Janmashtami is one of the famous festivals of Hindus in India which is celebrated every year in most parts of the country. Janmashtami also called Gokulashtami, celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu.
There are many famous Krishna temples in India where Janmashtami is celebrated at a very grand scale and lakhs of devotees visit these temples every year. You would love the decoration in these temples as well. Temples are decorated in different themes of that time.
The must visit temples for Janmashtami or the very famous temples which are preferred by devotees to visit on Janmashtami are Bankey Bihari temple, Dwarkadhish temple, Krishna Janmabhoomi Mandir and the ISKCON temple in Mathura.
Mathura, the birth place of Krishna has more than 6,000 temples but the main celebration happens in these 4 temples. Here the lighting, decoration and pandals are dressed up 10 days before the actual day of Janmashtami. Special programs, bhajan, kirtan and raasleelas organized to celebrate the festival. Devotees from across the world gather here to celebrate this holy festival.
Vrindavan, situated at the banks of Yamuna is just 20 km from Mathura. This is the place where Krishna spent his childhood, teenage years and performed raasleela with his Gopis. The very famous and most visited temples of Vrindavan during Janmashtami are Govind Dev temple, Nidhi Van Mandir, Ranganathji temple, Radharaman Temple and the ISCKON Temple. Raas-lila and plays on the life of Krishna are performed by professional artists here. All the cultural programs start here 10 days before the Janmashtami.
Gokul, also has many famous temples where Janmasthtami is celebrated to its fullest. Radha Raman temple and Radha Damhodar are the main temples of Gokul. Gokul is the place of Nanda and Yashoda who were the foster parents of Lord Krishna.
Dwarka, the city of Gujrat is known as a Hindu pilgrimage site which is also called ‘the City of Lord Krishna’. Janmashtami celebration in Dwarkadish temple is very famous in India, so this is the must visit temple if you go to Dwarka for Janmashtami. At 7:00 am in the morning, Janmashtami pooja is performed. Between 8-10 am is the time for Abhishek or bath of Lord Krishna. After this curtains are opened for Darshan. At 12 midnight devotees celebrate the birth of Krishna. The other very famous temple in Dwarka for Janmashtami celebration is Rukmini temple which is about 2 km from Dwarkadish temple.
Delhi’s main temples for Janmashtami celebration are ISKCON temples, Chhatarpur Temple, Birla Mandir, Sheetla Mata and Bhuteshwar Temple, Gurugram. Janmashtami is the biggest celebration of the year at ISKCON temples Delhi. This festival is also celebrated with full religious zeal in other Mata Mandir temples and Hanuman temples of Delhi.
Mumbai’s Gokulashtami is best known for the Dahi Handi celebration a day after the birth of Lord Krishna. Group of youngsters called govindas break the Dahi Handi by forming a human pyramid. People also do fasting the whole day and attend maha-abhishek at midnight, like in the temples of Mathura and Varanasi. The most popular temples for Janmashtami celebration in Mumbai are ISKCON temple in Juhu, Shri Krishna Pranami Mandir, Kalbadevi and Guruvayoor Shri Krishna temple, Navi Mumbai.
Puri, the holy city of Odisha has the famous Jagannath Temple where Janmashtami is the biggest festival of the year. The other famous Krishna Janmashtami temples in Puri are Isckon temple, Ram Mandir, Bayababa Matha and Nayapalli Radha Krishna temple.
Udupi is a very famous Lord Krishna temple in Udupi, Karnataka which is also called as Sri Krishna Mutt. On the day of Janmashtami, Udupi temple is decorated with full of lighting. Many street performances are given by professional artists here presenting ras-leela and childhood memories of Lord Krishna. Udipi cuisine is served in the temple free of cost to all the devotees.
Kerala’s Janmashtami is also celebrated with full of joy and excitement. Special South India dishes are prepared and offered to Krishna for bhog. Classic dance and musical performances on the life of Krishna is the major attraction of Janmashtami here. Guruvayoor or Guruvayur is the most famous temple of Lord Krishna in Kerala. This temple is also called Dwarka of South India. The Krishna idol here represents the form of Vishnu which was shown by Krishna to his parents Devaki and Vasudev during his childhood.