Barsana: The birthday celebrations of Radha, consort of Lord Krishna, began here early Wednesday with special "darshans" and musical performances being conducted at the picturesque hill-top temple of Radha.
On this auspicious day of Radhashtami in Barsana, considered to be her birth place, "Radhey Radhey" is the chant that rings in your ears.
Pilgrims had started arriving for the festivities which began a week ago with Samaj Gyan and Ras Leela.
The security arrangements have been beefed up and better crowd management has been organized this year by the local police, which seems to have learnt a few lessons after a stampede three years ago. Separate entrances have been provided to ensure smooth flow of pilgrims.
Pandit Ram Babu Sharma of Dan Garh temple said: "Radha Ashtami is celebrated on the Ashtami of Shukla Paksha in Bhadrapad month. A large number of pilgrims are expected to attend the celebrations that began (after midnight) with abhishekam and shringar."
"It is believed that Lord Krishna's worship is incomplete without Radhaji's worship. Radhaji is believed to be the controller of Lord Krishna's life," Acharya Madhukar Chaturvedi, a priest at the temple, explained citing the Vedas and Puranas.
The day is celebrated as a festival in the temples of Mathura, Vrindavan, Barsana, Rawal and Maant in Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh.