Janmashtami 2018: People offer prayers at Lord Krishna's "Janmabhoomi" temple in Mathura
Today, the Hindu festival of Krishna Janmashtami is being celebrated across the country. The festival celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna, believed to be the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu. Janmashtami is the largest festival in the Braj region of north India - Mathura - where he was born, and in Vrindavan where is believed to have grown up. Temples are decorated and special programmes are organised in Mathura and Vrindavan to celebrate Lord Krishna's birth. Devotees come from far and wide to visit the holy temples of Vrindavan and Mathura.
Despite heavy rainfall, lakhs of devotees reached Mathura yesterday for the Janmashtami celebrations. They are likely to gather around Vrindavan or in Govardhan and Barsana for the celebration. The ritual of Dahi Handi is also a popular celebration of the festival.
Here are the Highlights on Janmashtami celebations across the country:
Janmashtami 2018: Devotees perform 'abhishek' of Lord Krishna on the occasion of Krishna Janmashtami at ISKCON temple in Guwahati Janmashtami 2018: In Mumbai, people form a human pyramid and break 'Dahi Handi' to celebrate Janmashtami festival
Janmashtami 2018: A child dressed as Lord Krishna breaks 'Dahi Handi' to celebrate Janmashtami festival, in Mumbai.
Children dressed up as Hindu God Krishna take a selfie as they participate in celebrations of Janmashtami festival in Ajmer
Shahrukh Khan and son AbRam break Dahi Handi
Janmashtami, the celebration of Lord Krishna's birth, was observed on Monday with thousands of devotees thronging temples in the rain-lashed national capital and offering prayers on the occasion, according to news agency Press Trust of India.
The famous Krishna temples in Delhi - Laxmi Narayan Mandir, ISKCON temple, Amar Colony, Kirhsna Pranami Mandir, Hare Krishna Mandir among others, were specially decorated up for the festival.
Despite rains, devotees thronged temples in the morning and participated in the special ceremony marking the birth of Lord Krishna in the night. Many also observed day-long fast on the occasion, said the PTI report.
Special processions were taken out from temples in different parts of the city which saw participation of a large number of people.
Colourful tableaux depicting the story of Lord Krishna's birth were displayed at Janmashtami Park in Punjabi Bagh and other areas. In residential areas, cultural groups displayed special 'Jhankis' of Lord Krishna, according to news agency PTI.
Delhi Traffic Police made special arrangements to manage crowds and vehicle movements around temples and venues of Janmashtami celebrations, the PTI report said.
Lakhs of pilgrims paid obeisance at major temples in Mathura on Monday on the occasion of Janmashtami amid tight security, according to news agency PTI.
The secretary of Sri Krishna Janmasthan, Kapil Sharma, said with special arrangements put in place this year, devotees could pay obeisance to the deity without any obstacle and could get prasadam easily.
According to him nearly 20 lakh pilgrims paid their obeisance in the temples of Mathura, Vrindaban, Barsana, Govardhan, Nandgaon, Baldeo, Mahaban and Gokul, reported news agency PTI.
The birth of Lord Krishna was rung in with religious fervour and gaiety in Maharashtra and it was followed Monday by colourful 'dahi handi' celebrations which saw enthusiastic participation by youngsters in Mumbai and other parts of the state.
The dahi handi ritual is part of the Janmashtami festival in Maharashtra, where youngsters (called Govindas), dressed in colourful attire, make human pyramid to reach an earthen pot containing buttermilk and suspended in mid-air, and break it.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan carries an idol of Lord Krishna during a procession on Janmashtami in Bhopal
Karshni Guru Sharnanand Maharaj, Ramjanmabhoomi trust head Nritya Gopal Das and Uttar Pradesh Energy Minister Shrikant Sharma offer prayers on the occasion of Janmashtami festival, in Mathura
Children dressed up as Lord Krishna take a selfie as they participate in celebrations of Janmashtami festival in Ajmer
Janmashtami beng celebrated in Jammu and Kashmir's Srinagar
One person was injured during Dahi Handi celebrations in Thane and has been admitted to a nearby hospital
Devotees at the Shwala temple in Amritsar celebrate Krishna Janmashtami
Security at the Lord Krishna Janmabhoomi temple has been increased for Janmashtami. Mathura is believed to be the birth place of Lord Krishna.
The temple remained open for nearly two hours past midnight to facilitate pilgrims.
In Nepal, a Krishna temple in Lalitpur, which was damaged by the earthquake in 2015, reopened after three-years on the occasion, news agency ANI reported
Artist Sudarsan Pattnaik's SandArt for Janmashtami at the Bhubaneswar airport
People in Dadar in Mumbai prepare for the Dahi Handi celebrations.
The Bombay High Court last year eased restrictions on the Dahi Handi celebrations, accepting with the state government that it is an "adventure sport". The court agreed to lower the age limit for participating 'Govindas' to 14
In Mumbai, preparations for the Dahi Handi celebrations have started. Dahi Handi is a traditional celebration which involves communities hanging an earthen pot, or Handi, filled with curd at a height that is difficult to reach. Young men and boys form teams and try to make a human pyramid and try to break the pot.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh also sent his wishes for Janmashtami
Delhi's ISKCON temple has been decorated specially for the festival of Janmashtami
Prime Minister Narendra Modi wished people on the occasion of Janmashtami