Thousands poured into Mathura Friday to celebrate Janmashtami in the land of Lord Krishna.
After several years, Janmashtami fell on a rain drenched day, with a cool breeze and dark clouds threatening to unleash more showers. The festival celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna, believed to have taken place some 5,000 years ago in Mathura, located about 135 km south of New Delhi, on a rainy, stormy night.
Mathura adorns a festive look on Janmashtami, with devotees crowding its temples and bylanes.
The water level has gone up in the Yamuna river, adding to the flavour of the festival.
With thousands of devotees thronging Mathura, where the celebrations will begin with gusto in the evening, hotels and dharamshalas are packed, musicologist Acharya T. Jaimini said.
Some temples in Vrindavan and Mathura have already celebrated Janmashtami with special prayers and bathing the idols with milk, curd and honey.
"Everywhere you go, you hear 'Radhey Radhey' and 'Jai Sri Krishan'," Jaimini added.
The main function is to be held at Mathura's Sri Krishan Janambhoomi temple.
"Pilgrims prefer to spend the day in Vrindavan where several temples have afternoon pujas. The crowds shift to Mathura in the evening," said Vrindavan-based Kunj Bihari Sharma.