Chakra Announcements

Lord Krishna's Land Rocks to Festival Beat

by Brij Khandelwal, Abridged from Indo-Asian News Service

Posted March 23, 2008

Vrindavan, March 20—The influx of pilgrims to Vrindavan to enjoy Braj ki Holi (festival of colours) in Lord Krishna's land has added sparkle to celebrations which began a week ago in Barsana, Nandgaon, Govardhan, Vrindavan and Mathura, with folk songs, music and dance soirées. The festival falls on Saturday, but in Braj, Holi starts from ekadashi..

Krishna and Radha devotees from all over can be seen lost in trance, with splashes of colours, sitting or relaxing on the holy sands of Braj. People are flocking to Barsana to see Lath Mar Holi, a traditional festivity where Lord Krishna's consort Radha spent her childhood in Barsana. "The Holi songs of Braj mandal are in pure Brajbhasha (the classical language of the land)," Ratnakar, from Mumbai, said. "Rose petals and coloured powder rained on the pilgrims as they visited the Deity on his throne of flowers."

Baldev, 20 km from Mathura, will be the main theatre of action for two days after Holi in the other centres of Braj Mandal. Sri Krishna's elder brother Baldev or Dauji is the presiding Deity of this town. Holi here has a distinct flavour and is called Hurang—a carnival of music, competitions, folk dances and colours from pichkaris (mini water cannons). From dawn to dusk, thousands join in.

The main temple has huge tanks for preparing colours from tesoo flowers. For the musical programmes there are centuries-old instruments like mridangas and manjiras. Starting from the Dauji ka mandir the Hurang spills over to the narrow lanes, and whoever comes in the way is soaked in colours.

Markets in Vrindavan, Mathura and Govardhan are flooded with CDs of Holi songs. A shopkeeper outside Krishna Janam Bhoomi temple in Mathura said: "Almost everyone who comes here returns with a DVD or cassette. The Braj Rasias and sankirtans are in great demand."

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