The colours of Krishna will soon be around us. Gokuldham temple, the epicentre of Goregaon east’s eponymous neighbourhood, has week-long celebrations planned out. Whether you’re a regular temple-goer or not, a Krishna bhakth or not – you will find this interesting.
Krishna Vatika Devasthan, as the temple is officially known, was built in 1992 by the Goenka and Associates Social Welfare Trust. Since its inception, from dawn to dusk, it witnesses hundreds of devotees every day. The ample space within the temple complex provides a sort of urban sanctuary. In the aura of main temple dedicated to Krishna and Radha, along with smaller shrines housing other deities, people come to offer pensive prayers and find peace.
Janmashthami 2018 at Gokuldham
The solace transforms into buzz and bustle during Janmashthami, which celebrates the birth of Krishna . “Innumerable people attend the pooja and other celebrations, throughout the week,” says Pandit Dubey. He is my guide around the temple. Dubey, along with the temple manager, Sunil Poddar, gave me a lowdown of all that’s in store between September 3rd and September 9th – until Janmashthami 2018 celebrations conclude at Gokuldham temple.
The elaborate decoration of the temple premises and deities notwithstanding, the variety of events to be witnessed here form an interesting celebration of one of the most worshipped cosmic forces, Krishna.
Children’s activities to look out for
On September 3rd, after the regular evening aarti, the temple will close briefly to complete the shringar of the idols. At 8 o’clock, begins the Janm Mahotsav, with bhajans and dance-dramas being performed by artists like Rajkumar Joshi and Suresh Tiwari. This concludes with the highlight of Krishna’s birth at midnight, celebrated with aarti, darshan and prasad. “Close to 2,500 people come for just this first evening,” relates Poddar.
The afternoon of September 4th is Nandotsav, with children enacting a dahi-handi ritual amidst floral decorations.
September 6th invites participation from the general public – children are encouraged to dress like Krishna in the Bhagwan Swaroop Darshan Bal Pratiyogita at 6.30 pm. Age categories are listed as 4-6 and 6-10 years. After this concludes, the late evening programme at 8 pm will be a Nritya Pratiyogita by children between the ages of 6-9 and of 9-12 years. This competition is adjudged on dance enactments of bhajans by the participating children.
Through the next couple of days, visiting singers from various religious and social groups will be singing bhajans and reciting verses of paaths. This forms the festivities of Janmashthami 2018 at Gokuldham temple.
Week-long, the colours of Krishna, Gopal, Shyam, Balgopal – a myriad names – will be illustrated and venerated at the Krishna Vatika Devasthan. It’s all about celebrating Shyam Rang – the colours of Krishna. Do drop by at some time, if you would like to take back a pinch of colour.
Note: Forms for the children’s competitions are available at the temple’s office and need to be filled and submitted by September 3rd
A copy of the complete schedule is available at the temple’s office.
Address: Sai Road, Gokuldham Colony, Yashodham, Goregaon East, Goregaon, Mumbai, Map it
Call: 022 2849 6537