India’s Celebration of Krishna – Part 2

The Pandharpur temple in Maharashtra is famed for the chanting of the Lord’s holy names. Read about a few renowned temples of Lord Krishna.

Panduranga Vittala, Pandharpur

Maharashtra is the abode of Lord Vittala, with His temple in Pandharpur on the banks of the Chandrabhaga River. It is the spiritual headquarters of Maharashtrian devotees and is famous for the congregational chanting of the Holy Names of the Lord. Great Vaishnava saints like Dhyaneshwar, Namadev, Tukaram and Purandara Dasa are renowned for their devotional compositions glorifying the Lord. Ceremonious breaking of pots of yogurt or dahi handi is the highlight of Janmashtami celebrations in Maharashtra.

Some of the prominent temples of Lord Krishna in Maharashtra / Goa are:

Panduranga Vittala – Pandharpur
Devaki Krishna – Goa

Jagannath Puri or Purushottam Kshetra in the state of Odisha is one of the four major dhamas where the Lord resides as Jagannatha, Lord of the universe. The temple of Lord Jagannatha is one of the most important pilgrimage places for Gaudiya Vaishnavas, as this is where Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu resided after taking sannyasa for 24 years. Lord Jagannatha resides here along with His siblings Baladeva and Subhadra. Puri is known the world over for its annual Ratha Yatra, when the Deities of Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra ride out on Their mammoth wooden chariots or rathas pulled by tens of thousands of devotees. The Ratha Yatra at Puri commemorates Lord Krishna’s return to Vrindavana from Dvaraka, pulled by the loving and devoted gopis.

Jagannath Mandir, Puri

Srila Jayadeva Goswami, author of Gita Govinda, has given to the world, the most esoteric literature on the pastimes of the Lord and His eternal consort, Srimati Radharani.

Some of the prominent temples of Lord Krishna in Odisha are:

Sakshi Gopal
Tota Gopinath
Kshirachora Gopinath

Karnataka, the state blessed by the appearance of one of the foremost Vaishnava saints, Sri Madhvacharya, where the Deities worshipped by Lord Krishna’s principal queen Srimati Rukmini Devi, now reside. Of these the Krishna Deity is now worshipped at the Sri Krishna Matha in Udupi, and the Balarama Deity in the Odabandeshwara temple at nearby Malpe. Vithal Pindi is the biggest attraction during the Janmashtami celebrations in Udupi. This festival commemorates Lord Krishna’s childhood pastimes of breaking the earthen-pots containing milk, curd & butter. On this day, a special Deity of Lord Krishna made of clay is taken out during the procession in a golden chariot.

Karnataka was home to some of the greatest devotees of Lord Krishna, who composed devotional songs glorifying Him. Kanakadasa, Vyasarya, Jagannatha dasa, Gopaladasa, Vijayadasa and Purandaradasa are some of these stalwarts who have left a treasure trove of bhakti poetry or Dasara Padagalu, to meditate upon.

Some of the prominent temples of Lord Krishna in Karnataka are:

Sri Krishna, Udupi Mutt

Sri Krishna Matha – Udupi
Aprameya Swamy – Maluru
Himavad Venugopala Swamy – near Mysuru
ISKCON Sri Radha Krishna – Rajajinagar, Bengaluru

India’s Celebration of Krishna – Part 1
India’s Celebration of Krishna – Part 3