| An artiste presents a scene from the birth of Lord Krishna at Maharana Pratap Bhavan in Patna on Wednesday. Picture by Deepak Kumar |
The city was painted in vibrant colours with puja committees organising various cultural programmes to celebrate Janmashtami on Wednesday.
Rana Pratap Memorial Trust has been celebrating the occasion at Maharana Pratap Bhavan for the past 25 years. Sushil Agrawal, the trustee of the organisation, said: “This year, the major attraction of the programme is the pandal, which was decorated with flowers and fruits. We have used flowers worth Rs 25,000 and 400kg fruits to decorate the pandal.”
Around 60 artistes from Calcutta, Jamalpur, Muzaffarpur, Allahabad and Varanasi have been invited to perform jhanki.
Agrawal said: “The artistes would portray various episodes of Lord Krishna’s life, including his birth, mischief and miracles. We have also organised a matka phod programme, in which a child, dressed as Lord Krishna, would break the pot filled with butter. We would also offer chhappan bhog, a religious offering with 56 kinds of sweets and dry fruits. People from all age groups attended the programme. While the seniors looked after the management, the children performed.” He said it was telecast live.
Veena Kediya (55), a devotee at Maharana Pratap Bhavan, who has been visiting the place for the past two years on Janmashtami, was happy with the arrangements.
International Society for Krishna Consciousness has also organised a cultural programme to celebrate the occasion. Krishna Kripa Das, the president of the organisation, said: “We have invited artistes from Vrindavan, Manipur and Calcutta to perform cultural programmes. While the artistes from Vrindavan and Calcutta would perform jhanki, the ones from Manipur would perform their traditional form of dance. The puja would be held at midnight in which we would perform jalabhishek of Lord Krishna with 108 silver pots of water. We have also arranged for chhappan bhog.”
Vaishnav Vishwa Darshan Foundation has organised a dance programme in which children dressed as Radha-Krishna performed. Mahesh Pandit Das, one of the organisers, said: “The main attraction of our programme is the Radha-Krishna dance programme. Since we are the followers of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, we have brought artistes from Mokama and Fatuha to perform bhajan-kirtan.”
Saroj Jain, a devotee at the programme, said: “I am eagerly waiting to watch the performance by the children.”