Krishna Janamashtami celebrations this year in Braj area, comprising Mathura, Agra, Bharatpur and Hathras districts, have reached a crescendo with temples all decked up and devotees from across India queing up for a glimpse of the presiding deities, despite security hype.
Surrounded by multi-layered security personnel, the Janambhoomi campus in Mathura looks like demon Kansa's jail. River Yamuna too is flowing to the brim and the Mathura ghats are overwhelmed by a flood of pilgrims who started arriving from Thursday onwards taking advantage of the Independence Day holiday.
In Gokul, across the river Yamuna celebrations started Saturday and will continue for three days.
Senior district officials in Mathura said the twin towns would be under alert and higher vigil this time. More than 4000 security personnel have been deputed to secure the Sri Krishna Janambhoomi campus.
The rituals associated with the birth of Sri Krishna would start later in the evening.
Janamashtmi is being celebrated by the Vaishnavite sect Sunday, while other sects would celebrate Monday.
The calender (almanac) released from Nathdwara in Rajasthan, headquarter of the Vaishanavite sect, is followed in the Pushtiyamarg temples. The main temple in Mathura of Dwarkadheesh is therefore celebrating Janamashtmi today, according to Acharya Madhukar Chaturvedi.
The whole area has been divided into three zones and 13 sectors headed by ASPs and ADMs.
Faced with acute demand for flowers, some temples like the Janam Bhoomi's Keshav Dev temple, have made arrangements for fresh supplies from Kolkatta and Bangalore. Both in Vrindavan and Mathura, a whole lot of Kirtans, Satsangs and Ras Leelas have been planned out, with famous gurus lined up to create a truly divine ambience.
Anticipating heavy rush as the day wears off, the police personnel with support from the local intelligence units, have cordoned off the area around Janam Bhoomi campus and pilgrims are being thoroughly screened.
Senior police officials at the Range office are closely monitoring the security situation.
The UP roadways has promised to run extra buses to ease traffic pressure in Mathura and Vrindavan.