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Krishna Janmashtami

Krishna Janmashtami (Krishna Jayanti) is one of the most important festivals celebrated in Udupi in the Sri Krishna Temple on the Shravana Krishna Ashtami, in the month of August/ September every year. Udupi is considered as one of the abode of Lord Krishna. Legend says that it was at this place that Lord Krishna gave his darshan to a singing saint, Kanakadasa (who belongs to the Kuruba community), by breaking open the walls on the Western side of the temple. From that time onwards Udupi is known for Krishna's leela in the Kali Yuga.

Krishna Janmashtami or Krishna Jayanti is the festival of celebrating the birth of Lord Krishna. It is celebrated with great fervour, since the time the deity of Lord Krishna was established in Udupi by Madhwacharya, the founder of Dwaita philosophy. During the festival the roads of the Car street are beautifully decorated with colorful glittering lights. The festival is celebrated at midnight with fasting, bhajans, pujas and various other ceremonies. The main attraction of the festival is the bathing of Lord Krishna in milk, ghee, oil, honey and Gangajal and after that the Lord is decorated with five types of flowers, Tulsi and Bilwa. Large number of people visit the temple during the festival to get the darshan of Lord Krishna in his full glory.

 Devotees take bath three times a day. They offer "arghya" (offering water through a conch and "Bilva" leaves) to Lord Krishna after their midnight bath, and also offer “arghya” to the moon. Children dress like Balakrishna. During the festival various cultural and religious programmes like Leelotsava or Vittala Pindi are conducted. (Vittala is one of the names of Lord Krishna and “pindi,” means a pot containing milk, curd or butter). Several mud-pots containing milk and milk products are hung over the 15 wooden "gopurams" specially constructed at different spots in the Car Street. 

A procession is held by carrying the idol of Lord Krishna made of clay in a chariot around the Car Street.In the Krishna Math and in the surrounding areas in Udupi, special Krishna Kathas and Krishna leela, Yakshgana and Bayalata are held. Sweets are offered to the lord and devotees. Ashtami Unde is the main offering prepared with mixture of various ingredients rounded with gummy jaggery, various types of fruits, dry fruits and raisins. Five types of Laddus, five types of flowers and Tulsi is also offered. During the festival, groups of men dressed as tigers, bears and various other legendary figures, dance in tune to the beats of the traditional musical instruments and visit the shops and houses, and collect donations from there.

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