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Celebrating Nag Panchami, Braj Style

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Kaliya-780x772.jpgVrindavan, 2017.07.28 (VT): Brajwasis celebrated Nag Panchami in their own special style on Thursday, Shravan Shukla Panchami. Shri Kaliya Daman – Krishna dancing on the back of the serpent Kaliya – was worshipped in Jaint where the day marks the beginning of the village’s yearly Nag Panchami festival.

Village women used a mixture of black colour and milk to draw folk paintings of snakes on the walls of their homes. The images were then worshipped with milk and different kinds of food offerings.

Meanwhile in Mathura, devotees congregated at a small fair at Nag Tila in Kampu Ghat. The temple was elaborately decorated with flowers and the temple’s image of Nag Devta was worshipped. The ancient Shiv Temples of Mathura and Vrindavan like Gopeshwar Mahadev, Bhuteshwar Mahadev and others, were also very crowded on this day.

Nag Panchami at Garud Govinda

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Shri Garud Govinda, Chhatikara

The Garud Govind temple in Chhatikara, near Vrindavan, is a unique temple featuring Shri Krishna in the guise of Vishnu sitting on Garuda.

Once Shri Krishna was playing with his friend Shridam. Shridam pretended to be the divine bird Garuda, and Krishna pretended to be Vishnu. The temple depicts this pastime of Shri Krishna with his friend.

The temple is located in the village of Chhatikara near Vrindavan, just off of NH-2. Chhatikara is deeply connected with Krishna lila. From the time Krishna was born, the evil king Kamsa (Kans) sent many demons to try to kill the divine child. Eventually his father decided to abandon his village of Gokul, considering it unsafe. He moved with his entire community in a caravan of bullock carts, which stopped for some time at Chhatikara. There the villagers parked their carts in a protective crescent-moon formation. The name Chhatikara comes from the Sanskrit word shashti-kalaa or crescent moon.

Considering Garuda to be the enemy of snakes, devotees seek the blessings of Garud Govinda to ease the effects of “Kala Sarp Dosh” (an astrological disorder). On Naag Panchami “Kala Sarp” poojas were held at the temple on a grand scale.

 

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