Vrindavan replicated in Tirupati temple on ‘Govardhan Puja’

Priests perform ‘Abhishekam’ to the deity of Lord Krishna at ISKCON’s Lotus Temple in Tirupati on the occasion of ‘Govardhan Puja’ observed on November 14, even as the altar (in the backdrop) is decorated to look like ‘Vrindavan’.
| Photo Credit: The Hindu

The altar at the ‘Lotus Temple’ managed by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) was decorated to give a feel of Vrindavan on November 14, when the ‘Govardhan Puja’ was observed.

The event is traditionally observed a day after Deepavali. According to mythology, it was on this day that Krishna lifted the Govardhan hillock to safeguard his village from submergence due to heavy downpour.

The significance of the Tirupati temple is that it is only one of the few across the ISKCON’s global network to have Krishna surrounded by ‘Ashtasakhis’ (his eight divine companions). The altar was decorated with tree branches and flowers of different hues to bring Vrindavan before the eyes of the common devotee.

According to the temple President Revathi Raman Prabhu, ancient scriptures have referred to similarities between the Govardhan and Venkatadri hillocks and hence the festival is observed more religiously in Tirupati. A special ‘Arathi’ is already being given every day at 7 p.m. till Nov. 27, marking the ‘Kartika Damodara’ month.

Earthen mound

An earthen mound was made to resemble the Govardhan Giri at the temple, to which the priests offered prayers, recalling the Vrindavan episode. Priests performed ‘Maha Shankhabhishekam’ on the auspicious occasion, followed by ‘Go Puja’. The temple is also gearing up to observe the ISKCON founder Acharya Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance day on Nov 17.

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