No entry to devotees in Mathura temples, ‘puja’ to be live streamed at Janmasthami

Janmashtami festival in Krishna Janmasthan here will be observed on Wednesday with all the rituals, but the devotees will not be allowed entry to the temple due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a temple official said. However, arrangements have been made to live stream the ‘puja’ for devotees.

The Bhagwat Bhavan Temple, the sanctum sanctorum of the Janmasthan, will be given the shape of a ‘Purnendu Kunj’, sparkling with gems like pearls, diamonds and ruby. Also, local and imported flowers will be used to decorate the shrine, said Kapil Sharma, the secretary at the Sri Krishna Janmasthan. A heavy police force will be posted at the entrance of main temples to prevent the entry of devotees, District Magistrate Sarvagya Ram Mishra said.

The auspicious day of Janmashtami would begin with the playing of clarinet and the thunderous sound of drums followed by a ‘Mangala Aarati’ amidst chanting of devotional music, Sharma said. The main programme, according to Sharma, will begin at 11.00 pm on Wednesday with obeisance to ‘Navagrah’ (nine planets), followed by blowing of the conch, beating of cymbals and drums at midnight.

Normally after ‘Abhishekam’, ‘Charnamrit’ (a mixture of milk, curd, khansari, ghee and honey) is distributed among devotees in the Radha Raman Temple, Radha Damodar Temple and Shah Ji Temple. However, there will be no distribution of ‘Charnamrit’ in Radha Damodar and Shah Ji temples this year since priests have expressed their inability to control crowds.

With the help of police to maintain social distancing, the ‘Charnamrit’ will be distributed in an open area in front of the Radha Raman Temple in Vrindaban, Padmanabha Goswami, the secretary of the shrine, said. Devotees not wearing masks or not observing social distancing will be denied ‘Charnamrit’, he said. ‘Dadhikana’, an annual ritual to mark the arrival of Krishna in Gokul on the next day after Janmashtami, has been cancelled this year owing to spread of the coronavirus pandemic.


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