Grand Festival of Radhavallabh Temple is Nine-Day long Sri Radhashtami festival, commemorating the birthday of Sri Radha.
Grand Festival of Radhavallabh Temple is Nine-Day long Sri Radhashtami festival, commemorating the birthday of Sri Radha. The festival commences right from the fifth day of the bright fortnight of Bhadrapad (Bhadrapad Shukla Panchmi) from which date congratulatory devotional songs are sung by the Temple musicians and well decorated procession of the Swaroopas (The Holy Couplets Sri Krishna and Sri Radha) in attendance with Sakhis (Holy Female companions) is being taken out from the temple in the evenings for four days. The Holy Couple is seated in a wall-decorated chariot along with Holy Female companions. Saints of the sect carrying Holy Insignias indicating their Akharas (sub-sects), several band-parties playing devotional tunes, hundreds of devotees from all over the world dancing and singing devotional songs attuned with the beat of traditional symbol and drums, several Jhankis (pictures queue presentation of various themes connected with the occasion), lights comprise the procession, known as "Chav" in the traditional parlance, which moves slowly meandering the main streets and lanes of Vrindavan, reaching Ras Mandal after mid-night. Devotees perform "Aarti" at different places, after every few steps, of the Holy Couple (Deity) is graciously garbed in red royal robes in the temple. On this night, Darshan are again opened after "Shayan Aarti", and "Dhandhi-Dhandhin", (Traditional male and female Courtesan-Dancer of the Holy Couple) dance whole night singing congratulatory devotional songs After performance of Shyan Aarti, the Deity is adorned with new ornaments, on the all four sides of "Shayan Mandap", plantain trunks with leaves are placed and whole temple, inside outside decorated with"Vandanwars".
Aarti Videos-Mangala Samaj ; Mangala Aarti ; Dhoop Sringaar Aarti;
Sringaar Aarti ; RajBhog Aarti; Grand Procession
Highlights- Janam Badhai Loot; Dadhi Kaando
On the 8th day, from the early morning before Mangla Aarti, the temple musicians (Samajis) start singing congratulatory songs (Badhai) and "Dadhi-Kando" is performed for sometime at Jagmohan (raised platform) itself. The Deity is then bathed with five ritually important ingredients-Milk, Curd, Clarified Butter (Ghee), Honey and Sugar followed by Holy Waters of Yamuna. This ritual bath consists of several liters of above ingredients. The temple is decorated this time too, as at Hitotsava.
At the time of Sringar Bhog, various types of delicacies e.g., Ladoos of several types, Gujhias (A special kind of sweet prepared from rice or wheat flour with dry fruits lavishly stuffed inside with saffron and cardamom), Sugar Coated Almonds, Coconut slices water chestnuts (makhaana), Lotus seeds, melon seeds, Matharis (both sweet and salty), Panjiree (Wheat flour and coriander (Dhania) powder separately roasted with clarified Butter and enriched with sugar, dry fruits etc.), Sakalpara etc. besides several other delicacies are offered sumptuously to the Deity. Rajbhog, on this day also lavish and sumptuous which consists of "Sakhri"-Several kinds of rice e.g. Bhat, Jeera Bhat, Mewa Bhat, Boora Bhat, Kesar Bhat, Dahi Bhat (Rice, Cumin Rice, Dry Fruit Rice, Sugar-Butter Rice, Saffron Rice, Curd Rice) etc. Karhi, various kinds of breads (Anga Roti, Meethi Boora Bhee Roti, Missi Roti, Phulka), Lentils (Dal), Sweet Moong, vegetables of various kinds, Dahi Pakori, Kheer etc. and "Nikhri" consisting of various kinds of Pooris, Kachawris, pickles, jams and jellies, Dahi-Bara, Papad, vegetables etc. is offered to Deity followed by offerings of "Biree" (Betel leaves enriched with cardamom, saffron and dry fruits), traditionally offered after each and every "Bhog" daily at temple
From 12 p.m. onwards, starts "Dadhi Kando" of Brijwasis (Devotees and followers of the sect dwelling in Brij Vrindavan). Later, Goswami replicas perform "Dadhi Kando", which must not be missed since it is a ritual to be remembered forever. Milk, Curd, Turmeric powder, Sandal Paste and saffron is mixed in a very large tank in the Temple and Goswamis sprinkle the admixture on the devotees and fellow priests, dancing in circles, merrily rejoicings, to the tunes of "Radha Pyari Ne Janam Liyo Hai" and "Chalo Vrishbanu Gope Ke Dwar" (Beloved Sri Radha has taken birth and Let us to the doors of Sri Vrishbhanu Gope, father of Sri Radhikaji).The Goswamis accompanied by Temple Devotional Singers (Samaj), proceed to Sri Hit Mandir (Old Temple), Vanchandraji ke Dol, Sri Sri Sewa kunj and Sri Hit Ras Mandal, performing Dadhi Kando. This is followed by ritualistic bathing in Yamuna by Goswamis after which they return to their abodes. The celebrations come to an end on the 13th,day of brighter fortnight commemorating Chhathi (Sixth day after birth of Sri Radhikaji), on which date again sumptuous Sringar Bhog and Raj Bhog offering are being made to the Deity. During Raj Bhog Sakri include specialties such as Kheer, Pakauri, Peet-Bhat (Yellow Rice), Mohanbhog etc. besides of firings as that on birthday. On the birthday, i.e. Sri Radhastami, the Goswamis, as well as devotees, put Tilak on the forehead of Dhandhi and Dhandhin and reward them with shawls and money, as if it has been done Sri Vrishbhanuji on that day.
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