Flooded Yamuna brings on Janmashtami fervour in BrajSeptember 1st, 2010 - 12:50 pm ICT by IANS
Agra/Mathura (Uttar Pradesh), Sep 1 (IANS) Perhaps the Yamuna was in spate just like this centuries ago when Lord Krishna was born. As the flooded river meanders its way through the land of the cowherd god, hordes of curious people have converged on the ghats in Vrindavan, Mathura and Agra, creating a colourful setting for Jamashtami festival.
“Around Lord Krishna’s birthday, there are such refreshing and divine scenes that fill your heart with the spirit of celebration,” says Vrindavan’s musician Acharya Jaimini. The Hindu god’s birthday will be celebrated as Janmashtami Thursday.
“The banks are green, there’s song in the air, as chirping birds feed on little insects and dance their way against a grey sky, the colourfully decorated boats in Vrindavan and Mathura’s Vishram Ghat, the crowd of bhakts at the Gokul and Mahavan ghats…”
Those who had forgotten there was a river in Agra are now returning to its banks and spending hours counting ripples and waves, says Hari Mohan Shrotriya, priest of Agra’s Mathuradheesh temple.
“The Yamuna has made this Janmashtami special. On Tuesday, the water level in the river crossed the lower danger mark of 495 ft. Right now it’s 495.3 ft,” he said.
Almost bringing alive the legend of Krishna, he said: “I think only after Janmashtami, when the newly born Sri Krishna lowers his feet into the river while (his father) Vasudev transports him across the river Wednesday night, will the river start receding.”
The story goes that Krishna was born on the eighth night of the Hindu month of Bhadrapad. On that rainy night, Vasudev had escaped from a prison in Mathura, carrying the infant Krishna on his head, and crossed the flooded river to prevent the baby from being killed by his uncle Kamsa.
This is but one of the chapters in Krishna’s life that comes alive on Janmashtami.
On Tuesday, more areas were flooded and water entered low-lying villages in Mathura and Agra districts. “But now that the discharge from upstream barrages has reduced, we expect the level to come down,” said the Uttar Pradesh irrigation department.
This year the Braj area has had enough rains to sustain greenery and fill up the holy ‘kunds’ or waterbodies, even though most have been levelled by land grabbers.
In Mathura, the district authorities have stepped up security around the Sri Krishna Janmbhoomi - believed to be the god’s birth place and the centre of celebrations.
Already more than a lakh pilgrims have reached Mathura and all hotels and lodges are full. The railways are running special trains.
“The weather being good, we are expecting a record crowd this year for the celebrations in not only Mathura but also in Vrindavan, Goverdhan, Barsana, Gokul. The pilgrim pressure will continue till Radhaashtami, the birthday of (Krishna’s companion) Radhaji,” says Jagannath Poddar, convener of the organisation Friends of Vrindavan.
Uttar Pradesh Tourism has publicised the festivities held various places in Braj, asking people to come and enjoy the “unparalleled splendour, gaity and joy” on the occasion of Janmashtami. The programmes will be held from Sep 2-15.
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- AFTER 1 )Krishna land now an urban disaster (Letter from Mathura) - Aug 12, 2012
- Yamuna above danger mark in Agra - Aug 21, 2011
- As Yamuna overflows, Vrindavan celebrates Pulin Utsav - Sep 25, 2010
- Polluted Yamuna at Mathura scaring away pilgrims (Letter from Mathura) - Nov 22, 2010
- Yamuna nears danger mark in Agra - Aug 28, 2010
- Three killed in lightning strike in Agra, Yamuna flooded - Aug 30, 2012
- Yamuna, Chambal rivers in spate - Aug 25, 2012
- Swollen Yamuna poses flood threat to Agra - Sep 12, 2010
- Hundreds of eco-activists clean up Yamuna - Mar 18, 2012
- Movement to save the Yamuna gains momentum (Lead) - Mar 01, 2011
- Fish deaths in Yamuna shock pilgrims - Jan 15, 2012
Tags: acharya, agra, chirping birds, cowherd, danger mark, eighth night, ghats, gokul, grey sky, hindu god, hordes, insects, lord krishna, mohan, rainy night, ripples, spate, sri krishna, vasudev, water level