On September 5th and 6th 2015, UK's Bhaktivedanta Manor - ISKCON temple celebrated Janmashtami 2015

Janmashtami 2015: UK ISKCON's Bhaktivedanta Manor welcomes 70,000 pilgrims

India News Bulletin Desk

It is dubbed as the biggest Janmashtami celebrations outside of India and this year too UK's Bhaktivedanta Manor in Watford, Hertfordshire, hosted around 70,000 pilgrims to celebrate Krishna Jayanthi 2015 on September 5th and 6th.

Janmashtami in the UK - ISKCON's Bhaktivedanta Manor hosts biggest Janmashtami 2015 outside of India
Image courtesy: Manor's 2014 Janmashtami festivities

Janmashtami festival – the celebration of the birth of Lord Krishna – is one of the most important festivals for the Indian community. Like every year, UK's ISKCON temple and Bhaktivedanta Manor hosted tens of thousands of visitors and pilgrims over the weekend – September 5th and 6th - to celebrate Shree Krishna Janmashtami 2015 in the UK.

Pilgrims and visitors to Bhaktivedanta Manor to celebrate Janmashtami last year
Image courtesy: Manor's 2014 Janmashtami festivities

The huge scale of the UK Janmashtami celebrations at the Manor meant that road closures were enforced on both Saturday and Sunday. The only entrance to the temple will be via Sandy Lane from the A41 with all other roads blocked for visitors to the temple. The temple warned ahead of the weekend that parking tickets will be issued to non-residents who park in the village.

Every year during Janmashtami celebrations, Bhaktivedanta Manor's grounds are transformed into a magnificent festival and brought to life with music, interactive multimedia displays, traditional dance performances, dramas, Japa mediation, learn more about the philosophy, as well as a Krishnaland for children.

This year, visitors had the opportunity to explore bazaars selling books, organic produce, jewellery, musical instruments and CDs. For those that worked up an appetite, a vast selection of exquisite free vegetarian food was available in abundance. One of the highlights of the festival was the recreation of the beautiful forests of Vrindavan in India where Lord Krishna played when he was growing up. 

The 60-acred Manor is owned and run by ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) ever since Beatles’ George Harrison gave it away in 1973. Its Krishna Jayanthi celebration is one of the biggest of its kind outside of India.

In 2013, India News Bulletin reported that the temple’s kitchen staff prepared free prasadam (pure vegetarian food first offered to the deities) to cater to at least 50,000 pilgrims.

While the Manor's Janmashtami 2015 celebrations attracted tens of thousands of visitors, there were over 1,500 volunteers serving the visitors over the weekend.

While Bhaktivedanta Manor hosted UK’s biggest Krishna Janmashtami 2013 festival, other ISKCON temples including ISKCON Birmingham, ISKCON Manchester and London too celebrated the festival with kirtans, bhajans, drama, dance and free vegetarian feasts for all visitors. 

Keep watching this space for news updates and pictures of Janmashtami 2015 celebrations in the UK including the festivities at Bhaktivedanta Manor ISKCON temple. If you would like to share pictures of Janmashtami 2015, write to us at [email protected].

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