Devotees from all walks of life and those from abroad offered prayers at Krishna temples on Friday as the Janmashtami celebrations gripped Mathura, the place where the deity is believed to have been born.
The maximum rush was witnessed at the Radha Raman temple as the deity’s "Abhishek" ceremony lasted for over three hours amidst the chanting of Vedic hymns.
According to temple priest Dinesh Chandra Goswami, cow milk, curd, honey, ghee, and herbs were used for the "Abhishek".
A large number of people also paid obeisance at the Dwarkadheesh temple during the "Abhishek" ceremony, which lasted for nearly an hour, the shrine’s PRO Rakesh Tewari said.
Devotees danced to the tunes of clarinet and beats of drums at temples from early in the morning.
While people in large numbers offered prayers at temples in Mathura, Vrindavan, Gokul, and Nandgaon, thousands undertook the circumambulation of hillock Goverdhan.
The district administration beefed up the security to prevent any untoward incident, District Magistrate Navneet Singh Chahal said.
"The nation is celebrating the 5248th birth anniversary of Lord Krishna today and devotees from the country and abroad are taking part in the rituals to mark the occasion," said Kapil Sharma, secretary of Sri Krishna Janmasthan Seva Sansthan.
According to the legend, the sanctum sanctorum of the Sri Krishna Janmasthan temple is the place where Lord Krishna was born thousands of years ago, an official at the shrine said.
Preparations for a midnight "Abhishek" of the deity at the Bhagwat Bhavan temple are in full swing, he said.
A cultural program was also organized in the precincts of the Sri Krishna Janmasthan temple. Noted saint Gurusharnanand Mahraj told devotees that complete devotion and "bhakti" are the surest way of getting divine blessings.
"Charnamrit" (prasad) was also distributed among the devotees.
Final touches are being given to preparations for a "Mangala darshan" in the Bankey Bihari temple of Vrindavan past midnight. "It is the most auspicious ceremony of the temple that takes place once a year," said priest Gyanendra Kishor Goswami.
(Inputs from PTI)