation of human pyramids and the breaking of dahi-handi. It is known that some places in the country celebrate Lord Krishna’s birthday in unique and incredible ways. Everyone must have experienced this level of celebration at least once. Additionally, with the advent of super-fast trains that take you straight to any destination, visiting these places has become easier. FinancialExpress.com contacted Dinesh Kumar Kotha, Co-Founder and CEO of ConfirmTkt about his list of knowledge Places to witness this festival in all its glory. Here’s what the CEO of ConfirmTkT told us:
The city of Dwarka is one of the most historically rich cities in India due to its immense religious significance. As part of the Hindu pilgrimage tradition, the site is known as Char Dham. During Janmashtami people perform Mangal Aarti which is a famous practice at that time. After midnight all Dwarka temples serve Utsav Bhog and Banta Bhog to devotees as part of the celebration. The best month to visit Dwarka to experience the festive Janmashthami is August or September. Many major cities have well connected rail routes to Dwarka including Jamnagar, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Surat, Goa, Vadodara etc.
Lord Krishna’s birthplace, Mathura, illuminates every corner in honor of Lord Krishna. It is recommended to bring your best colorful ethnic clothes if you plan to come to Mathura during Janmashtami. Some programs last until midnight, and everyone dresses in their best clothes. Here Jamasthami occurs in two sections, Ghatas and Jhulanotsav. During Juhlanotsave, devotees decorate swings in their houses and place Lord Krishna’s idol in them. They bathe the idol in honey and milk and decorate it with new clothes and jewelry. During Ghatas, people decorate every temple in the city with the same color scheme. Arriving by train is convenient as Mathura is the main railway junction. Several trains run between Mathura and other major cities like Jaipur, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Delhi, Kolkata etc.
Vrindavan, a place where Lord Krishna spent significant years of his life, is only 20 km away from Mathura. Book your train tickets at least 10 days before Janmashtami to enjoy the essence and excitement of the festival. Raas Leela (the dance of Krishna and his worshiped women) begins throughout the city during these 10 days. Everywhere in Vrindavan forests shine; It is said that Lord Krishna performed Raas Leela in these places with his gopis (devotees). Great rituals take place in the popular Nidhivan Temple in the center of the forest. To reach Vrindavan you can take any train to Mathura as there is no direct connection to Vrindavan apart from a rail bus that only runs twice a day.
Human pyramids and dahi-handi programs are popular ways to celebrate Janmashthami in Mumbai. The place gets quite energetic during the festival months from August to September. People from many groups engage in healthy competition with each other on the day of Janmashtami. The popularity of the Dahi-Handi programs attracts sponsors from across the country each year.
The world famous Jagannatha Temple is located in Puri, Orisha. The holy temple belongs to the Char Dhams in India. Here you can witness vivid and colorful decorations during Janmashtami. Devotees visit the pandals, where saints narrate daily tales of Lord Krishna and his friend Balram. Adults and children perform Raas Leela dances, and the whole environment stays merry. The entire celebration lasts 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 the Puri hub offers connections to many Indian cities. As Puri experiences heavy downpours during this time, it is recommended to check the 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, learning about the life story of Lord Krishna is quite an experience. As a bonus, traveling down memory lane to witness his birth celebration will truly be an amazing experience for all.