Pilgrims gather in Vrindavan, Govardhan for annual rituals

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A massive gathering of pilgrims has congregated in Vrindavan and Govardhan hill for the celebration of Deepawali in Brajbhumi, a priest of Bankey Bihari temple said on Wednesday.

“The kindling of earthen lamps at the lotus feet of Bankey Bihari Ji Maharaj during Deepawali is considered a good omen and a way to salvation. Pilgrims throng to this temple on the auspicious day to participate in the annual rituals”, Gyanendra Goswami, the Sevayat Acharya of Bankey Bihari temple, said.

 During the period from Deepawali till Holi, the deity (Lord Krishna) will preside on a “Hatari” (a raised structure) in stead of “Sinhasan (throne)”, as per ritual, he said.

 Govardhan Pooja, which is celebrated to mark the lifting of Goverdhan hill by Lord Krishna to protect ‘Brajwasis’ from the wrath of Lord Indra is on

Friday.   However, thousands of Indian and foreign devotees have already gathered in the town for the festival, Mahesh Sharma the priest of Daan ghati temple said.

 The annual ritual of ‘parikrama’ (circumambulation) of the Govardhan hill by the pilgrims, which goes on round the clock, has already started, he said.

 One of the salient features of this Pooja is the procession of foreign devotees, which is led by spiritual teacher Sri Bhakti Vedant Madhav Mahraj from Girdhari Gaudiya Math Goverdhan to Hargokul temple

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