The Telegraph
Tuesday , August 23 , 2011
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bhajans, skits and dance performances mark Janmashtami celebrations

Patna, Aug. 22: The state capital today soaked itself in Janmashtami festivities, as residents celebrated the birth of Lord Krishna with fervour and devotion. Children, dressed up as Krishna and Radha, performed Krishnaleela, while their parents and grandparents prayed in peace.

Maharana Pratap Bhavan in the state capital was decked up with flowers for celebrations. Organised by members of Maharana Pratap Bhavan and some residents, the celebrations that started at 11am will continue till midnight.

The main attraction at Maharana Pratap Bhavan was a Rs 25,000-worth floral arrangement that adorned the entrance to the puja sthal. Organising committee members said floral decorators were specially brought in from Calcutta for the decorations. Fruits weighing around 100kg that decorated the venue and a chhappan bhog, a prasad with 56 different items offered to Lord Krishna, were the other attractions at Maharana Pratap Bhavan.

Radheshyam Agrawal, a member of the organising committee, said: “Janmashtami is very important in Hindu religion. We have been celebrating Janmashtami for 40 years now and this time we decided to organise a grand celebration.”

He said bhajan singers have also been specially invited for the occasion. “Around 5,000-10,000 people are expected to come in the evening. Bhajan singers — Puja Chhabra from Allahabad, Kailash Agrawal and his daughter Nikita Sharma from Jamalpur — have been invited to sing during the ceremony,” added Radheshyam. He also said around Rs 2.5 lakh have been spent on the Janmashtami celebrations.

The organisers said special care has been taken to prepare the chhappan bhog. “Every item in the bhog has been made in pure ghee,” said Dilip Agrawal, another organising committee member.

About the other attractions, especially for the children, at Maharana Pratap Bhavan, organisers said: “A jhanki has been planned where children will come dressed as Krishna, Radha, Shiv and Parvati. Krishnaleela will also be performed in the evening where little Krishnas would indulge in makhanchori. In Sudamacharit, a skit, Krishna’s reunion with his childhood friend Sudama will be performed. Krishna-Radha dance will be yet another attraction. Chocolates and gifts will also be tossed in the air for the children. These will make the day even more eventful,” said Dilip.

The little Krishnas, meanwhile, grabbed most attention at the venue. “I am very excited to celebrate Janmashtami today, as my one-and-a-half-year-old son Keshav has dressed up as Krishna,” said Prerna Jain, a proud mother.

Rekha Agrawal, a 65-year-old devotee, said: “I have been coming here for the past two years. The organisers have done a really good job in celebrating Janmashtami.”

Apart from Maharana Pratap Bhavan, Rani Sati Temple near Gandhi Maidan also drew several devotees. Manoj Kedia, one of the organisers, said: “Around Rs 9 lakh has been spent on the event organised by the temple’s Shri Shri Shyam Mandal Committee. A lakh has been spent only on flowers. The venue has been decked up with orchids, lilies, roses, jasmines and other flowers. Singers have also been invited from Agra, Calcutta, Kanpur Allahabad and Delhi to sing bhajans during the celebrations. There will be a bhandara (distribution of prasad) tomorrow where around 6,000 people are expected to take part.”

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