Braj, 2019.08.18 (VT): With Janmashtami approaching, plans are being finalized for a host of cultural programs and high profile visitors including Chief Magistrate of UP, Yogi Adityanath.
It is expected that CM Yogi will be in Braj for two days – 23rd and 24th August, with activities centered around Shri Krishna Janma Bhoomi in Mathura, the birthplace of Lord Krishna.
This year, authorities announced that increased efforts are being made so that the lighting arrangments and public facilities are befitting of the land where Shri Krishna took birth. Security arrangments are being put in place, with police being called in from across the state. In order to cut down on inconveniences arising from crowding, authorities have announced that setting up speakers and distributing prasad distribution on Govardhan Parikrama Marg will be prohibited.
This year the festival is also being extended by the tithi falling across two dates, with some temples, like Banke Bihari and Prem Mandir celebrating Janmashtami on 23rd, while others, including Radharamanji, Radha Damodar and the other historical Sapta Devalaya temples celebrating on 24th.
Celebrations in Braj temples will include special lighting arrangements, abhishek and new poshak for Thakurji. Many temples remain open until after midnight, with a special Janma Utsav Aarti held at 12.15am.
Vrindavan Research Institute (VRI) has announced cultural programs from 20th-26th. The event will include presentations by various scholars and a special exhibition of artefacts of Braj culture including manuscripts, records, paintings, postage tickets and sculpture.
The theme of the exhibition ‘Krishna Birth: TRADITION AND EXPANSION’. The tradition of Shri Krishna’s Birth anniversary has entered the hearts and minds of people with this being expressed in different ways over time.
On 23rd, students from local schools will compete in traditional arts including Rangoli design. The Radha-Krishna costume and other competitions will be conducted in association with Lalit Kala Kendra and will be held at Ramlila Maidan in Mathura.
The VRI is also planning to launch its new 5 year research project during the festival. The Director of the institute, Harish Chandra Dixit, said that research, writing, and publishing that focuses on Braj culture are the major objectives of the institute.