Monday, January 13, 2020

Khichdi Utsava of Radhavallabha Temple, Vrindavan

Lord Krishna at Radhavallabha Temple appear in various Vesha to mesmerize thousands of devotees every day


Thousands of devotees visit the Temple to catch a glimpse of Thakur Radhavallabha Lal in various Chhadma-Vesha

Lord Krishna adorned as Thakur Baldev Ji at Radhavallabha Temple

In the ancient town of Vrindavan Lord Krishna is worshipped in Baal-Bhava. That is, devotees love and pamper him like a child of their own. Temples in Vrindavan organize various events throughout the year to shower their love to Thakur Ji. Khichdi Utsava of Radhavallabha temple is one of those occasions. During Khichdi Utsava Lord Krishna is pampered with a nutritious Khichdi for 30 days during Shishir Ritu or winter season. The significance behind this tradition is to offer food of high nutritional value to protect Thakur Ji from harsh winter. During the Utsava, Thakur Radhavallabha Lal appears in various Vesha or appearances like a bookseller, a teacher, Banke Bihari Ji, Lord Shiva, Paan seller in front of his devotees every day.
Thakur Radhavallabha Lal as Lord Shiva during Khichdi Utsava

Khichdi Utsava is organized from Pausha Shukla Paksha Dwitiya till the Pratipada of Magha Shukla Paksha. This year, Khichdi Utsava began on 28 December 2019 and will end on 25 January 2020 as the Sewayata or manager at Radhavallabha Temple Mohit Maral Goswami told Drik Panchang correspondent.  Goswamiji further added that the Khichdi is offered to Thakurji before the Mangala-Aarti every morning. Thakurji is adorned in new Chhadma-Vesha every day before the Khichdi is served.  As per the legends associated with Krishna Leela, Lord Krishna used to adorn himself in various Chhadma-Vesha or guises to meet Radharani. On some occasions, Lord Krishna would become a fruit and vegetable seller and on some, a bangle seller just to get a chance to see his divine lover Shree Radharani.
Devotees waiting for Darshan at Radhavallabha Temple during Khichdi Utsava

Khichdi Utsava is a 300-year-old tradition and was started by Kamal Nayan Maharaj. As per the Goswami Ji at the temple, the Khichdi is made with rice and lentils in Panchameva and Ghee along with various other nutritious and aromatic ingredients in the Temple Kitchen. As per the tradition, only temple Goswamis are allowed in the kitchen which is built in ancient Indian way with clay. The preparation starts as early as 3 am and Khichdi is served before Mangala Aarti which is conducted at 5:30 am. Furthermore, the Khichdi is made in both variants, that is, spicy and sweet. Thakurji is also served more than 50 delicacies along with Khichdi like Shreekhanda, Rabadi, various recipes of vegetables, pickle, Papadam and fruits.


As part of Khichdi Utsava, the priests at the Temple also sing songs and Chhanda depicting the Krishna Leela. Devotees from across Braj Mandal and nearby regions visit Radhavallabha Temple every day to get a glimpse of their beloved in various Roopa.


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