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Colourful Janmashtami celebrations

Last updated on: September 2, 2010 15:08 IST

Image: Children dressed as Lord Krishna wait for a fancy dress competition
Photographs: Ajay Verma/Reuters
The auspicious festival of Janmashtami, the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna, is being celebrated across the country with great enthusiasm today.

Colourful Janmashtami celebrations

Image: A boy dressed as Lord Krishna during Janmashtami celebrations
Photographs: Amit Dave/Reuters
Temples in Delhi were decorated with flowers and colourful lights on the occasion. Special security arrangements have been made at temples including the Birla Mandir, Jhandewalan, the International Society of Krishna Consciousness, Chhattarpur and the Gauri Shankar Mandir.

Colourful Janmashtami celebrations

Image: A boy plays with a mobile phone in front of idols of Lord Krishna
Photographs: Ajay Verma/Reuters
According to the police, CCTV cameras and watch towers have also been installed around these temples to keep a close watch on potential suspects to avoid any untoward incidents. Security has also been tightened at all the market places.

Colourful Janmashtami celebrations

Image: A devotee is reflected in a mirror next to pictures of Lord Krishna
Photographs: Deepa Shrestha/Reuters

In Uttar Pradesh, the festival is being celebrated with enthusiasm, peace and gaiety.

The temples, especially those at Mathura and Vrindavan and ISKCON temples in several cities of the state have been decorated for the occasion.

Colourful Janmashtami celebrations

Image: Devotees stand in a queue in front of the Krishna Temple in Patan
Photographs: Shruti Shrestha/Reuters

At the Bankey Bihari Temple in Vrindavan, the Krishna Janma Bhoomi and Dwarakadhish Temple in Mathura, the festival is celebrated at night. Devotees perform the Mangla Darshan at midnight.

Adequate security arrangements have been made in Mathura. The railways have announced the plying of seven special trains for devotees coming to Mathura to celebrate Janmashtami.

Colourful Janmashtami celebrations

Image: Visually impaired children form a human pyramid as they try to break a Dahi Handi
Photographs: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

Meanwhile, Mumbaikars woke up to the sounds of youngsters going around the city in processions, vying for the prized 'dahi handis'.

With prizes as high as Rs 31 lakh at some places, the youngsters, including some all-women troupes, wounded their way to the 'handis' in Mumbai and adjoining Thane, vying for the prizes.

Colourful Janmashtami celebrations

Image: A visually impaired boy breaks a Dahi Handi
Photographs: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters
The objective is to break a clay pot filled with butter or curd, tied to a rope as high as 40 feet. Youngsters form a pyramid to reach the handi and attempt to break it, even as their efforts are attempted to be thwarted by water splashed on them by those gathered.

Colourful Janmashtami celebrations

Image: Children dressed as Lord Krishna and goddess Radha participate in a rally
Photographs: Andrew Biraj/Reuters

Lord Krishna was born on the eighth day of the dark fortnight in Shravan month. The day is celebrated as Janmashtami.

Today is also being celebrated as the Gopal Kala, which literally means to eat different types of food mixed together, as Krishna is believed to have done with his cowherd friends.

Colourful Janmashtami celebrations

Image: A vendor sells garlands of marigold flowers on Janamashtmi
Photographs: Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters

Last year, the swine flu scare subdued the 'dahi handi' celebrations in Mumbai. This year, the festival comes in the backdrop of rising malaria cases in the financial capital.

Of the over 600 Govinda mandals in the city, the most popular are at Dadar and Worli in central Mumbai. The event is expected to continue throughout the day and late into the night.