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Jal Yatra: Vrindavan temples celebrating mid-summer water festival

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Vrindavan, 16.06.2019

Vrindavan Temples will celebrate Jal Yatra on 17th June. Jal Yatra is organised every year during the Purnima of Jyestha month (June) as per the Hindu calendar to give some relief to Thakur ji from the scorching heat. The festival is thought to have originated from the Puri tradition, where Jagannath takes bath on this day, then ‘falls sick’ and does not give Darshan for the next two weeks.

In Vrindavan’s historical Sapta Devalaya temples, the focus of the festival is on providing pleasure for the Deities through water play. Padmalochan Goswami of Radharaman temple said that Jal Yatra is an old tradition. Together with other summer services, such as the fragrant phul bangala decorations and Chandan Yatra, it is designed to give relief to Thakur ji.

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Shri Radharaman ji during Jal Yatra

In Radharaman and other temples, fountains are arranged on the altar.  Visitors to the temple also benefit from the fine spray of water, making the day one of the most enjoyable summer Darshans.

Shri Radha-Shyamsundar, Shri Radha-Gokulananda and the rest of the sapta-devalaya temples all celebrate this festival, so the festival is a great time to tour Vrindavan’s temples.

Jal Yatra coincides with the Snan Yatra of Lord Jagannath in Puri. The Skandh Puran mentions that King Indradyumna arranged this ceremony for the first time when Jagannath, Baldev and Subhadra were first installed in Puri, Odisha. In this sense, Snan Yatra is considered the birthday of Jagannath Dev. The Lord comes out of His temple on procession and is offered a ritual bath with 108 pots of water, in the presence of His devotees.

In the two Jagannath temples on Vrindavan’s Parikrama Marg, the Snan Yatra is celebrated with Abhishek in the afternoon. After this, Darshan will remain closed until 3rd July. On the afternoon of 4th of July, Shri Jagannath Baladev and Subhadra’s Rathayatra will be taken out on the streets in Vrindavan.

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