In a significant move to redefine the cultural and civilisational profile of the state, the Uttar Pradesh government has decided to give a big push to organising Krishna Janmashtami festival in Mathura this year.
A mega cultural event has been proposed to be organised at Mathura for eight days during Krishna Janmashtami festival from August 17 to 24. The thrust is to project Mathura, the birthplace of Lord Krishna, as a major tourist destination in the national and international circuits to attract tourists and pilgrims.
In 2017, the state government had set up Braj Teerth Development Board for development of important pilgrimage centres. The state government has already placed Ayodhya on the international tourist map by organising Deepotsav on a grand scale on the banks of Saryu river on Diwali.
“All temples and religious places in Mathura and Vrindavan will be decorated with LED lights while cultural programmes will be held on all eight days at Ramlila ground by national and international artistes,” said Culture and Minority Affairs Minister Laxmi Narayan Chaudhary in Lucknow on Saturday.
On Sunday, a high-level meeting will be chaired by the minister in Lucknow to finalise the programmes and other arrangements for Krishna Janmotsav.
Chaudhary said that during the eight-day celebrations, tourists and pilgrims would enjoy film on Lord Krishna and a laser show.
Lok Sabha member from Mathura and film star Hema Malini is likely to perform in the cultural programme besides artistes from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Mauritius and different states.
The programmes will focus mostly on Raas Lila of Lord Krishna.
Besides, the government is also holding different competitions at local level to engage people of the twin cities by organising jhankis of Lord Krishna’s birth and a competition to decorate Radha-Krishna temples.
Ever since the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in UP, the state government has been working for improvement and overall development of important pilgrimage centres in the state.