Krishnashtami is a widely celebrated festival of Lord Krishna in Nepal. The Krishnashtami festival in Nepal commemorates the birthday of the revered Hindu god on Bhadrapada Ashtami. According to the Hindu astrological calendar, Ashtami in any month refers to the 8th dark day after a moonless night. Festival of Krishnashtami in Nepal and India calls for celebrations in and around temples dedicated to Lord Krishna.
Touted as a reincarnation of important Hindu Deity Lord Vishnu, Ashtami day is a time of great joy to thousands of Vaishanvaite or Vaishnav (exclusive Vishnu follower) along with million other Hindus that celebrate it with equal joyfulness. Special procession and puja take place in homes of millions of Krishna Pranami who pray only to Krishna and rely exclusively on Bhagavad Geeta for religious salvation.
Krishnashtami in Nepal is celebrated to river Krishna and his praiseworthy acts full of virtue and justice. Krishna is revered for his bringing justice to his birth parents Vasudeva and Devaki. Krishna’s birth parents were dominated and caged by his own maternal uncle - who was foretold by priests that he would die by the hands of Vasudeva and Krishna. Krishna delivered his uncle a swift death after his atrocities crossed the limit.
Similarly, popular are fables of Krishna’s Makhan (yogurt), his stories with opinions, and wars against various demons that are immortalized through Bhajans along with medium like stories. The ultimate reason for Krishna’s reverence is his role in the great war of Mahabharat. He is highly regarded for his lessons of dharma, the art of war, and the exhibition of his Vishwarupa (full form).
The houses are lit bright after proper cleaning, everyone bathes to set of fresh clothes, everyone makes their way to temples clad with priests, devotees, and ornately dressed ladies paying homage for a good life partner - are a sight you’ll come across these days. The melodic Bhajans blasting out of speakers laid perfectly across temples for dancing devotees are another spectacle to behold during this time of the year. If you’re lucky enough, your travel to the festival of Lord Krishna in Nepal may let you see excellent Bhajan singers performing their craft around these temples.
The world heritage site of Patan Durbar square hosts a stone temple of the Shikhara style unlike any other in Nepal. The artistic carving and 21 Gajur (elaborate stone or metal top found in temples) it hoists on corners and top make it a visual marvel unlike any other in Nepal. The garlands of flowers, long lines of devotees spanning multiple towns, busy volunteers looking out for visitors, women dancing right across the square will take you to holy land experience like never before.
Come catch a glimpse of celebration and pay homage with a basket of Puja sold along the streets and fill the air like every other devotional Bhakta (follower) lighting up wonderful fragrant incense. The Krishnashtami in Nepal comes to its fullest here in the square until late in the night at people believe they should stay awake till midnight.
The Malla kings of Nepal were in a race of building temples better than other surrounding kingdoms of Kathmandu Valley. Thanks to these jealous kings, the UNESCO world heritage site of Kathmandu Durbar Square better known as Hanuman Dhoka Square, also has a Krishna Mandir. The devotees line up in huge numbers here at 3 storeyed pagoda-style Krishna Mandir right left to the gigantic Kaal Bhairava. Devotee line up by hundreds in the square here too, butter lamps ordinates the huge steps housing ladder right in the middle.
Join the celebration and praise the Lord with hymns and mantras along with thousands of Bhaktas uttering it out of their mouths. Choose to pray with tulsi beads mala through the guidance of priests laying right beside for extra blessings from the lord. Put a moon-shaped yellow and red tika on your head and find the Krishna in you during the Krishnashtami festival in Nepal.
15 minutes south from Basantapur lies Jaishidewal complex home to temples built by Joshis of then Kathmandu. The square is home to temples of Kumar, Shiva, Ganesha, and Krishna. Laying neatly on the southern portion of three-storeyed Jaishidewal locally known as Joshi: dega: - is a two-storeyed pagoda temple of Krishna. While, the god idol here was stolen and is yet to be recovered, the temple springs up to life during the Krishnashtami festival in Nepal.
The Krishna bhajan, prasad, and puja happening here are mild and it is a perfect place to enjoy a celebration for those wishing to avoid the crowds. See children dressed like krishna being carried around on for arms and shoulder on parents' arm, while they are taught traditions passed by previous generations.