Tight security in place as India gets set to celebrate Janamashtami
Security has been tightened in most parts of India, but particularly in Maharashtra and West Bengal ahead of the festival of Janamashtami, which will be observed on Friday.
In Rajkot, police were out in full force to ensure that people celebrate Janmashtami, the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna, without incident.
Jamnagar's District Collector Sandeep Kumar said: "Keeping into account the number of tourists, who would be visiting Dwarka during this period, and specially on the day of Janmashtami, we will be beefing up the security arrangements. Additional police forces would be deployed from the district level at Dwarka and additional SRP (State Reserve Police Force) would also be deployed at Dwarka."
Kumar also mentioned that ample barricades would be positioned at the desired locations to avoid the rush.
Adequate security personnel from various departments would be deployed at important sites of the temple to avert any untoward incidents, he added.
Western Railways will run a special train for visitors who plan to attend the grand event at the Dwarakadhish Temple in Dwarka.
As per the official report, over 100,000 devotees are expected to attend the splendid fest.
Paresh Kumar, a priest, however, said: "This year, the numbers of visitors have reduced. Nearly 30 percent of the visitors are reduced. It might be because of rain or other reasons."
In Siliguri, West Bengal, school children celebrated Janamashtami by wearing traditional costumes.
"We had kept chocolates, pencils, rubbers and sharpeners inside the clay pot. The children broke it. All the gifts fell on the children. They enjoyed while taking the gifts," said Sunaina Shinhal, a teacher.
All the students were seen in traditional attire of Lord Krishna and her beloved Radha.
Janmashtami which is also known as Gokulashtami is a Hindu festival and is observed to commemorate the birth of Lord Krishna, who is considered as an incarnation of God Vishnu, the protector of the Universe.
It is celebrated on the eighth day of Krishna Paksha (the dark lunar fortnight or waning moon) as per the Hindu calendar.
In Mumbai city, it is commonly known as 'Dahi Handi'. People from all across the city celebrate it with full enthusiasm.
The Handi is a clay pot filled with buttermilk, which is located at a convenient height. A human pyramid is built and the topmost person breaks the pot by hitting it with a blunt object.
The buttermilk falls over the entire group to symbolise the unity and strength of the group.