Jhulan Yatra – The Golden Swing Festival of Lord Krishna

 

“Jhula Jhule Radha Damodara Vrundavan Main,

Kaisi Cchayi Hariyali Ali Kunjan Main”

Jhulana Yatra ia a favourite pastime of Srimati Radharani and Lord Sree Krishna’s. It celebrates Srimati Radharani’s yearly sojourn to Varshana to her parents’ house. Another myth is that with the onset of monsoon, when the nature assumes green form, Sri Radharani prepares a swing deep in the jungle and invites Lord Krishna for ‘Raasleela’. In Vrindavan among the local villagers and inhabitants this festival lasts for 13 days. It starts on Shravana Dasami, the bright fortnight and lasts until the full moon night of the month.

Some of the main temples where this festival is celebrated at are the Banke Bihari Temple and the Radha-Raman Temple in Vrindavana, the Dwarkadish temple in Mathura, and the Larily Lal Temple in Varsana, and selected Mathas such as Emarmath, Radhaballavi Math, Uttarparsa math and many mothas and the temple of Lord Jagannath in Puri, Odisha. In some temples it is observed only for seven days. In some temples on all five days from Ekadashi to Poornima.

 

Jhulan Yatra Festival Celebration in Mathura

Jhulana is celebrated in other parts of India in Shravana. For example in Shree Kshetra Lord Jagannath’s Utsav Vighraha (Madan-Mohan ji), celebrates Jhulana from Shravana Shukla Dashami (10th phase of the Moon of the light fortnight) until Pratipada (1st tithi of the dark fortnight), a period of seven days. Sri Madanmohan ji, goddess Laxmi and Vishwadhatri are placed on a decorative wooden swing on Muktimandap of Puri (Jhulana Mandap). There worshippers swing the Lord, symbolically playing with and entertaining the Lord of the Universe.

On the day of the full moon (Gamha Purnima or Jhulana Purnima), Lord Balabhadra’s appearance day is celebrated. Lord Jagannath is but another form of Lord Krishna, but Jhulana Yatra became popular in Puri, Odisha after Sri Chaitanya visited and the festival in the temple was first initiated by the Gajapati king Dibyasingha Dev-II (1793-1798). These days Jhulana Yatra is scrupulously observed in the temple of Lord Jagannath and other Mathas in Puri, for a week.

Jhulan Yatra Festival Celebration in Vrindavan

In the ISKCON headquarters in Mayapur Jhulan is a major festival. It is one of the Astaka Lila pastimes of the Lords.  It is celebrated for 5 days.

The Lord Shree Krishna resides as Jhule Lal in Gujarat and festival of Janmasthami is celebrated in dedicated temples in a big way, during month of Shravan, for example in Dwarka.

Vaishnavism is popular in Manipur too. Mandil Nartan is a festival dance performed during the Jhulana Yatra there. The dancers use small cymbals (Mandila) to provide the musical accompaniment to their dance depicting Sri RadhaKrishna on the swing surrounded by Gopis.

Childhood memories of cutting and arranging moss beds, decorating a swing and placing an idol of Sri Radha Kishna, lighting it all up is still fresh. Sometimes the idol of Sree Radha Krishna were substituted with a small boy and a girl – gorgeously dressed up, complete with a flute. I fondly remember Jhulana Yatra used to be a favourite excuse for staying out till late evening 🙂

This year Jhulan Yatra is celebrated on 19 August 2010 for next 13 Days. Toshali Resorts has exclusive arrangement to manage your tour and travel to witness and make you participate in Jhulana Yatra Festival. Contact your travel manager metu@toshali.in or just post the details on the comments to find out more details.

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~~ Radha Ramana Hari ~~ …. Keep Chanting….