How Janamashtami is celebrated across INDIA?

While festivities throughout the country are enchanting on the occasion of Janamashtami, some places in India deserve an exceptional mention. They are the places that rejoice in the festival with true spirit. Let’s take a look at them:


According to Hindu mythology, Lord Krishna was born to Devaki and Vasudeva in the realm of Mathura. So, being the birthplace of Krishna, Mathura is certainly the best place to experience the magnificence of the festival. The city has around 400 temples dedicated to Krishna, all of which are festooned beautifully. The grand celebration takes place at the Dwarkadhish Temple, considered one of the ancient and largest temples in the city. Thousands of devotees gather inside the temple for the festivity of Janmashtami at midnight. Lord Krishna is given the sponge bath with milk & curd inside the temple and Jhulan Utsav. As soon as the door opens 5 minutes before the middle of the night, the temple compound echoes with the slogan “Jai Kanhaiya Laal Ki”. After the formulaic prayer finishes, all devotees receive “Panchamrit” and those who keep fast open it with this only.


Vrindavan is the place where Lord Krishna spent a momentous time in his childhood. So, like Mathura, Vrindavan is one of the places that have allegorical importance because of its association with Krishna’s life and celebrates Janamashtami with great zeal. It is the place where Krishna used to do Rasleela with Gopis and this is why numerous enactments of Rasleela are seen around the city during Janamashtami. In innumerable temples, festive ceremonies can be witnessed here as well. However, the Banke Bihari Temple is the most sought-after place here throughout the festival. Thousands of devotees arrive here for darshan. The same ceremony is practiced here in which the Abhishek takes place at midnight and after the ritual, devotees are given “Panchamrit” as the holy prasad.


The state of Maharashtra rejoices in the festival in its own idiosyncratic way. The cities of Pune and Mumbai have marvelous celebrations during the Janmashtami. The day is perceived as Gokulashtami here, the climax of the festival is the Dahi handi ritual, which is a re-enactment of Lord Krishna's love for butter and curd. During childhood, Krishna often used to steal the butter in the same custom and so was given the name – “Makhan Chor”. In this procedure, an earthen pot filled with yogurt, milk, and fruits is adjourned high in the air and a group of young men called the “Govindas” form a human pyramid in an endeavor to break the pot and spill the yogurt as how Krishna used to do in his childhood. This yogurt is then given to everyone as prasad.


The city of Dwarka in Gujarat also revels the festival with great eagerness. According to the scriptures, Dwarka was the monarchy of Lord Krishna. The famous Dwarkadheesh temple is devoted to Lord Krishna and is one of the holiest temples in India. The city gets a whole new and stunning look during the festival and is one of the superlative among the Janamashtami celebrations across the country. There is also a custom here similar to that of Dahi Handi of Maharashtra, but here it is known as Makhan Handi. Night-long festivities take place including a Garba dance, Rasleela recitals also happen across the city. The temple gets adorned aesthetically and attracts a huge crowd on the day of Janmashtami. Rows of lights enhance the place, which brings out the celebratory spirit all the more. Lord Dwarkadeesh is adorned with expensive jewelry of gold, diamonds, etc. The Mangal Aarti done in the morning here is also worth attending as a part of the festival. Also, there is a sea beside the temple which itself makes the temple more appealing.


The holy town of Puri is well-known for the Jagannath Temple and has its own set of celebrations that are special to the area. It is one of the few temples which houses a wood-carved figurine of the lord, as different from the stone ones found elsewhere. The celebrations of the birth of Krishna are accomplished in full swing here. The divinities inside the Jagannath temple, Lord Jagannath, and siblings Balrama and Subhadra are dressed in exceptional clothes on a festive day. Thousands of enthusiasts visit the temple on the day of the festival. Chronicles of Lord Krishna and Balaram are endorsed every evening. They begin with Krishna's birth, with one episode being completed each day by communities in the city. Episodes that stand out in Krishna’s life like the anecdote of Bakasura badha and the fable of Kalia dalana where he killed a multi-headed snake are performed. The celebrations go on for 17 days from Janamashtami and end with the portrayal of Kansa vadh which represents the death of Kansa.

South India

South India also gets celebratory during the Janamashtami. The celebrations, however, fluctuate from those in the north. In Tamil Nadu, people draw attractive decorative patterns called “Kolam”, made with rice batter on the floor, and footprints of Krishna at the entrance of their house. In Karnataka, the Krishna Janma Mahotsav Samiti of Kadri holds exceptional Krishnashtami celebrations every year. In Udupi, the birth of Krishna is notable with special regional tones. Street artists add to the atmosphere. Plays representing episodes from Krishna’s childhood life are held, besides singing and dancing late into the night. It is thought that Sri Krishna Matha at Udupi came into actuality after the city of Dwarka submerged. In Kerala, the Janamashtami is famous at Guruvayur temple where the demonstration of a golden idol of ‘Balkrishna’ is escorted by the temple’s elephants. This takes place all along with traditional dance and music performances.


Janamashtami in the city of Imphal, Manipur witness a huge crowd of enthusiasts at the Sri Govindajee temple unlike the other festivals of North India that aren’t as famous in this part of the country. People observe fast and visit the temple offering floral tributes to Lord Krishna. Folk dance recitals are a major part of Janamashtami festivities in Manipur.